- Fri Dec 01, 2023 2:35 pm
This question is a great example of the power of prephrasing. Prephrasing simply means coming up with an answer before looking at the answer choices. It is especially helpful in Reading Comp.
Here, the question is asking about the author's attitude toward professionals (not towards physicians, and this distinction is important). Before looking at the answers, you should go back to the passage and locate where the author weighs in on what truly makes professionals professionals.
It's important to realize that not everything stated in the passage about professionals reflects the author's viewpoint. The author includes several views with which the author actually disagrees. A huge part of reading comp is correctly tracking/diagramming the different viewpoints in any given passage.
In lines 20-22, the author defines a profession as "an activity or occupation to which its practitioner publicly professes, that is, confesses, devotion." The author, however, then goes on to claim that a profession is more than just the public announcement part.
After examining some incorrect views (according to the author) of what makes something a profession, such as the learning/knowledge (line 26) or the prestige/honor (line 39), the author eventually reveals the key element of a professional in lines 55-67.
One key part of the passage is "Being a professional is thus rooted in our moral nature and in that which warrants and impels making a public confession to a way of life. Professing oneself a professional is an ethical act ..." (lines 55-59).
A few lines later, the author describes a profession as "an activity in service to some high good" (lines 63-64).
These lines should provide you with a prephrase that is very similar to Answer E.
Note also that the correct answer to question 23 (regarding the main point of the passage) is Answer D "the correct reason that physicians are professionals is that their work involves public commitment to a high good." You may be wondering why I'm mentioning question 23. Often, you can use the answers to other questions, especially main point questions (assuming that you got those questions correct) to guide you.
In other words, since the entire main point of the passage is that the reason physicians are professionals is their public commitment to a high good, it makes sense that the author's view of professionals would be they confess a commitment to ethical ideals, as these are getting at the same idea.
As for Answer A, it doesn't match our prephrase and is not directly supported by the passage. For one thing, the author doesn't just feel that physicians should be singled out and viewed differently than other professions. When the author describes the key elements of professionals at the end of the passage, it is not specific only to physicians. Physicians are discussed specifically as an example, but are not contrasted to other professions.
For another thing, nowhere in the passage is the author's view of professionals identified as a "new" perspective, and you don't want to assume this.
Lastly, while it may seem like a small detail, the word "eager" in Answer A doesn't quite fit. While it's a positive word and the author certainly has a positive view of professionals, it's just not quite right (perhaps too emotional). Again it's not the word that I would have prephrased.