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vellichor

Physician political orientation

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Do you think med schools select for any particular political orientation in students? So many MMI scenarios are related to social issues that have heavy political implications depending on which side you argue for. Personally I get the sense that  leftist leanings are favoured (think refugees, LGBTQIA+ issues, race issues, indigenous issues, social determinants of health, equal opportunity/equity, etc)- but do you feel like this balance shifts as students move into the profession? 

What proportion of physicians do you think vote NDP vs Liberal vs Conservative, considering the former would be a detriment to physician income but support more progressive social policies, while the latter would boost income but be less supportive of progressive social policies? 

Please let me know if this isn’t the right place for this discussion. 

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Can't say the schools NECESSARILY select for this, but the vast majority of my fellow students are Left leaning, many far left. By contrast, I have only met a couple students in all years combined who have a view that's even slightly to the right of centre. CASPER my year didn't seem heavily political, and in my MMI, nothing overtly political really came up. 

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They want to see if you are a compassionate & tolerant person (pretty important when you are dealing with people in a vulnerable setting and working with vulnerable populations) so they want to see if you would be sensitive to cultural differences or differences of faith, gender etc. The fact of the matter is that a lot of conservative stances are the opposite of compassionate and tolerant, so I think that's where the selection bias comes in, without selecting for political orientation specifically.

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Also, I think there's some survey data that shows that millenials and gen z are way more left-leaning en masse than older generations (even when surveyed at the same ages), so that might be part of it.

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I read some debate about this topic on reddit for one of the UofT essays this year, the one where you had to write as a proponent for women's reproductive rights in developing countries. Some people took issue that the stance for the question was fixed

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I think its worth separating out fiscal from social conservatives (even though they tend to be grouped together in both federal and provincial politics).

I don't see fiscal conservatism as being incompatible with tolerance and compassion. People who work hard for their money and make a lot of it are often in this category, including some doctors. That doesn't preclude them from caring for others, or working hard to help others who are different from them. 

As for social conservatives, to be blunt I do think they would make bad doctors - or at least bad family physicians. Their ideology has very strict beliefs on how others should behave ("traditional family values"), I do not see how it would be possible to address the issues of others who live their lives in every possible way if your default is to look down upon anything that isn't traditional. 

Happy to be convinced otherwise though from any social conservatives who post to this forum.

Edit: minor edits for clarity

Edited by jfdes

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2 hours ago, Persephone said:

They want to see if you are a compassionate & tolerant person (pretty important when you are dealing with people in a vulnerable setting and working with vulnerable populations) so they want to see if you would be sensitive to cultural differences or differences of faith, gender etc. The fact of the matter is that a lot of conservative stances are the opposite of compassionate and tolerant, so I think that's where the selection bias comes in, without selecting for political orientation specifically.

^This.

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33 minutes ago, jfdes said:

I think its worth separating out fiscal from social conservatives (even though they tend to be grouped together in both federal and provincial politics).

I don't see fiscal conservatism as being incompatible with tolerance and compassion. People who work hard for their money and make a lot of it are often in this category, including some doctors. That doesn't preclude them from caring for others, or working hard to help others who are different from them. 

As for social conservatives, to be blunt I do think they would make bad doctors - or at least bad family physicians. Their ideology has very strict beliefs on how others should behave ("traditional family values"), I do not see how it would be possible to address the issues of others who live their lives in every possible way if your default is to look down upon anything that isn't traditional. 

Happy to be convinced otherwise though from any social conservatives who post to this forum.

Edit: minor edits for clarity

Fiscal conservatives are just like the social conservatives except they think they're more morally upright because they focus on the abstract numbers side of being insular and selfish, which makes it easier to obfuscate that that's exactly what they are.

There's a really great tweet that goes: "I'm fiscally conservative but socially liberal. I think the problems are bad, but their causes....their causes are very good."

Basically it's a delusion to think societal problems don't intertwine with (and oftentimes originate from) economic issues.

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I have found broadly that Canadians want all the social benefits (of a Nordic country), but aren't willing to pay for it. Nordic countries have tremendously high tax rates, but a very very good safety net and social benefits. Do note that Nordic countries aren't all that fuss about being an economic superpower and posting significant economic growth and all that rhetoric. 

Everyone is okay with that in the Nordic countries partly because it is cultural, but also because there is very good balance and checks on fiscal responsibility. We lack both. 

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1 hour ago, Persephone said:

Fiscal conservatives are just like the social conservatives except they think they're more morally upright because they focus on the abstract numbers side of being insular and selfish, which makes it easier to obfuscate that that's exactly what they are.

There's a really great tweet that goes: "I'm fiscally conservative but socially liberal. I think the problems are bad, but their causes....their causes are very good."

