Terms used in medical research

These phrases and their definitions may help you interpret the mysterious language of medical research:

“IN MY EXPERIENCE” = Once.

“IN CASE AFTER CASE” = Twice.

“IN A SERIES OF CASES” = Thrice.

“IT IS BELIEVED THAT” = I think.

“IT IS GENERALLY BELIEVED THAT” = A couple of others think so, too.

“IT HAS LONG BEEN KNOWN” = I didn’t look up the original reference.

“A CAREFUL ANALYSIS OF OBTAINABLE DATA” = Three pages of notes were obliterated when I knocked over that glass of beer.

“IT IS CLEAR THAT MUCH ADDITIONAL WORK WILL BE REQUIRED BEFORE A COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING OF THIS PHENOMENON OCCURS” = Wow, I dunno.

“AFTER ADDITIONAL STUDY BY MY COLLEAGUES” = Gosh, they dunno either.

“THANKS ARE DUE TO JOE BLOTZ FOR ASSISTANCE WITH THE EXPERIMENT AND TO CINDY SMARTZ FOR VALUABLE DISCUSSIONS” = Mr. Blotz did the work and Ms. SMARTZ explained to me what it meant.

“A DEFINITE TREND IS EVIDENT” = This information is practically meaningless.

“WHILE IT HAS NOT BEEN POSSIBLE TO PROVIDE DEFINITE ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS” = It was an unsuccessful experiment, but I still hope to get it published.

“THREE OF THE SAMPLES WERE CHOSEN FOR DETAILED STUDY” = The other results didn’t make any sense.

“TYPICAL RESULTS ARE SHOWN” = This was the prettiest graph.

“THESE RESULTS WILL BE IN A SUBSEQUENT REPORT” = I might get around to this sometime, if pushed and/or funded.

“CORRECT WITHIN AN ORDER OF MAGNITUDE” = Wrong.

“ACCORDING TO STATISTICAL ANALYSIS” = Rumor has it.

“A STATISTICALLY-ORIENTED PROJECTION OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THESE FINDINGS” = A wild guess.

“IT IS HOPED THAT THIS STUDY WILL STIMULATE FURTHER INVESTIGATION IN THIS FIELD” = I quit!