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Re: Physician: In comparing our country with two other countries of roughl [#permalink]
Physician: In comparing our country with two other countries of roughly the same population size, I found that even though we face the same dietary, bacterial, and stress-related causes of ulcers as they do, prescriptions for ulcer medicines in all socioeconomic strata are much rarer here than in those two countries. It’s clear that we suffer significantly fewer ulcers, per capita, than they do.

Which one of the following, if true, most strengthens the physician’s argument?

(A) The two countries that were compared with the physician’s country had approximately the same ulcer rates as each other. - WRONG. Neither helps nor opposes.
(B) The people of the physician’s country have a cultural tradition of stoicism that encourages them to ignore physical ailments rather than to seek remedies for them. - WRONG. Weakener.
(C) Several other countries not covered in the physician’s comparisons have more prescriptions for ulcer medication than does the physician’s country. - WRONG. Irrelevant.
(D) A person in the physician’s country who is suffering from ulcers is just as likely to obtain a prescription for the ailment as is a person suffering from ulcers in one of the other two countries. - CORRECT. This strengthens in a true manner in that it gives a rock solid logic that persons from either of the countries are equally likely to get prescriptions without any differentiation that could have caused erratic data representation.
(E) The physician’s country has a much better system for reporting the number of prescriptions of a given type that are obtained each year than is present in either of the other two countries. - Though at first it looks wickedly tempting, and yes it is, it has to be seen that better system is sort of a strengthener for the claim but systems of other two countries being less effective in reporting cases may suggest that false positive are counted. Just a point in case.

Answer D.
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Re: Physician: In comparing our country with two other countries of roughl [#permalink]
Passage summary:

Physician compares the number of ulcer prescriptions of three countries, which have approximately the same population size and ulcer-related factors. He concludes that because the ulcer prescriptions in his country across socioeconomic levels are rarer than those in the other two, there must be fewer ulcers per person in his country.


Goal:

We need to find support (strengthen) his claim that there must indeed be fewer ulcers per person in his country. To do so, we need to address any obvious gaps in the argument. Closing gaps will strengthen the argument.


Major gaps and strengtheners with regards to physician's country:

Gap: Are doctors perhaps more hesitant to prescribe?
Strengthener: They are not more hesitant than the other two countries

Gap: Do most people not believe in Western medicine?
Strengthener: They do as much as they do in the other two countries

Gap: Are people not seeing doctors as much for ulcers?
Strengthener: They see doctors the same as they do in the other two countries

Gap: Is the country underreporting its ulcer numbers?
Strengthener: It reports just as accurately as the other two countries


Answer choices:
(A) The two countries that were compared with the physician’s country had approximately the same ulcer rates as each other. WRONG - let's say country X and country Y had an ulcer rate of 80%. How would it strengthen the physician's claim in any way? It doesn't
(B) The people of the physician’s country have a cultural tradition of stoicism that encourages them to ignore physical ailments rather than to seek remedies for them. WRONG - obvious weakener as it goes in the opposite direction of the physician's claim of fewer ulcers per person, therefore attacking it
(C) Several other countries not covered in the physician’s comparisons have more prescriptions for ulcer medication than does the physician’s country. WRONG - we're only concerned with the three countries in discussion
(D) A person in the physician’s country who is suffering from ulcers is just as likely to obtain a prescription for the ailment as is a person suffering from ulcers in one of the other two countries. CORRECT - this is the strengthener to one of the gaps above. Doctors are not more hesitant and prescriptions are handed out in a similar way in all three countries
(E) The physician’s country has a much better system for reporting the number of prescriptions of a given type that are obtained each year than is present in either of the other two countries. WRONG - tricky one, however "better" does not automatically imply accurate. Maybe it's more sophisticated, faster, etc. Even if we were to assume that the other two countries are less accurate in their reporting, this option doesn't tell us whether they undercount, double count, etc.
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Re: Physician: In comparing our country with two other countries of roughl [#permalink]
For option E, can we also say that, since this answer choice talks about the system for reporting prescription is better, we still dont know how many people are actually going to take prescription for ulcer ailment. May be less people goes to doctor for ulcer treatment in physician' country then other two countries, then this answer choice is sort of a weakner, whereas if equal number of people goes in all the countries, then it can be a strengthner too. Let me know if my understanding is correct. Thanks :)
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Re: Physician: In comparing our country with two other countries of roughl [#permalink]
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