 Basically it's a delusion to think societal problems don't intertwine with (and oftentimes originate from) economic issues.

^all of this. People love to separate fiscal from social conservatism but at the end of the day how can you say you support the health and wellbeing of marginalized populations without also supporting the means (i.e. funding, like through taxation of people in the highest income bracket) by which improvements can actually be made? 

I also really hate the notion that physicians "deserve" to be paid as much as they do because of education, etc. So many compassionate, capable people would do the job for less money if the barrier to entry wasn't so high in every way (application fees, travel fees for interviews, the necessity of unpaid extracurriculars/volunteering that require a huge time commitment, MCAT prep, tuition-  just to name a few). Besides, the eventual renumeration far outweighs the initial investment. No doctor would be out on the streets because of increased taxation- the same can't be said for the people that could be helped by those funds.

If the goal of this profession is actually to work towards a healthier society, I think everyone really needs to start putting their money where their mouth is.  

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I dont think a school can actually discriminate a candidate solely based on its political allegiance unless its indisputably against common values and to an extremist extend.

As it was said before, some parties just happen to promote some values more, which are highly praised/valued in medicine and other health care fields.

Now as for what med students vote, it really depends on the context. We could think, here in Qc, that the PLQ/CAQ could be popular among young adults. However, considering all the the things that have happened during the last few years/months, Gaëtan Barette (MSSS) is FAR from unanimity among health care students. We'll see ..!

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11 hours ago, f011235813 said:

Can't say the schools NECESSARILY select for this, but the vast majority of my fellow students are Left leaning, many far left. By contrast, I have only met a couple students in all years combined who have a view that's even slightly to the right of centre. CASPER my year didn't seem heavily political, and in my MMI, nothing overtly political really came up. 

You'd be surprised how many closet right wingers there are. Being a centrist myself, I've been able to associate with both sides and it's mind blowing how many people support hard right wing agendas and equally mind blowing to see people support leftie agendas. 

8 hours ago, Persephone said:

Fiscal conservatives are just like the social conservatives except they think they're more morally upright because they focus on the abstract numbers side of being insular and selfish, which makes it easier to obfuscate that that's exactly what they are.

There's a really great tweet that goes: "I'm fiscally conservative but socially liberal. I think the problems are bad, but their causes....their causes are very good."

Basically it's a delusion to think societal problems don't intertwine with (and oftentimes originate from) economic issues.

Yeah buddy come back in 15 years and read this. There's a reason people become more conservative as they mature. Keyword: mature

This line of thinking is dangerous in our profession and it's always the same people who are handing midlevels more rights among other things in the name of liberalism/political correctness. 

7 hours ago, vellichor said:

^all of this. People love to separate fiscal from social conservatism but at the end of the day how can you say you support the health and wellbeing of marginalized populations without also supporting the means (i.e. funding, like through taxation of people in the highest income bracket) by which improvements can actually be made? 

I also really hate the notion that physicians "deserve" to be paid as much as they do because of education, etc. So many compassionate, capable people would do the job for less money if the barrier to entry wasn't so high in every way (application fees, travel fees for interviews, the necessity of unpaid extracurriculars/volunteering that require a huge time commitment, MCAT prep, tuition-  just to name a few). Besides, the eventual renumeration far outweighs the initial investment. No doctor would be out on the streets because of increased taxation- the same can't be said for the people that could be helped by those funds.

If the goal of this profession is actually to work towards a healthier society, I think everyone really needs to start putting their money where their mouth is.  

It was funny a couple years ago seeing the doctors wreck the med students who supported Wynne/Liberal cuts to physicians. Until you're out in full practice, you have no business opposing a pro-physician agenda. Once you're out practicing, you can go ahead and lobby for cuts, higher taxes, more NP/PA rights and just give away everything to save the world. Also, I think there's an option for people who want to give away more money to the government. See how scandal ridden governments handle your money or... if you really want to help - go volunteer and donate to charity. That's really putting your money where your mouth is. 

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8 hours ago, la marzocco said:

I have found broadly that Canadians want all the social benefits (of a Nordic country), but aren't willing to pay for it. Nordic countries have tremendously high tax rates, but a very very good safety net and social benefits. Do note that Nordic countries aren't all that fuss about being an economic superpower and posting significant economic growth and all that rhetoric. 

Everyone is okay with that in the Nordic countries partly because it is cultural, but also because there is very good balance and checks on fiscal responsibility. We lack both. 

Nordic countries have an entirely different culture and their system from the ground up is vastly different from ours. Comparing apples to oranges here. USA attracts the best talent for a reason... Ambition drives with economic freedom. And socialism works until you run out of other people's money. 

