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Confidence Interval

In statistics, a Confidence Interval is a type of interval estimate of a population parameter and is used to indicate the reliability of an estimate.

And, if you’re like me and you hate statistics, then that really means nothing.  Lets go back to the basics (and the stuff that actually makes sense):

confidence |ˈkänfədəns, -fəˌdens|


the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust: we had every confidence in the staff | he had gained the young man’s confidence.

the state of feeling certain about the truth of something: it is not possible to say with confidence how much of the increase in sea levels is due to melting glaciers.

a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities: she’s brimming with confidence | [ in sing. ] : he would walk up those steps with a confidence he didn’t feel.

the telling of private matters or secrets with mutual trust: someone with whom you may raise your suspicions in confidence .

interval |ˈintərvəl|


1 an intervening time or space: after his departure, there was an interval of many years without any meetings | the intervals between meals were very short.

2 a pause; a break in activity: an interval of mourning.

3 a space between two things; a gap.

Today I was walking through the halls of the hospital wearing my new “tall boots.”  As I mentioned previously, I am new to the world of tall boots and in the three times I’ve worn them (including today), I’ve felt a little like a bit of an impostor.  That being said, however, today was an interesting day with these boots.  They make a loud shoe sound against the floors of the hospital.  I usually don’t like shoes that make a lot of sound, probably because I’ve always assumed that women who walk through halls with loud shoes command respect.  And, the faster their shoes are clanging for respect, the more respect they must be entitled too.

Being one of very little self-confidence, I feel that I do not have the clout to walk around the hospital with loud, commanding shoes.  Unfortunately, I am a lowly medical student and I am required to walk fast if I want to get everything accomplished and actually get home before my kids are in bed.  Clearly, given these two points, my tall boots were commanding some pretty high respect from those around me (on my behalf).

At first I was put off by this thought… Who do I think I am, walking around the hospital like some important person? “Oh, look at that woman, she’s walking so fast and her tall boots are so loud; she’s got purpose… she’s got to have some clout around here.”  But then I thought, maybe I’m being too hard on myself; after all, I just left the ward where I wrote in some charts, made some clinical decisions, and wrote some orders.  I was on my way to an office to make a phone call to get some collateral history on a patient and then write up a “Psychoanalytic Interview” based on that phone call.  That’s some pretty heavy business… at least I figured as much.  Suddenly my fast-clanking tall boots didn’t sound so loud; they just blended into the background noise of the activity around me.

I can’t quite place my finger on it, but at some point today, between 8:00am and 5:00pm, something changed.  And, I’m pretty sure that change has nothing to do with the way my boot heels hit the hospital floors.  Somewhere, somehow, I jumped up a confidence interval… Hopefully it is a meaningful, significant change.  Hopefully it’s a positive change.  Hopefully it sticks.

Hopefully it is a high confidence interval, statistically speaking…


2 thoughts on “Confidence Interval

  1. I think it’s important for everyone to be confident in whatever they are doing, no matter how big or small. I think that too many of us don’t have that confidence and it holds us back from ever reaching our full potential. So I say good for you and be as loud with those boots as you want!


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