Speaking of Statistics . . .

Tom Lang
Tom Lang Communications

Finely crafted medical writing-
Because publication is the final stage of research.

13 June 2001

In his 25 years as a medical and technical writer and editor, Mr Lang has been the Senior Scientific Writer at the New England Medical Center, the Manager of Medical Editing Services at the Cleveland Clinic, Senior Grants Officer at California State University, Chico, and a technical writer and editor at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory.

Mr Lang has taught medical writing at the University of Chicago, at Beijing Medical University, and at meetings of the American Medical Writers Association. He is now the President of the Council of Science Editors.

Mr Lang's 1997 book "How to Report Statistics in Medicine: Annotated Guidelines for Authors, Editors, and Reviewers" is the most complete and authoritative reference in its field.

Mr. Lang has kindly provided the following summary of his presentation.

1. Levels of Measurement

2. Definitions of "Normal"

3. Standard Deviation and Standard Error of the Mean

4. Median and Interquartile Range

5. Parametric and Nonparametric Tests

6. "Alpha" Error and Statistical Significance

7. Multiple (Pairwise) Comparisons; Multiple Testing; Multiple "Looks" at the Data

8. "Beta" Error and Statistical Power

9. Random, Randomized, Randomization

10. "Blinding" and "Masking"

Terms Relating to Patients


  1. Everitt BS. The Cambridge Dictionary of Statistics in the Medical Sciences. London: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
  2. Lang T, Secic M. How To Report Statistics in Medicine: Annotated Guidelines for Authors, Editors, and Reviewers. American College of Physicians, 1997.
  3. Last JM, editor. A Dictionary of Epidemiology. London: Oxford University Press, 1988.
  4. Schwager, E. Medical English Usage and Abusage. Phoenix, Arizona: Oryx Press, 1991.
  5. Vogt WP. Dictionary of Statistics and Methodology: A Nontechnical Guide for the Social Sciences. Newbury Park, California: Sage Publications Inc., 1993.

[back to index of past meetings]