Are you normal?

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 03 May 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:0

In terms of health you hope you are. In terms of talent, looks, and intelligence you might hope to be above normal. In Garrison Keillor's home town, Lake Wobegone, all children are above average. What is normal? It's one of the trickiest things in medicine to define, not least because medicine usually concerns itself with the abnormal: disease. Questions about normality flow through this journal.

The Bible of evidence based medicine— Clinical Epidemiology: a Basic Science for Clinical Medicine by Dave Sackett, Brian Haynes, Gordon Guyatt, and Peter Tugwell—offers six definitions of normal. …

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