Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Doctors and dentists: a return to my sneaky ways

So I got side tracked about a week ago, after I did the initial doctors versus dentists post.

What I decided to look at here is which has more correlation with life expectancy: doctors per capita or dentists per capita.
Here we have doctors, and as we can see, we have a three-quarters diagram. All of the states with low life expectancies have few doctors, and there are states with high life expectancies and few doctors, and there are are states with high life expectancies and many doctors. There are not, thankfully enough, many states with many doctors and low life expectancies. But if we look at states with a life expectancy over 76, it seems that more doctors doesn't do much good. If were to be foolish enough to try to find a causation in here, we could say that at the 76 marks, adding more doctors is the point of diminishing returns.
Our dentistry and life expectancy does give us more correlation. For one thing, it shows the correlation between me being tired and being sloppy while making a diagram, which is very strong. Secondly, it shows that there is a much clearer link between dentists and life expectancy than there is for doctors. Although even the dentists are not that clearcut.

One thing to remember is that the doctors that are currently in a state and the people who are currently dying in a state are not that closely related. If someone was born in South Dakota 80 years ago and is currently dying in Florida, the doctors now in Florida don't really have much to do with however many decades of life that man was living elsewhere. Of course, this should be obvious.

I think the source of this correlation is elsewhere though, although I will leave my guesses for another day.

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