Blogside Manner: The Price is Right?

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This is where the PLME office is! Second floor on your right, for all of you future PLMEs.

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!

Since Brown’s and PLME’s early decision deadline is in a few short days (November 1), this post might be a bit late to be helpful, but alas. Maybe all of you procrastinators will benefit. This will be my first post on the admissions process for PLME (there will be more as we approach December), and will focus on what early decision actually means.

So first off, I am sure all of you that are seriously considering PLME have already found this snazzy little webpage:

http://www.brown.edu/academics/medical/plme/information-prospective-students/admission#dates

If not, please read all of this, because this is basically all of the technical PLME admissions stuff condensed into a single page. For all of you who are just tuning in on this PLME thing, this is also a good place to start your research.

When I first read this page, I was super confused about this early decision thing. For everyone who doesn’t know, early decision (ED) and early action (EA) are very different things. In both cases, you get to know if you got in ahead of time, but if you are accepted early decision, you are bound to go to that school; this is not the case for early action. Brown operates with early decision, which complicates PLME admission by a lot. I personally applied regular decision (RD), so if my explanation of the process is a bit sketchy, please bare with me.

Because the PLME application is literally attached to the common app, you can ED to PLME. PLME also does not interview, which is a good or a bad thing depending on the person, meaning the essays are especially important for this specific program. The good thing about Brown is that they do give you the option to be considered non-bindingly to PLME. However, if you choose this option, you cannot be admitted early to Brown without also being admitted to PLME (basically, it’s all or nothing).

What does this mean? You need to decide what is more important for you: Brown or PLME. If you would have been admitted early decision by Brown the college but rejected from PLME under the special PLME non-binding option, you will be automatically deferred into the RD pool instead of admitted to just the college. This additionally implies that you might not be admitted to Brown at all since the RD candidate pool is much larger than the ED pool. If you chose the binding admissions option and are not admitted into PLME early, you basically still have to come to Brown. Thus, think it through before you commit to one option over the other!

I’m sure what is more interesting to a lot of you would be tips on how to make your applications better, so here are a few short things to keep in mind as you approach the final ED submission date:

1. GRAMMAR CHECK

This is mostly for formality’s sake. Please make sure you do not have small typos, because that just makes you come across as not very committed. In a program basically asking 18-year-olds to more or less commit to a career path they will pursue for the rest of their life, coming off as committed, enthusiastic, and mature is important.

2. Natural Selection

Don’t just put everything you’ve ever done with your life on your resume, unless every single event is significant to you. One of the things about having too much on your resume is it dilutes the important stuff. If you only have two important things in your life, elaborate a bit more on those and put the rest of your activities afterwards. That being said, for PLME, try to emphasize things involved with medicine, but don’t go so overboard that you start relating everything you do to medicine. Common sense is a virtue.

3. You do you!

Most importantly, write personally! I really want to emphasize how the only thing the admissions people see are your essays, so make them sparkling and personal. Write a bunch of drafts and edit, edit, edit. The more time you spend, the better your own voice will come through. Even though you ED’ers only have about 5 days left, that is still plenty of time to make a few more drafts, so make it happen!

Good luck!

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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