Medical school professor: Most malpractice suits arise out of patients' perceptions that their doctors are acting neg... on April 22, 2018


Could you please explain this question? Thank you!

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Adam-Estacio on March 14, 2019

Same here, I'm confused about how you would diagram this passage out

Jacob-R on March 15, 2019

I’m happy to help.

As always, let’s start with the question stem. We are looking for an answer that is most strongly supported by the professor’s statements.

As an initial point, I don’t know that this is a question that I would necessarily diagram. There are a lot of premises in the professor’s statement, and it is not clear that formal logic is going to help us find the answer. Instead, my preference is to go through each answer and try to decide: is this supported by what the professor is saying? I think that is more time efficient for this problem, too.

Answer A: The thing that immediately jumps out at me for this answer is that economic incentives to treat patients rudely are the MAIN CAUSE of doctors being sued for malpractice. Calling something the main cause is a big statement — did anything in the passage actually say that? No: at most we learn that “certain” economic incentives “encourage” doctors to treat patients rudely. That is way more equivocal than “main cause.” We also learned at the outset the most malpractice suits arise from the perception that a doc is acting negligently or carelessly — we don’t learn that rudeness specifically is the “main cause” of being sued for malpractice. Lots of holes, so we can nix this answer.

Answer B: Here we can immediately spot a linkage that doesn’t exist in the passage. The answer states that it is the economic incentives that encourage doctors to regard medicine as science rather than art. But the passage didn’t say anything about such a linkage or causal relationship: it said something about science rather than art, and something about economic incentives. No relationship in passage = not most strongly supported. Next.

Answer C: “Unjustified” immediately jumps out: the passage said nothing about justification or lack thereof. If anything, the passage suggests that they may be justified by negligence or carelessness. Easy cross off!

Answer D: Another really big claim: That the scientific outlook should be REPLACED by an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT APPROACH. Wow, that is a big claim! But again, not one that passage made — instead, the main conclusion was about avoiding lawsuits by learning to listen. That is a much smaller and different claim, so this answer is not supported, either.

Answer E: By process of elimination, this must be it! But let’s double check. Does the passage claim that doctors foster via their actions the perception that they do not really care about patients? Yes! The passage describes why doctors are “less compassionate” and how they treat patients rudely, such as by discouraging patients from asking questions. These are actions that foster the perception that doctors don’t care about their patients. Bingo!

I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have further questions.