I am a med school student who is writing her master's thesis. I finished compiling my thesis with all the statistical analyses and wrote them as well. My problem is that today, when talking to the professor who is my advisor, he thought that the statistical part was wrong and asked me to "correct" it in a way that I am sure it is absolutely wrong. Now he wants me to write things his way, even though the deadline is tomorrow. I tried to calmly explain the theory behind it, but I quickly realized that being a doctor, he understands virtually no math or statistics.
My problem is that aside from the tight deadline, I don't want my name to appear on an analysis that is that wrong. I don't even know what I would do during the dissertation since I know for sure that those things are wrong, and I wouldn't be able to defend my thesis. What would you do in my shoes? Should I just write the bulls**t and be over with it? I'm exhausted from all the work I have done, and can't find the force or motivation to work on something I know has 0 value.
About the analysis, if you think I might be the one wrong:
- It's a retrospective study where I pooled around 80 patients. Each of them had done an examination 2 times within a certain time period, but with two different machines (once with machine A, once with machine B). We wanted to see if machine B was better when considering around 20 parameters that describe radiation dose and image quality in various ways. So the goal was to see if the same patient had more favourable parameter values when using machine B, when compared to machine A. The professor was very clear in saying that he didn't want to see the overall difference between the two machines: he wants to see how much the average patient benefits when switching from machine A to machine B.
- what I did: since we wanted to see the difference within the same patient, I first computed the difference of each parameter when using machine A and machine B, for each patient (so I had all the differences for the 20 parameters). Since patient number was limited, I first assessed if each difference was normally distributed across the patients (using a test called saphiro-wilk). When it was normal, I used the a paired t-test. For parameters that were not normally distributed, I used the Wilcoxon's ranked sign test. Additionally, for all significant results I computed the Cohen's d to quantify the effect size.
- what he wants me to do: compute the mean and standard deviation of each parameter as it is (parameter 1 in machine A, and parameter 1 in machine B). Then run a normal t-test. According to him, the tests that I used are too complicated, no one ever heard of them and no one would understand them, and anyway they make no sense. According to him, a normal t-test preserves the notion that it was the same patient who repeated the test twice. Also, he changed his mind and out of all the 20 parameters he made me look during the study, he suggested that we delete some, and for some others, I should add them together or take the mean (which makes absolutely no sense?!?!?!)
- I'm no statistician, I'm just a regular med student that is passionate about science and math. I spent the last month reading books I wasn't familiar with, and writing code on python to implement my analysis. So of course I might be wrong. But the professor's version doesn't sound right to me. Moreover, I feel desperate because I put so much work in it. I just don't feel like going back to coding to implement his wrong ideas (I know it's a simple iteration and I know I can use scipy.stats and that it wouldn't be so long. But I just can't take it anymore)
Sorry for the rant. If you can share your mind I will be grateful. For now, I'm just crying my eyes out on my bed, out of frustration, but maybe I'm not being objective, since I'm running on almost no sleep.
Edit: I finished everything in time and the result is somewhat decent! There still are some parts that refer to the older analysis, but I included it in the appendix (as some of you suggested) and mentioned it, so it should be fine. I can't thank you enough for your kind and constructive support! Having the chance to talk it out and hear some feedback really helped in getting started again.
The tight timeline is not so unusual at my university - at least for my department. But this one was definitely extreme. I addressed the issue this morning when talking to the advisor, hopefully he will take my feedback into account when dealing with future students.