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I was between D and E. I originally chose but chose E on review and still am waffling between the two. I pre-phrased that the purpose of the passage was to advocate for a particular method of ethical training that better develops med students' capacity for empathy.

For E, I would think that the "value of a well designed ethics education" is better empathy and that narrative literature ethics is a better way of achieving this goal than the current method. E just seems like a slightly broader version of D but I can't see how you would be able to choose one over the other. Could you please help me see what in E makes it incorrect?

Thank you!
 Brook Miscoski
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The passage is devoted to arguing that ethics should not be abstract and instead should focus on the development of empathy. The passage is focused on a specific kind of approach, and that approach is (D). Answer choice (E) fails to capture that the passage is arguing for a change to (D).
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I was originally going to select answer choice D, but eliminated it because of the word "preserve", opting for answer choice C instead.

What makes answer choice C incorrect? Based on the author's use of "narrative literature" the answer choice's use of "narrative literature" does not feel too broad or incorrect. And furthermore, why does the word "preserve" not cause problems for answer choice D? It seems as if the whole passage is focused on filling the ethical whole that traditional medical training has created and thus, if it is traditional medicine that caused this, how can it also have a "human dimension" that the author wants to "preserve"?

Should I be this hung up on one word when selecting a MP answer choice?

Thank you and happy holidays!
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Hi tug59567!

It's not exactly that you should or should not be hung up on one word when going through answer choices--it's more about making sure you're focusing on the right word. And you have to consider those individual words in the broader context of the answer choice and make sure that you answer choice is overall better than another answer choice.

In this case, the word "preserve" is not a problem in answer choice (D). Check out the first sentence: "One of the greatest challenges facing medical students today [. . .] is that of remaining empathetic to the needs of patients." "Remaining" sounds pretty close to the concept of "preserving" to me! Also, medicine has an inherent human dimension--doctors work with humans! So, in a sense, what (D) is really referring to (and what the author is talking about throughout the passage) is preserving--or remembering--that inherent human dimension instead of ignoring the humanity of patients to focus solely on the technical, scientific aspects of medicine.

Answer choice (C) has much bigger problems: the author never argues that "the ethical content of narrative literature foreshadows the pitfalls of situational ethics." In the last paragraph, the author is saying that the flexible application of moral principles encouraged by reading narrative literature is a corrective to "a dogmatically absolutist one" but need not lead to the "extremely relativistic stance" of situational ethics. So the author is not arguing that the ethical content of narrative literature foreshadows the pitfalls of situational ethics; rather, the author is arguing that the ethical content of narrative literature does not have the same pitfalls as situational ethics. Furthermore, this point about situational ethics in the last paragraph is not the author's "overall purpose in the passage." The overall purpose is more broadly about using narrative literature as part of the ethical training of medical students, which is much closer to what answer choice (D) describes.

In RC especially, make sure you don't miss the forest for all the trees. Yes, every word matters. But make sure you're thinking about those broader ideas as well and paying attention to the greater context.

Hope this helps!


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