Blogside Manner: What Is This PLME You Speak of?

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Hello! I’m Lulu, a member of the PLME class of 2018/2022, and I am the writer for Blogside Manner. In this column, I will talk about the ins and outs of PLME life at Brown and, of course, the dreaded application process. Whether or not you decide to ultimately apply for PLME, I hope to help provide you with a better sense of what Brown is all about! 

Before we get started, a little bit about me. I am a potential chemistry concentrator, meaning that yes, I am voluntarily giving up the PLME get-out-of-jail free card and taking a second semester of organic chemistry, because seriously, chemistry is cool. I come from Gainesville, FL (Go Gators!), and I am dreading my first New England winter. I like soda, Pokémon, and a slew of other things that will make me sound like a complete nerd, so we’ll just end this here.

Now, back to the topic at hand. If you peruse this column for any time, you’ll see the letters “P-L-M-E” thrown around everywhere, and I’m sure at least a few of you are thinking, “What is this PLME thing? What does PLME even stand for?”

The Program of Liberal Medical Education, or PLME (pronounced PLEEEE-MEEEE), is Brown’s very own combined eight-year medical program. Basically, as a PLME, once you acquire a degree as a Brown undergraduate, you get to mosey on down the hill to the Warren Alpert Medical School without submitting any kind MCATs or applications. A variety of other universities have similar guaranteed medical school programs, but PLME is the only one of its kind in the Ivy League.

Besides the applications and the MCATs, what else differentiates PLME from the pre-medical track? One main thing is that we don’t need to take a second semester of organic chemistry. While the rest of our STEM requirements are similar to that of a pre-med, we have no concrete humanities requirement, so if English is not your cup of tea, the PLME application is a worthwhile investment. Essentially, aside from the few classes that teach what are considered the mandatory “competencies” for not failing medical school, you can choose to take whatever you want, whenever you want (as long as you get a degree at some point).

The brochures will focus on the technical aspects of PLME such as what I’ve previously outlined, but another important aspect of PLME is the community. Firstly, for better or for worse, we get to see our PLME peers our eight years, meaning if you make good friends in college, you’ll probably get to keep them in medical school. We have our own set of advising deans and Meiklejohns (student advisors) who help us throughout our experience at Brown, and we have PLME Congress, which plans social and educational events that PLMEs of all classes attend. While this may make us sound rather exclusive, I assure you we are anything but. The majority of my friends had never heard of PLME before they met me, and many PLMEs choose to not participate in Congress events. Basically, our community is there if you want it, but it won’t restrict you from exploring other groups.

Though this wraps up the bare basics of PLME, there is still a lot more to this program! For more information on the program itself, here is the PLME website:

http://www.brown.edu/academics/medical/plme/

Next time, I will talk more in depth of some of the social events that I have attended as a part of PLME, so stick around, and thanks for reading!

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Email me at can_cao@brown.edu or comment below! I’ll make sure to respond as soon as I can!

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