Madness of modern medicineBMJ 2008; 337 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a1670 (Published 16 September 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1670
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Applepiestatistics In Modern Medicine
Statistics are the favourite tools
of doctors, pharmacists and fools.
But, in addition there are those
who use fine poetry and prose
to make a factoid appear strong
and show that textbooks can be wrong.
Let's take the homebaked applepie,
each slice would be a trifle shy
of other slices, at least some,
plus, there's the matter of the crumb,
a dozen of them make up weight
and add their joules to the debate.
So, pie containing apples can
put some condition on a man,
however, apples may affect
one's body and the intellect
through mystic powers from within
(most factors live beneath the skin),
so, for the sake of argument
consider the experiment
of following a million men
who eat their applepie at ten,
another million who prefer
like any genuine connoisseur
to munch some now and some at noon,
by using a min-iscule spoon
then comes the matter of devices
that would provide true, equal slices.
And those who eat with sudden haste
may spill some crumbs, which is a waste.
These groups are monitored for years
until a malady appears.
Specifically, it is cancer
to which we do not have an answer.
So, prostate, common as it is
it's a disease germane to his
and all the plumbing of his friends
it slows the flow and also tends
to make you dribble (try to shake)
at night, which renders one awake.
So, of the millions, who avoids
prostatic grief and hemorrhoids?
Is it the ones whose slice was bigger,
not once but often, could the trigger
be missing crumbs or time when eaten
is there a chance this can be beaten
or should I say prevented by
the proper use of applepie?
As you can see, there are too many
and factors hidden (or uncanny)
but, to get printed, I could fiddle
with my statistics-driven riddle.
I'd take the men who ate and died
and then declared them applepied.
The ones who ate their slice at ten
would be deleted by my pen.
This has to do with a confounder
which makes all proof a trifle sounder.
I'm left with a small group who died
but no one knows, perhaps they lied
about their deaths, one can't be sure
perhaps there was a silent cure?
And late at night, I sit and type
a sober paper, without hype.
It seems that applepie is able
to keep you healthy, but the table
must have a cover of pure silk
and there must be a glass of milk
unpasteurised and full of cream
just Jersey though, it is supreme.
Put all together, (facts convince)
next study will be fruity mince,
just wanted to present to you,
statistics sometimes can be true.
I hope this contribution stands on its own and adds to our
understanding of the madness as pointed out by Dr. Conradi.
Competing interests: No competing interests