The science of statistics deals with the collection, classification, and analysis of facts or data. By the use of mathematical theories of probability, it imposes order and regularity on aggregates of more-or-less disparate elements. Almost intuitively the physician uses the statistical method in diagnosis and therapy. Physicians are ever fated to wander in the statistical thickets where one must keep his wits about him, proceeding to a degree like a soldier in an unfriendly country, as Trotter1 said, always alert and circumspect, with reactions under careful control. Busy and often preoccupied, the physician trying to impose order and regularity on his experience is prone to stumble if the spoor of statistics be followed too slavishly.
Statistics preponderate where operations are large, as with many people. Big endeavors cannot run without bureaucracy, and bureaucracy must rely mainly on the statistics of how things have been done and have happened in the