Well the talk went well.
I’m waiting for the official rating (people fill out anonymous evals), but there seemed to be a lot of interest….and more importantly I got quite a few compliments on the unique approach. Giving people something new in the “how to get along” genre was my goal, so I was pleased.
Between that and having 48 hours to pull together another abstract for submission to a transplant conference, posting got slow.
It was interesting though….the project I was writing the abstract was about a new test we introduced that saved patients over an hour of waiting time IF it came out above a certain level. We had hours of discussion about where that should be, ultimately deciding that we had to minimize false positives (times when the test said they passed but a better test said they failed) at the cost of driving up false negatives (when the test said they failed, but they really hadn’t). We have to perform the more accurate test regardless, so it was a choice between having a patient wait unnecessarily, or having them start an expensive uncomfortable procedure unnecessarily. Ethically and reasonably, we decided most patients would rather find out they’d waited when they didn’t have to than that they’d gotten an entirely unnecessary procedure.
I bring all this up both to excuse my absence and to say I was fascinated by Kaiser Fung’s take on Lance Armstrong. He goes in depth about anti-doping tests, hammering on the point that testing agencies will accept high false negatives to minimize false positives. It would ruin their credibility to falsely accuse someone, so we have to presume many many dopers test clean at various points in time. It follows then, that clean tests mean fairly little, while other evidence means quite a lot.
I thought that was an interesting point, one I had certainly not heard covered.
Also, as any Orioles fan (or someone who lives with one) would know, I have good reason to want Raul Ibanez tested right now.
More posts this week than last, I promise.