MYRIAM, 27 years old, Senior Technician in statistics at a healthcare facility in Brittany
How she became a mathematician
“In the end, I chose to pursue my advanced studies in DIT STID (university diploma in technology, statistics and decisional data processing). I completed my second year of internship in the field of medical research at the INSERM (National Institute of Health and Medical Research) in Paris. Having obtained my diploma, I then worked in a healthcare facility for a year and a half. Then I travelled to England, where I worked on a diploma in foreign languages while working at a company that provides statistical services to pharmaceutical laboratories. I wrote computer programmes for instrument panels to allow biostatisticians to evaluate the efficacy of new drugs. Then I resumed my studies while working on a degree in marketing. Following a training course in agribusiness, I was hired by a healthcare facility. In terms of my objectives, my work has nothing to do with marketing; on the other hand, I make use of the same knowledge, in particular statistics for use in decision-making.”
How mathematics somes into play in her job
In a health-care facility, the statistician brings her expertise in information processing to the technical staff and healthcare providers. The objective is to provide tools for reflection and then for decision-making in improving the quality of care.
A Biostatistician is a person who uses statistical techniques for studying biological phenomena, in particular, for determining the effectiveness of a drug being studied, to study the spread of an epidemic, to determine the laws of heredity, and so on.
“For staff management—human resources and management and administrative services—I create instrument panels that are concerned with the activities of the hospital (measurement of the activity of medical services with indicators such as mean duration of stay and occupancy rate of beds), and I respond to specific requests concerning particular problems (such as following up on the activity of a new service). At the request of the medical teams, I look for indicators in the information systems available to the hospital in order to answer their questions.
“After collecting and analysing the data, I present them in the form of tables or graphs. This makes it possible, for example, to justify requests for personnel in a service carrying out an important activity. The most difficult aspect of my work lies precisely in the presentation of data. The reason for this is that it is a question of making numbers speak to a public that is unfamiliar with this type of information. In addition to technical skills, my job requires communication skills. It also requires organizational ability, since I have to process very different types of data, and I frequently work on several projects in parallel.
“I also participate in the development of internal surveys and enquiries on particular topics at the request of care providers or staff management. My responsibility is the technical aspects of the enquiries: implementation of the questionnaire, organizing the computer entry of responses after they are collected, and statistical analysis of the data followed by the creation of a report on the results.”
What are the qualifications?
Bac + 3, professional degree in economics and management science or decisional statistics
Translated by David Kramer