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My first GRE analytical writing. Please review Urgent. :)


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Could you please review my GRE essay? Its my first essay and looking at other essay's is realised its a bit short. But still would appreciate and love your valuable feedback :)
" An ailing patient should have easy access to is or her doctor's record of treating similarly afflicted patients. Through gaining such access, the ailing patient may better determine whether the doctor is competent to treat the medical condition."
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain the reason for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
Treatment for a patient is a very challenging task, not only for the doctors, but for the patients too. Having faith on a treatment done by a doctor which comes at an expensive cost is always a confusing decision to take. Though having access to the doctor's past records may ease the patient's trouble to some extent, there are alot of challenges that need to be tackled for it.
Firstly, prior to any any treatment there is always a doctor-patient confidentiality that is observed for any treamtment. For example, some patient diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease would be uncomfortable in explaining to the doctor about his condition if he knows that this confidentiality is going to be violated. This may lead from minor to major lapses in the treatment. Thus either this may result in the patient suffering both in health and financially or the hospital suffereing due to unwillingness of paitents to take the treatment at that hospital.
Apart from this, as technology evolves, new treatment methods are developed and thus a doctor's skill is not the only contributing factor to a successful treatment. For instance, tomorrow if technology gives us an easier and less painful remedy for treating cancer, a patient would be more concerned about the technologythan about the doctors skill. Thus it would be wrong to say that the doctors past records would help in taking a better judgement about the treatment for a patient.
To summarize, though a sense of transparency could be seen if the patient has access to the past records of a doctor, the cons outweigh the pros and it would not be a wise decision to do so.  
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As you can see, A LOT of people are posting their AW essays on this forum, but those essays seldom get reviewed. If you'd like to useful feedback, you might want to use ETS's ScoreItNow service (https://www.dxrgroup.com/cgi-bin/scoreitnow/index.pl) and get two essays scored by the official scoring system ($20 fee)



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  • 3 weeks later...

Your response is rather short, although a good essay doesn't have to be unnecessarily wordy. I don't think you addressed the prompts as they were presented. When designing your essay, read the prompt and make sure you completed the tasks that as they are presented. 

"Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain the reason for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position."


The first paragraph should state your position in the argument. Do you fundamentally agree with the statement, but only if the complications are overcome? Or do you disagree with the position altogether? Your opening statement is not very clear.

The next two or three paragraphs should support your position by describing specific circumstances where the sharing of treatment information would be helpful or not helpful. Your second paragraph makes an error in assuming that patient confidentiality will be breached. Treatment information can be scrubbed of patient information by providing tables with various treatment plans and their outcomes with demographics rather than personal information. Indeed, the very fact that a doctor would violate patient-physician confidentiality makes them unfit to treat patients in the first place. The third paragraph is a little better, but fails to make a clear argument for your point of view. 

It helps to make a list of the reasons you support your position, and then number them from best to worst. Pick the top two or three, and focus on them. For example, in this prompt, you could take the position that disclosure of a doctor's treatment records is inadvisable because: 

1. Success/failure of treatment has as much to do with the patient as it does the doctor. Underlying complications such as diabetes or obesity can skew the results of the best doctors, as can lifestyle choices such as smoking and inactivity. Providing physician interventions without getting the whole picture for each case may make a doctor who only treats young, healthy individuals look much more attractive than a highly skilled professional with years of experience treating high-risk patients presenting multiple complications.  Because it would be impossible to present such detailed information, the disclosure of physician records would be inadvisable.

2. Patients may not possess the knowledge to understand the information presented. It is difficult enough for many patients to understand their diagnosis and treatment plans; adding another layer of information may be counterproductive if it is confusing or adds to the complexity of a treatment plan. Additionally, patients may focus on a continued search for the ideal doctor, confusing the role that doctors play versus current technology (which is close to your argument in the third paragraph). If information overload delays treatment, it may be worse than no disclosure at all. 

3. Doctors may choose to only report information that makes them look good. Unless there is a way to uniformly report information for all doctors, some practices may choose to omit pertinent information. (this one is a little weak, I might be inclined to stick with just the first two, or maybe combine numbers 2 and 3). 

The end of your essay should present a counter-claim to show the grader the you understand that no issue is black or white. You could point out that you don't agree with the proposal, it may be helpful for practitioners to address the overall efficacy of a particular treatment (for example the five year life expectancy for a cancer treatment), to discuss emerging technologies and always invite questions as they arise. 

In all cases, after you write your essay, go back to the prompt and make sure you've addressed everything that is listed. Did you explain how your examples shaped your position? Did you provide specific examples? Did you explain why you took the position that you chose? If you have not done all of these things, your essay will be weak and incomplete. 

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