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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of advice for medical problems and seeing doctors from the real IELTS exam.

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Dave

IELTS Essay: Advice for Medical Problems

Some people today prefer to get advice for medical problems and do not want to visit a doctor.

Why is this?

Is this a positive or a negative development?

Many individuals today would rather seek out medical advice themselves instead of seeing a licensed professional. In my opinion, this is a result of online convenience and it is a positive development on the whole.

The main cause of this transition is the proliferation of information available on the internet. In the past, an ailing individual had little recourse other than to visit a doctor for tests. Now, there are a variety of question and answer websites as well as diagnosis ones that are free of cost and faster than a trip to a hospital. The slight conveniences of saving some money, time, and effort may not seem decisive, but mass behaviour is often driven by marginal advantages. For instance, posting a question to a forum such as Reddit.com where qualified professions may provide free advice is a powerful incentive to avoid a costly and time-consuming consultation with an experienced doctor.

Though there are risks associated with misdiagnosis, seeking advice online is generally more reliable. Doctors vary in their quality and numerous studies in recent years support the counter-intuitive conclusion that websites actually provide more trustworthy advice. This is a result of the accumulation of many years’ worth of data and the standardizing of detection, prognosis, and treatment. For example, the website WebMD.com allows users to search for their symptoms online, discover a range of possible causes and then decide themselves on the best path forward. This may include a visit to a hospital if further tests are required that can only be conducted in person, but at least the patient has saved time and money at the initial stage of diagnosis.

In conclusion, fewer people today visit doctors because there are cheap, convenient alternatives online and this is largely positive. There are risks that must be guarded against but this change cannot be reversed.

Analysis

1. Many individuals today would rather seek out medical advice themselves instead of seeing a licensed professional. 2. In my opinion, this is a result of online convenience and it is a positive development on the whole.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. The main cause of this transition is the proliferation of information available on the internet. 2. In the past, an ailing individual had little recourse other than to visit a doctor for tests. 3. Now, there are a variety of question and answer websites as well as diagnosis ones that are free of cost and faster than a trip to a hospital. 4. The slight conveniences of saving some money, time, and effort may not seem decisive, but mass behaviour is often driven by marginal advantages. 5. For instance, posting a question to a forum such as Reddit.com where qualified professions may provide free advice is a powerful incentive to avoid a costly and time-consuming consultation with an experienced doctor.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. Stay focused on the same main idea.

1. Though there are risks associated with misdiagnosis, seeking advice online is generally more reliable. 2. Doctors vary in their quality and numerous studies in recent years support the counter-intuitive conclusion that websites actually provide more trustworthy advice. 3. This is a result of the accumulation of many years’ worth of data and the standardizing of detection, prognosis, and treatment. 4. For example, the website WebMD.com allows users to search for their symptoms online, discover a range of possible causes and then decide themselves on the best path forward. 5. This may include a visit to a hospital if further tests are required that can only be conducted in person, but at least the patient has saved time and money at the initial stage of diagnosis.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Continue developing it…
  5. as fully as possible!

1. In conclusion, fewer people today visit doctors because there are cheap, convenient alternatives online and this is largely positive. 2. There are risks that must be guarded against but this change cannot be reversed.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

Many individuals today would rather seek out medical advice themselves instead of seeing a licensed professional. In my opinion, this is a result of online convenience and it is a positive development on the whole.

The main cause of this transition is the proliferation of information available on the internet. In the past, an ailing individual had little recourse other than to visit a doctor for tests. Now, there are a variety of question and answer websites as well as diagnosis ones that are free of cost and faster than a trip to a hospital. The slight conveniences of saving some money, time, and effort may not seem decisive, but mass behaviour is often driven by marginal advantages. For instance, posting a question to a forum such as Reddit.com where qualified professions may provide free advice is a powerful incentive to avoid a costly and time-consuming consultation with an experienced doctor.

Though there are risks associated with misdiagnosis, seeking advice online is generally more reliable. Doctors vary in their quality and numerous studies in recent years support the counter-intuitive conclusion that websites actually provide more trustworthy advice. This is a result of the accumulation of many years’ worth of data and the standardizing of detection, prognosis, and treatment. For example, the website WebMD.com allows users to search for their symptoms online, discover a range of possible causes and then decide themselves on the best path forward. This may include a visit to a hospital if further tests are required that can only be conducted in person, but at least the patient has saved time and money at the initial stage of diagnosis.

In conclusion, fewer people today visit doctors because there are cheap, convenient alternatives online and this is largely positive. There are risks that must be guarded against but this change cannot be reversed.

Answers

For extra practice, write an antonym (opposite word) on a piece of paper to help you remember the new vocabulary:

seek out find

medical advice suggestions from doctors

instead of over

licensed professional doctor

online convenience easier to do on a website

positive development on the whole good overall

transition change to

proliferation spread

information available what can be found online

in the past formerly

ailing sick

little recourse other than to no choice but to

tests conducted to find out about your illness

variety many types

question and answer websites forum sites

as well as and

diagnosis identifying what’s wrong

free of cost no charge

trip travelling to a place

slight conveniences minor helps

decisive makes a real difference

mass behaviour how people act

driven by motivated by

marginal advantages small edges

posting putting up online

forum where people can ask and answer questions online

qualified professions doctors

powerful incentive good motivator

avoid stay away from

costly expensive

time-consuming consultation takes up a lot of time

experienced have done the job a long time

risks associated with misdiagnosis dangers related to a mistake in identifying what is wrong

