Physician Rule Thyself Reading Ielts Answers and Questions

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  • IELTS Reading Sentence Completion

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IELTS Reading Passage: Physician rule thyself

Physician rule thyself      

A. When does a job become a profession? There doesn’t seem to be a single, definitive definition of the problem; rather, different angles can be taken from the perspectives of history, culture, sociology, morality, politics, ethics, and philosophy. It’s common knowledge that professions are elite groups of people who perform specialised, selfless work in accordance with moral standards, and that the quality of their work is ensured by licence of practice and certification processes. However, they demand exclusive control over a body of knowledge in exchange, as well as the freedom to practise, exclusive benefits, and increased financial and economic status.

B. The general public needs specialists to give them specialised advice, but because this advice is specialised, they are not in a position to know what advice they need; this must be determined in conversation with the professional. Since client satisfaction cannot then be “the main indicator of whether the professional has acted in a trustworthy manner,” professional judgement and client satisfaction may not align. Professional elites have the potential to do harm: to use their influence and prestige for financial gain; to let the pursuit of necessary theoretical or scientific knowledge become an end in itself; to forget about the needs of clients in the ongoing fragmentation of specialised knowledge.

C. Different cultures experience varying degrees of state intervention, which shapes the professions in those societies. Due to England’s relatively fragile government and the natural expansion of professional associations, many of which were granted royal charters, regulation evolved into an agreement between elitist groups. Similar to this, in the US, where liberal market principles have been allowed to flourish, academic institutions have had a greater impact on the development of the professions than the government. In contrast, since the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the state has defined and controlled the market for professions in many European nations. The state has a legitimate interest in the professions because they affect the public interest in every situation.

D. The level of state intervention varies across cultures, which has an impact on the professions that exist there. Regulation changed into an agreement between elitist groups as a result of England’s relatively weak government and the organic growth of professional associations, many of which received royal charters. Similar to this, academic institutions have had a greater influence on the development of the professions than the government in the US, where liberal market principles have been permitted to flourish. However, in many European countries, the state has defined and regulated the market for professions since the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Because the professions always have an impact on the public interest, the state has a legitimate interest in them.

E. The relative standing of various professions can vary across cultures and historical periods. For instance, since the middle of the 20th century, the status of politicians in Western Europe has been in long-term decline. In contrast to the UK, where law and medicine have historically been considered the “elite professions,” teachers appear to enjoy a higher status in France and Italy.

F. A profession has more freedom the higher its social status. Therefore, if an occupation wants to keep or gain status, it will work to maintain as much of its own internal control as possible. The professions have recently been significantly impacted by socio-cultural change, as it has in so many other areas. Professionals are now required to be more open about their modes of practice due to market and social pressures. The public has also become much better informed and consequently more demanding thanks to information technology. In addition, as professional knowledge has advanced, experts are forced to have specialisation. In order to keep their positions, experts must continually retrain and conduct research.

G. So self-regulation becomes even more crucial for a profession to maintain or grow. Whose interests, though? Does self-regulation help a profession practice ethically and without undue interference, or does it serve to uphold the status of the profession for its own purposes? Is it used to make it possible for people with the right education and training to enter the field? In order for the profession to maintain its social and financial privileges, another question that needs to be answered is whether self-regulation restricts access. Or, once more, is it employed to safeguard clients by disciplining those who violate professional standards appropriately or to safeguard the public’s perception of the field by burying claims that would be damaging to it?

H. All of these issues have recently come up for discussion in the UK’s medical community and will likely continue to do so. One thing is certain, though: a profession is better suited to handle these challenges the more respectable it is.           

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Physician rule thyself Reading Questions

Questions     1-5 

Complete the sentences. Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer.

1. Experts can’t always guarantee that the __________ given will satisfy the client.
2. Because of the liberal market principles in the US, the state has had less of an impact on the growth of the professions than_________.
3. Professionals have an agreed-upon set of credentials and experience that give them a________.
4. For the past 50 years or so, politicians’ status has been in___________.
5. It’s debatable whether ___________is a mechanism to protect the social and financial privileges of a profession.

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Questions     6-8

Complete the table.

Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 6-8 on your answer sheet.

Impact of socio-cultural change on professions


Different public influences
cellular technology
the expansion of professional knowledge
Implications professionals 6.__________Talking about your job.
people who are more knowledgeable
7._________a stronger 8.__________ is required.

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Questions 9-13

Reading Passage has eight paragraphs A-H. Which paragraph contains the following information?

9. how professionals have changed in response to sociocultural changes
10. the typical characteristics that a profession has
11. the function that governments in various nations perform
12. an explanation of the interaction between experts and their clients
13. the fact that a profession has not been clearly defined

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Physician rule thyself Reading answers

1.  Advice
2. Academic Institutions 
3. Licence to practice 
4.  Long-term decline
5. Self regulation
6. More open
7. Demanding
8. Specialisation
9. F
10. D
11. C
12. B
13. A


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