The preface to this fourth edition remarks that the book was written primarily to introduce the worker in clinical medicine as gently as possible both to statistical ways of thinking and to simple statistical methods of experimentation and analysis. The gentleness is manifest in an almost complete absence of mathematical symbols other than signs for multiplication, division and root extraction. Any one who retains a slight command of his high school algebra, specifically the binomial theorem, will be able to understand everything in this book provided that he is willing to contribute the needed time and effort.
One or two slight peculiarities remind the reader that mathematics is not yet quite the universal language. Some American readers may need to be reminded that in British publications the symbol 7.23 with the dot above the level of the line does not mean the product of 7 and 23 but the sum