Editorial: Medical schools spend one hour teaching preventive medicine for every ten hours spent teaching curative...

Eugene on May 21 at 12:50AM

Can someone please explain this

this whole question feels a bit odd, can I please have an expert explain it a bit more thoroughly?

1 Reply

Annie on May 21 at 02:11AM

Hi @EugeneC,

This question is asking you to find the answer choice which is an "assumption on which the editorial's argument depends." This means you are looking for the answer choice which MUST BE TRUE for the conclusion to be true.

Here's a breakdown of the argument:

Premise 1: Medical schools spend 1 hour on preventive medicine for every 10 hours spent on curative medicine.
Premise 2: Preventive medicine cuts down medical costs greatly.
Premise 3: ??? (one of the answer choices)
Conclusion: If the goal is to make medicine more cost effective, medical schools are not spending enough time teaching preventive medicine.

Now, before turning to the answer choices, try to brainstorm what may fill the gap between the premises provided and the conclusion.

Answers:

(A) is incorrect because it is irrelevant. The conclusion is about the teaching of preventive medicine and why medical schools should spend more time doing it. This answer choice is about the cost-saving effect of preventive medicine.

(B) is incorrect. This answer choice tells us about the amount of money which can be saved by teaching preventive medicine. But, it does not address why that necessarily means the schools aren't teaching enough preventive medicine. It does not relate back to the conclusion.

(C) is incorrect. The conclusion is that medical schools do not spend enough time teaching preventive medicine. While increasing the total number of hours spent teaching could help this situation, it does not support the conclusion that not enough hours are being spent teaching preventive medicine right now.

(D) is incorrect because it is irrelevant. The conclusion is about the need to spend more time teaching preventive medicine while this answer choice is about improvements in technique.

(E) is correct because it must be true for the conclusion to be true. The editorial is assuming that just because medical schools are spending 1 hour teaching preventive medicine for every 10 hours spent teaching curative medicine that the students are not fully learning preventive medicine. But, what if it simply takes only 1 in 10 hours to learn preventive medicine? This answer choice makes it clear that it takes more time and therefore allows the conclusion to stand.