Blogside Manner: Notes on the Application

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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!

Thanksgiving is almost upon us, and I hope all of you RD prospective PLMEs have started drafting your essays! Today I will be continuing with the PLME application process and sharing some of the tips that a few of my peers and I thought might be helpful to all of you who are currently in the writing process.  

  1. Maximize the “you” factor

There are two things that everyone will tell you are important to a good essay: content and style. However, be careful not to sacrifice one for the other; be especially careful not to sacrifice content for style. While adding backstory and explaining certain situations in detail can help create an enjoyable read, the fundamental thing to keep in mind is that this is a persuasive essay you are writing and the goal is to convinced the board to admit you. Thus, if they don’t learn anything interesting about you as a person, even the best writing won’t get you very far.

  1. Interpret, don’t analyze

Don’t worry about sticking to the actual prompts because no one is grading you on how well you stay on topic. That being said, make sure to address the prompts fully; for the “why medicine” essay, please actually write about why medicine is important to you specifically and not just every experience you’ve ever had with the field. However, aside from that, ever one of my peers interpreted the essay differently, so there really isn’t a golden way to go. GO WILD!

  1. Don’t get caught up in the details

I know a lot of people are super worried about test scores and extracurricular and whether or not they “have a shot” at being accepted. However, the general consensus is don’t worry about all of that! The PLME process is holistic, so just put your best side forward and you’ll definitely be competitive. Please don’t make up stuff to “seem more interesting” because these deans have been reading applications for years and can probably tell if you’re being disingenuous. Just have fun with the application, and people will have fun reading it!

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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