When the editor of Pediatric News asked me to start the Needles blog in 2011, no one had ever succeeded in making pediatrics hilarious on a regular basis. Many of my loyal readers agree that, after 126 Needles columns, they’re still waiting. Now I’m starting “Likelihood Ratio,” where I hope that one of the commenters will finally pull it off.
Those of you with medical or statistical training will recognize a likelihood ratio as that formula you had to write on the palm of your hand right before the test so you wouldn’t flunk. In case you’ve since washed your hands, it’s a calculation that tells you whether the sensitivity and specificity of a test makes it even worth doing or whether the test will just make you and the lab more money while simultaneously giving the appearance that you’re a smart and caring clinician.
Like “Needles,” this blog will be a place to explore developments in the pediatric literature and to ask ourselves, “Should I even care?”. If all goes well, we’ll laugh together, we’ll learn together, and I’ll get offered lucrative speaking engagements in attractive destinations. Don’t worry, I’ll post photos. Welcome, then, to Likelihood Ratio. I hope you’ll like it.