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8 hours ago, Persephone said:

Fiscal conservatives are just like the social conservatives except they think they're more morally upright because they focus on the abstract numbers side of being insular and selfish, which makes it easier to obfuscate that that's exactly what they are.

If we're throwing sweeping generalizations out there, should probably also bring up how whiny and entitled left-wingers tend to be as they try their hardest to take other people's money, all the while thinking themselves even more morally upright then conservatives

Edited by Redpill

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2 minutes ago, Redpill said:

If we're throwing sweeping generalizations out there, should probably also bring up how whiny and entitled left-wingers tend to be, all the while thinking themselves even more morally upright then conservatives

Arguing with a leftie is no different than talking to a wall. At least right wingers support centrist initiatives often. I mean, their argument in this thread is that just because high earners wouldn't starve from higher taxation, that it's justified to tax them more. lulzy

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4 minutes ago, medigeek said:

Arguing with a leftie is no different than talking to a wall. At least right wingers support centrist initiatives often. I mean, their argument in this thread is that just because high earners wouldn't starve from higher taxation, that it's justified to tax them more. lulzy

True true, don't let these useless online arguments stop you from packing up, wouldn't want you to miss your flight to Calgary! 

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7 hours ago, vellichor said:

^all of this. People love to separate fiscal from social conservatism but at the end of the day how can you say you support the health and wellbeing of marginalized populations without also supporting the means (i.e. funding, like through taxation of people in the highest income bracket) by which improvements can actually be made? 

I also really hate the notion that physicians "deserve" to be paid as much as they do because of education, etc. So many compassionate, capable people would do the job for less money if the barrier to entry wasn't so high in every way (application fees, travel fees for interviews, the necessity of unpaid extracurriculars/volunteering that require a huge time commitment, MCAT prep, tuition-  just to name a few). Besides, the eventual renumeration far outweighs the initial investment. No doctor would be out on the streets because of increased taxation- the same can't be said for the people that could be helped by those funds.

If the goal of this profession is actually to work towards a healthier society, I think everyone really needs to start putting their money where their mouth is.  

Great point, why do we even bother paying people differently at all? Let's take it a step further and just pay everyone in society the same rate! Then everyone will be healthy, right?

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1 minute ago, Redpill said:

Great point, why do we even bother paying people differently at all? Let's take it a step further and just pay everyone in society the same rate! Then everyone will be healthy, right?

Why even pay? As Karl Marx (who these guys worship) said  "To each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." 

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1 hour ago, medigeek said:

Yeah buddy come back in 15 years and read this. There's a reason people become more conservative as they mature. Keyword: mature 

This line of thinking is dangerous in our profession and it's always the same people who are handing midlevels more rights among other things in the name of liberalism/political correctness.  

I've done a poli sci degree and I'm 30. The longer I've been in the working world (15 years now) the farther left I go. That aging into conservatism line is a self serving myth.

Did you see the article that came out recently that showed how it was centrists who were the least supportive of democratic values? It confirmed a long held belief that both sidesism is a path to authoritarianism. Here's the link: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/05/23/opinion/international-world/centrists-democracy.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

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1 hour ago, Redpill said:

Great point, why do we even bother paying people differently at all? Let's take it a step further and just pay everyone in society the same rate! Then everyone will be healthy, right?

You've made no case that it wouldn't be a good thing. Actually read any leftist thought (which is never as simple as pay the same to everyone, but more make sure everyone has what they need for a good quality life) and you will see plenty of arguments for why it would be better than the nightmare world we live in now.

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1 hour ago, medigeek said:

Why even pay? As Karl Marx (who these guys worship) said  "To each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." 

That sounds great to me! Imagine, a cooperative and equitable society!

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11 minutes ago, Persephone said:

I've done a poli sci degree and I'm 30. The longer I've been in the working world (15 years now) the farther left I go. That aging into conservatism line is a self serving myth.

Did you see the article that came out recently that showed how it was centrists who were the least supportive of democratic values? It confirmed a long held belief that both sidesism is a path to authoritarianism. Here's the link: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/05/23/opinion/international-world/centrists-democracy.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Okay? I also own a business and employ people. Meaning I understand how business and entrepreneurship works rather than reading about how it "should work" in the teachings of Marx or whatever your choice of commie material may be. 

8 minutes ago, Persephone said:

You've made no case that it wouldn't be a good thing. Actually read any leftist thought (which is never as simple as pay the same to everyone, but more make sure everyone has what they need for a good quality life) and you will see plenty of arguments for why it would be better than the nightmare world we live in now.

Oh what a nightmare we live in. Colossal GDP per capita compared to the last century. Relative world peace. Most disease wiped out and/or controlled to some degree. Inequality is a fact of human life. We should keep it under control via charitable initiatives and yes some public services.