reliable trustworthy

vary change according to

numerous studies in recent years support the counter-intuitive conclusion much research recently shows the unlikely fact that

actually in fact

trustworthy reliable

accumulation adding up

years’ worth a lot of time put into it

data information

standardizing made all the same

detection finding out

prognosis how the illness with continue

treatment medicine

WebMD.com a site with information about illnesses

users people using the site

symptoms the results of an illness

discover find out about

range variety of

possible causes potential sources

decide themselves figure out on their own

best path forward treatment options

conducted done

initial stage early on

convenient alternatives good other options

largely mostly

risks threats

guarded against protected from

reversed changed back

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

siːk aʊt 
ˈmɛdɪkəl ədˈvaɪs 
ɪnˈstɛd ɒv 
ˈlaɪsənst prəˈfɛʃənl
ˈɒnˌlaɪn kənˈviːniəns 
ˈpɒzətɪv dɪˈvɛləpmənt ɒn ðə həʊl
trænˈzɪʃ(ə)n 
prəʊˌlɪfəˈreɪʃən 
ˌɪnfəˈmeɪʃən əˈveɪləbl 
ɪn ðə pɑːst
ˈeɪlɪŋ 
ˈlɪtl rɪˈkɔːs ˈʌðə ðæn tuː 
tɛsts
vəˈraɪəti 
ˈkwɛsʧən ænd ˈɑːnsə ˈwɛbˌsaɪts 
æz wɛl æz 
ˌdaɪəgˈnəʊsɪs 
friː ɒv kɒst 
trɪp 
slaɪt kənˈviːniənsɪz 
dɪˈsaɪsɪv
mæs bɪˈheɪvjə 
ˈdrɪvn baɪ 
ˈmɑːʤɪnəl ədˈvɑːntɪʤɪz
ˈpəʊstɪŋ 
ˈfɔːrəm 
ˈkwɒlɪfaɪd prəˈfɛʃənz 
ˈpaʊəfʊl ɪnˈsɛntɪv 
əˈvɔɪd 
ˈkɒstli 
ˈtaɪmkənˈsjuːmɪŋ ˌkɒnsəlˈteɪʃən 
ɪksˈpɪərɪənst 
rɪsks əˈsəʊʃɪeɪtɪd wɪð mɪs ˌdaɪəgˈnəʊsɪs
rɪˈlaɪəbl
ˈveəri 
ˈnjuːmərəs ˈstʌdiz ɪn ˈriːsnt jɪəz səˈpɔːt ðə ˈkaʊntər-ɪnˈtju(ː)ɪtɪv kənˈkluːʒən 
ˈækʧʊəli 
ˈtrʌstˌwɜːði 
əˌkjuːmjʊˈleɪʃ(ə)n 
jɪəz wɜːθ 
ˈdeɪtə 
ˈstændədaɪzɪŋ 
dɪˈtɛkʃən
prɒgˈnəʊsɪs
ˈtriːtmənt
wɛb ˌɛmˈdiː kɒm 
ˈjuːzəz 
ˈsɪmptəmz 
dɪsˈkʌvə 
reɪnʤ 
ˈpɒsəbl ˈkɔːzɪz 
dɪˈsaɪd ðəmˈsɛlvz 
bɛst pɑːθ ˈfɔːwəd
kənˈdʌktɪd 
ɪˈnɪʃəl steɪʤ 
kənˈviːniənt ɔːlˈtɜːnətɪvz 
ˈlɑːʤli 
rɪsks 
ˈgɑːdɪd əˈgɛnst 
rɪˈvɜːst

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

Many individuals today would rather s__________t m_______________e themselves i______________f seeing a l_____________________l. In my opinion, this is a result of o_______________________e and it is a p_________________________________e.

The main cause of this t_____________n is the p________________n of i_____________________e on the internet. I_____________t, an a________g individual had l_________________________o visit a doctor for t_____s. Now, there are a v_______y of q_____________________________s a______________s d____________s ones that are f____________t and faster than a t____p to a hospital. The s_______________________s of saving some money, time, and effort may not seem d____________e, but m_______________r is often d____________y m____________________s. For instance, p__________g a question to a f________m such as Reddit.com where q___________________s may provide free advice is a p_____________________e to a________d a c_______y and t______________________________n with an e_____________d doctor.

Though there are r____________________h m______________s, seeking advice online is generally more r___________e. Doctors v_____y in their quality and n________________s i___________________s s____________________________n that websites a_____________y provide more t_______________y advice. This is a result of the a________________n of many y_____________h of d_____a and the s_______________g of d____________n, p____________s, and t_____________t. For example, the website W_____________m allows u_______s to search for their s____________s online, d____________r a r________e of p_______________s and then d_____________________s on the b__________________d. This may include a visit to a hospital if further tests are required that can only be c____________d in person, but at least the patient has saved time and money at the i_______________e of diagnosis.

In conclusion, fewer people today visit doctors because there are cheap, c________________________s online and this is l_______y positive. There are r______s that must be g__________________t but this change cannot be r_____________d.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic in the video below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/just-doctor-ordered-study-reveals-accuracy-self-diagnosing-online#:~:text=The%20online%20checkers%20provided%20the,57%20percent%20of%20the%20time.

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Health

  1. How can people improve their physical health?
  2. What about their mental health?
  3. In what ways can teachers encourage students to do sports?
  4. What is the role of doctors in raising health awareness?
  5. Can social media also play a role?

Writing Practice

Practice with the same basic topic below and then check with my sample answer:

Governments should spend more money on medical research and less on researching the environment.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?


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