IELTS Writing Task 2 #25

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

A number of different medical traditions are now widely known and used: Western medicine (using drugs and surgery), herbal medicine, acupuncture (using needles at certain points of the body), homoeopathy (using minute doses of poisons), and so on. How important is the patient’s mental attitude towards his/her treatment in determining the effectiveness of the treatment?

Write at least 250 words.

model answer:

A wide range of medical treatments is available today. Patients may wonder which will be the most effective, and whether their own mental attitude to the type of treatment might affect its success. This essay will consider the second of these questions.

Many people visit their doctor or go to hospital with complete trust in the expert care offered by conventional services. However, some people do not get a satisfactory result. For example, the drugs they are prescribed may have unpleasant side-effects. Their initial positive attitude towards their treatment does them little good.

Similarly, those patients who choose alternative treatments over traditional medicine may find themselves disillusioned. Less rigorous qualification standards among alternative practitioners may mean that some healers give ineffective or damaging advice. The result, again, is that a patient who entered treatment with confidence leaves that treatment disillusioned.

On the other hand, patients may try a style of treatment with some scepticism. A person used to conventional medicines and drugs may be suspicious of treatments based on diet and lifestyle changes. Yet if they follow such programs, they may in fact notice improvements in their condition, in spite of their scepticism. Equally, a patient opposed to conventional medicine may have an accident and be saved by the effective treatment of conventional emergency services.

In conclusion, it appears that the mental attitude of the patient is not the most significant factor in determining the outcome of the treatment. Patients who enter treatment confidently may leave disillusioned while those who begin treatment sceptical of the results may find themselves surprised with what they have gained. Patients should seek the advantages which each style of care can offer.

(277 words)