But to think everyone should give up what they worked for to the government? Gimme a break dude... Millions of people died fighting your ideas. And others died trying to escape it to come to capitalism. 

 

7 minutes ago, Persephone said:

That sounds great to me! Imagine, a cooperative and equitable society!

What better motivation to innovate and develop than to be equal to everyone else in the end! Surely people in the 20th century didn't die fleeing from your ideas to come to a capitalist society. 

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https://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/10/07/upshot/your-surgeon-is-probably-a-republican-your-psychiatrist-probably-a-democrat.html

Don’t think anyone is going to convince anyone who to vote for in this thread, so I’m gonna leave this article here. It’s a little dated and also American, but interesting. Thoughts? 

Final note- communism is wildly not what any major Canadian party (with a lot of current support I might add) is going for lol, so vilifying the NDP in those terms is ridiculous. Unless you’re implying in the same breath that the conservatives are also fascists? 

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22 hours ago, Persephone said:

Fiscal conservatives are just like the social conservatives except they think they're more morally upright because they focus on the abstract numbers side of being insular and selfish, which makes it easier to obfuscate that that's exactly what they are.

There's a really great tweet that goes: "I'm fiscally conservative but socially liberal. I think the problems are bad, but their causes....their causes are very good."

Basically it's a delusion to think societal problems don't intertwine with (and oftentimes originate from) economic issues.

It is a delusion and not a good one - but sometimes I wonder if that phrasing, which is so very common, is also not a cry for being more left or right but actually a way of trying to say they are centralist. I find at time the entire left vs right arguments artificially polarizing . People are often not that articulate at saying they are close to the middle - which when examined most people are. We don't really even have the language and certainly not a political party that promotes "a little bit of that, and a little bit of this". It is not an all or nothing thing, but going too far either way seems to break things

And of course people want social nets/benefits without paying for them. That isn't so much political as human . It is dodging the hard choices mind you sometimes but where possible, and often it is possible to extend and promote various freedoms without any real negative costs. What exactly for instance does same sex marriage actually cost in terms of money? 

I can assure you there are a ton of conservative physicians out there (in fact the studies historically show the majority are conservative - been that way for some time), and it doesn't impact their job - and doesn't have much to do with it at all actually. Empathy and skill are not traits owed by any particular branch of the political spectrum - and it is a bit easier being more left leaning when you don't see the costs for things coming out of your personal pay cheque at the rate of 58% of your total income when you do the math and people keep constantly asking for more one way or the other. 

But it isn't just about the money - that is a trap when thinking about conservatism. It is merely the most vocal and easiest to access aspect of this (jobs and lower taxes ha, always the cry - that is what they say to get elected. Mind you so do most of the parties).  I think there are more important aspect of it that when ignored make conservatism sound evil, cold and unfeeling. Which considering roughly half of both the Canadian and US population leans that way just seems odd to me - demonizing your competition is a very political thing to do but in the long term very damaging. There is so much more than that - it is political philosophy that believes that we have reached the amazing place in history and the world on the basis of particular set of values and social structures - basically what we have and how we do things works extremely well based on historical and current world status - and if you change too much or too quickly you very likely will break it (and that has happened many times). That includes preserving social structures that have existed for some time and shown to work (a  conservative Canadian may very much support public health care for instance - by definition conserving an aspect our our system). And second they believe that you have to be careful with providing government support to people . A strong society is based on strong citizens and quite often efforts to help people don't actually change the source of the problem and make people actually weaker and in turn the society weaker (all while still being expensive along the way and dragging down other people).  The logic is that there are many things that people can only fix for themselves - and if you try to fix it you just make it worse. My take at least on the major points of the conservative mindset - none of that is actually self centred at all - it is all still about the country mostly. 

 

Edited by rmorelan

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26 minutes ago, vellichor said:

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/10/07/upshot/your-surgeon-is-probably-a-republican-your-psychiatrist-probably-a-democrat.html

Don’t think anyone is going to convince anyone who to vote for in this thread, so I’m gonna leave this article here. It’s a little dated and also American, but interesting. Thoughts? 

Final note- communism is wildly not what any major Canadian party (with a lot of current support I might add) is going for lol, so vilifying the NDP in those terms is ridiculous. Unless you’re implying in the same breath that the conservatives are also fascists? 

ha yeah - again it is so much easier in a sound bite universe with slogan and colourful signs to make everything so simple at the expense of context and reason. Pure unchecked capitalism is a horrible thing and doesn't really work, and pure unchecked communism doesn't seem to work either (although to be fair on the social research scale we have had more of the former to study than the later). 

Also doesn't help that you look at the political parties and their leadership and just.....I just keep asking ha are these the best people you could find within your party to lead you? So your cabinet ministers are even worse than your party leader - that is where we are setting the bar?  

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