Monday, August 13, 2012

Should I accept this abstract?

I’ve been reviewing scientific abstracts for IDWeek, which is how I know that there is going to be a lot of excellent work presented there—if you haven’t registered, do so now!

During my review, I ran across the very succinct abstract below (I’m not making this up).

I suspect this one might not make the cut (we require a more detailed data summary). Sadly, it does sum up quite a lot of the hospital infection prevention literature.  On a positive note, what makes much of the work being presented in San Diego worth hearing is the slow but steady progress our discipline is making in study design and analysis.


  1. Actually, I'd be very tempted to say you should accept it just to see what kind of poster they could make out of that. Plus, everybody loves a group with a good sense of self-deprecating humor.

  2. This does sum much of it up - for patient safety too. Because it's not always repeatable, because it's not like physics. Studies in hospitals and healthcare in general that don't involve 1 vs. 0 things like taking a med are almost always confounded in some way - known or unknown. Many working in this field who find this frustrating can be said to be suffering from "physics envy". (this term can be Googled)

  3. I would be lying if I said this didn't make my laugh a little.
    It's a sad truth.