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Running in elections while applying


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Hey everyone,

As some of you may know, Alberta will have its provincial election in May 2019. I am seriously considering running for the office in my rural riding, while at the same time reapplying to medicine (UofA, UofC, DAL, UOttawa) after being waitlisted in two schools last cycle.

I would really appreciate it if someone could help me out with the following concerns that I have:

1) Could your chances be impacted during the application cycle if you express your (non-extreme) political views on the public space?

2) Assuming that I am fortunate to be elected AND get accepted into the MD program, would it be possible to defer your acceptance for 4 years at any of the schools? I have only heard of people getting deferrals for 1 year, which makes me think that my 4-year request would be too much to ask for. My decision on whether to run for the office or not will ultimately be determined by this.

Thank you for the help ahead of time!

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5 minutes ago, WaitlistedOhEmGee said:

Hey everyone,

As some of you may know, Alberta will have its provincial election in May 2019. I am seriously considering running for the office in my rural riding, while at the same time reapplying to medicine (UofA, UofC, DAL, UOttawa) after being waitlisted in two schools last cycle.

I would really appreciate it if someone could help me out with the following concerns that I have:

1) Could your chances be impacted during the application cycle if you express your (non-extreme) political views on the public space?

2) Assuming that I am fortunate to be elected AND get accepted into the MD program, would it be possible to defer your acceptance for 4 years at any of the schools? I have only heard of people getting deferrals for 1 year, which makes me think that my 4-year request would be too much to ask for. My decision on whether to run for the office or not will ultimately be determined by this.

Thank you for the help ahead of time!

1) It is hard to surmise on this. But the wise adage is that you stay away from politics when talking to people you just met. There is a method to this saying. Having said that there has been a whole another thread on this forum about political views and admissions committees. They are generally left-leaning - not by choice - but generally by the idea of helping the most vulnerable and taking care of people who having unfavourable social determinants of health.. which normally translates to enhanced social security and social programs. I would personally stay away from politics as much as possible, but you can mention how you should protect the most vulnerable and those with unfavourable social determinants of health, etc. that are generally pretty agreed upon by the medical community. 

2) I think a 4-yr deferral is really going to push it no matter who you are. But hey, I am just a joe-schmo on the internet. But most schools only allow 1-yr deferral as you said so it is going to be super hard to convince them for 4 years.. 

Good luck, be it through the elections or through your med school apps. If you so choose to do both in parallel, you will need to be prepared that if you do will your local riding, you will need to accept it for four years as it is unlikely med school will allow a 4-yr deferral and resigning your seat in the party is never a good pub.. my 2 cents

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I feel like most who are interested in politics follow that path after they have completed med school and established themselves as practicing physicians. Running a successful political campaign even at the provincial level can be expensive and people generally want to have some sort of good stable income before they do so. Would you be independent or affiliated with a party? Is there any reason why you couldn’t do med school/residency and then run for office later in your life? As a voter I think I would have more faith in someone with that level of education and “ability to care” than I would for someone who just had an undergrad/masters. Maybe that’s just me.

The former premier of Nova Scotia, John Hamm was a family doc in in his hometown before he went into politics.

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7 hours ago, WaitlistedOhEmGee said:

Hey everyone,

As some of you may know, Alberta will have its provincial election in May 2019. I am seriously considering running for the office in my rural riding, while at the same time reapplying to medicine (UofA, UofC, DAL, UOttawa) after being waitlisted in two schools last cycle.

I would really appreciate it if someone could help me out with the following concerns that I have:

1) Could your chances be impacted during the application cycle if you express your (non-extreme) political views on the public space?

2) Assuming that I am fortunate to be elected AND get accepted into the MD program, would it be possible to defer your acceptance for 4 years at any of the schools? I have only heard of people getting deferrals for 1 year, which makes me think that my 4-year request would be too much to ask for. My decision on whether to run for the office or not will ultimately be determined by this.

Thank you for the help ahead of time!

1) Very hard to say. There's plenty of room in any admissions process for bias and a public figure will always be subject to more pre-conceived notions than others. This could hurt, help, or have a negligible impact. Any provincial election will involve taking (or dodging) some potential controversial positions, especially if this is being done in conjunction with a party. Even if you say nothing, you're linked to the rest of your party, and it's pretty much guaranteed one of them will say something controversial to at least some of the population, including some physicians, no matter what political stripe you run as. Overall, I can see a lot more potential to hurt your applications than to help them.

2) Long deferrals are generally not given by most schools, though I have heard of rare examples of extended deferrals (usually on a year-by-year basis) for very good reasons. I doubt any school would give you 4 years credit right off the bat - at best, it would likely be a year-to-year decision where they could rescind your acceptance at any time. Besides, if you are elected, would you not be planning to run again as an incumbent? Being a politician is rarely a one-and-one thing, especially for younger candidates.

In any case, both medicine and public office such total-life commitments that, at least initially, it's probably best to choose a path and commit to it wholeheartedly than try to do both at the same time. You're far more likely to do both poorly than either well if you're splitting your focus. It's certainly possible to maintain an interest in the other field (ie be a politician who has a focus on healthcare, or a physician who is active politically), and once established in either field, it's very possible to switch into the other, but trying to do both at once seems like a recipe for disaster.

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