In his medical column for Pajamas Media, Dalrymple muses on the results of a recent study that shows that older doctors produce fewer complications for their patients:
Suppose it proved to be a general rule that every doctor is at his peak performance in his sixth decade? Will not every patient then want his or her doctor to be of that decade? It is obvious that such a desire could not possibly be complied with; and even if it could be, how would younger doctors get the experience to reach their peak in their sixth decade?
Of course, difference in age and experience is not the only cause of variation in doctors’ performance. Some are brilliant by natural ability, others less so. But the public does not necessarily react rationally when it learns of a statistical association.