Why clinicians are natural bayesians: Clinicians have to be bayesians

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.330.7504.1390-c (Published 09 June 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1390
  1. Robert McCrossin, consultant paediatrician (Robert_McCrossin@health.qld.gov.au)
  1. Department of Paediatrics, Hervey Bay Hospital, QLD 4655, Australia

EDITOR—Clinicians are natural bayesians when it comes to diagnosis.1 They have to be. The alternative approach might be to use the methods of classical hypothesis testing, but probably only once.

The Neyman-Pearson diagnosis of coeliac disease

(Assume that the sensitivity and specificity of transglutaminase IgA are both 95%.)

Parent: Well doctor, have you got the result of the test yet?

Doctor: Yes I have. …

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