Not necessarily. Many simple studies need only summary statistics and simple statistical tests which you can do yourself and we can assist you with. Once you start to deal with larger datasets then some more advanced statistics is helpful, though still often within the reach of the average surgical PhD student. In particular, you often need to use software for large databases such as SPSS, STATA or R. Don’t worry about this however as it is a long way down the study design pathway and is something that the committee have plenty of experience with. we can advise and/or help when the time comes.