A Clinician-Educator's Roadmap to Choosing and Interpreting Statistical Tests



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: ERRATA Volume 21, Issue 9, 1009, Article first published online: 1 August 2006

  • The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.The approach to choosing and interpreting statistical tests described in this paper was presented at a workshop during the Society of General Internal Medicine's National Meeting in New Orleans, LA, May 11–14, 2005.

Address correspondence and requests for reprints to Dr. Windish: Yale Primary Care Residency Program, 64 Robbins Street, Waterbury, CT 06721 (e-mail: donna.windish@yale.edu).


As educators seek confirmation of successful trainee achievement, medical education must move toward a more evidence-based approach to teaching and evaluation. Although medical training often provides physicians with a general background in biostatistics, many are not prepared to apply these skills. This can hinder clinician educators as they wish to develop, analyze and disseminate their scholarly work. This paper is intended to be a concise educational tool and guide for choosing and interpreting statistical tests aimed toward medical education assessment. It includes guidelines and examples that clinician-educators can use when analyzing and interpreting studies and when writing methods and results sections of reports.