The Biggest Mistake Patients Make
This is a link to an interesting post.
Even doctors are not immune to thinking anecdotally. Our personal mistakes and successes inform our future decisions and the advice we offer more than we might admit. It can be easier to remember a particular patient than a bunch of statistics.
One caveat: statistics are always blended data. Rare indeed is the CLL study on 57 year old females with exactly two prior chemo-immunotherpies who now needs treatment for enlarged nodes, but whose counts are good.
More likely we will see a study that takes all comers whatever the age or gender or indication for therapy. Maybe the trial only accepted those who have relapsed or who are under 65, but whether is a statistic or an individual, we need to assess carefully how similar their situation is to ours, and then discount or value the information accordingly.
We are always making decisions with imperfect knowledge. Knowing how to weight the value of what we do and don't know can help.