The future is always uncertain. But statisticians try to eliminate some
of the guesswork by using math and theories of probability. Crunching numbers
helps them figure out what is most likely to occur in the future.
Biostatisticians are specialized statisticians who work in the medical
They predict the pattern of a disease and evaluate new treatments. Is a
medical treatment actually harming a patient? Could a newer type of treatment
work more effectively? What about new drugs?
Biostatisticians assess the safety of medications by crunching numbers.
But before they can compare numbers, they have to set up experiments that
will give accurate data. They are involved in research design, data collection
and statistical interpretation of the results.
These professionals work with numbers. But they need to know enough about
the medical field to understand the data. Often, biostatisticians work with
a medical team and other researchers to design experiments.
Biostatisticians may work for governments, in clinical research labs or
at universities. They may also work in the private sector, such as at a pharmaceutical
company. They generally work in an office setting.
Computers are used to organize and analyze data. Biostatisticians must
take precautions against the usual risks, such as eyestrain and repetitive
stress injuries. Some travel can be required if a biostatistician has to give
advice on a research project, or supervise and set up a survey.