The political bug

Ok, I have been working on campaigns on and off for a very long time and it's in my blood. The problem now is that I have friends on a number of the Dem campaigns and spent part of the weekend helping on an event for one of them. The road is calling and it's a hard call to resist.
Keeping that in mind, my goal of medical school is important to me but when I am faced with the long term goal and stacks of orgo versus the immediate gratification of campaign work, well, I think you can see where my head is.
What do you all do when pulled by these conflicting desires?

Ah…the lure of now versus later. When I find myself in those situations I sit back and think about what my long term goals are, and then decide how pursuing a current interest could affect my success in achieving those goals.
I say if you can balance pursuing your interests while continuing the long road towards your goals, then go for it. You could look at it this way…it's been said many times on this board that this is a marathon. Well, if you stopped to take a break during the 100-yard dash, it would be a lot more noticeable than stopping once or twice during a marathon. Besides, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy (or Jill a dull girl).
And who knows, you may find your true passions lie elsewhere but you never would have known had you continued on your current path.

If you enjoy political campaigning, I’d say DO IT! Help out when you can. Go to rallies, pass out leaflets, answer phones, or whatever else the politicios do. It’s personally not my scene, but you clearly love it so why not work it into your schedule? If you don’t want to join an “official” campaign, then help out your friends on occasion (when your schedule permits) of your favorite candidate–just like you did. Besides, it will give you something to talk about at all your future medical school interviews. laugh.gif
P.S. What did you think of the whole California recall election? I owe my BF dinner. I swore up and down (against the polls) that Cali would go through this whole 3-ring circus of a recall election only to stick with Gray Davis. But, I guess Ah-nuld terminated the competition. Sorry, couldn’t resist a bad pun…

In my experience, my political activism is a form of self-medication against the isolation and self-centeredness that is inherent in the pre-med/med school pathway. If you think about it intellectually you will recognize that you will probably be able to do more good in the long run the quicker you get your medical degree, in a number of ways. However, emotionally, especially for those of our political ilk, and in these times, the call to activism is definitely very strong. I can’t tell you for sure one way or another; the bigger question is what itch does it scratch that the pre-med process isn’t scratching for you? (i.e., in terms of personal satisfaction) Think about whether there are other ways to scratch that itch other than putting the pre-med stuff on hold.
The CA results are tragic, the result of deep and horrifying cynicism in both parties; the cynicism that embodied the Gray Davis governorship, and the cynicism of those who promoted the recall and Schwarzenegger as an alternative. I am so sad about it. If you go out on the campaign trail, consider yourself doing it on my behalf. Except don’t get with one of those mealy-mouthed lame-ass republicrats. Go out there and find yourself a real democrat (yeah, that’s small “d”) and a real Democrat if you are going to put pre-med stuff on hold. Otherwise it’s not worth it.
You ask what do I do? Well, this week I’m close to failing a class because of the activism/schoolwork split. It’s not a good way to live, and I’m having to drop all of my activism for a while. So, I’m sorry I can’t give you answers.
best regards

Hi there,
Political activism and medicine are not mutually exclusive as Joe so eloquently pointed out in his post. The problem is trying to balance the demands of the mistress (medical school) and being involved in something that can be equally demanding. Medicine and its pursuit is a long-term goal at best. It’s like losing weight, you have to struggle day in and day out and you don’t see results immediately. The lure of the action is difficult to resist but I promise you that there will be political campaigns and causes while you are in medical school and after you graduate. One of my collegues in the general surgery residency program here is currently working as a legislative assistant to one of the US senators even now. She attended University of Illinois and received an MD/JD when she graduated three years ago. This may be an option that you want to pursue in the future.
Try to live vicariously through your buddies and dig into the organic texts. If your ultimate long-term goal is medicine, you will have to suppress the desire to jump into the “war” business. If you neglect your studies at this point, you may have nothing to show for the outlay of expenses that you have incurred.
Natalie smile.gif

I second Nats post. What is important to YOU? There are plenty of people waiting in the wings wanting to get on baord something even if they have to pay for it for whatever reason they feel they MUST do it.
Being over here in England I have been badgered and questioned ad infinitum about this and that. At times I felt more patriotic and proud to be an American than ever wanting to show something for it. Then I went back to class and learned how to fix an Inguinal Hernia. I liked the latter more than the former.
Besides, you can always vote.
PS. Joe…put away the disappointment and hate man. They are all fallable men and women. Concentrate on passing at Harvard. You have a gift that many of us would only dream about doing. Use your time to become a great physician. Besides, you can always run against me for President later… biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif