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Ken

My experience with diagnostic testing in medicine is that it isn't easy and the trade-offs aren't obvious to clinicians and they should be. Ask a question about acceptable rates of false positives and there will probably be a blank look. This is even though in one case the positive test result would involve referral to a specialist and they usually aren't happy with seeing patients with no disease.

There is also a lot of bad analysis even from statisticians. Ignoring verification bias will make the test look better. I've been to a talk on identifying illegal imports where verification bias wasn't even mentioned. Verification bias is where only a portion of the sample have the gold standard test applied. Ignore it and there is lots of missing data, and not missing completely at random as most of the imports to be fully assessed are those that show as high risk.

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