Blogside Manner: Living the PLME Life

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Brown is so pretty at night!

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!

I hope all of you are staying warm as we head into the wonderful month of December! Thanksgiving break has ended here at Brown, and I, like many of my peers, are dreading the countdown to finals week. However, ‘tis the season to be jolly, so for this final post, I will be talking about all of the great things one can do as a PLME!

I know most of you who are writing a PLME application have considered putting down the “freedom” argument somewhere in your essays (I know I definitely did), but what exactly does that entail? I personally didn’t understand how much freedom I would have as a PLME until I came, to be honest.

First, it is true that extracurriculars and even classes are completely up to you in that you’ll never have to join that one club or take that one class for the sole purpose of getting into medical school, aside from the required PLME classes, of course. However, this liberty can be a bit daunting; if you are anything like me in that you have a very diverse set of academic interests and hobbies, it gets difficult to pick a few areas to focus on (taking on too many activities will wear you out very quickly). I personally struggled to pick my spring classes simply because I want to explore different departments more but at the same time want to get a start on the PLME requirements. I have definitely learned during my time here that while it sounds nice to have so much freedom, it is sometimes can be hard to adjust to, especially if you are used to having clear-cut goals to work toward.

That being said, the freedom is amazing. One thing that not having the pressure of taking on loads of extracurriculars is that I have had more time to spend with friends and make new ones, which I feel is more valuable than a title. It also has allowed me to really focus in on the activities I really enjoyed; for example, I originally was going to join all of the medicine-related clubs, but I ended up just doing swing dancing. Really, the possibilities are endless.

I think the last major benefit that I feel PLME has provided me with is the freedom to study abroad. It is a huge commitment academically to go away for an entire semester or a year in order to visit a new country, and many students cannot afford this path simply because their concentrations are too demanding. The good thing about PLME is that with are more relaxed requirements, studying abroad is a much more feasible thing. In addition, there are a variety of summer programs that are available to only PLME and medical school students that are often subsidized, which is an amazing plus! If this is interesting to you, please consider applying!

Good luck to all of you on your applications, and thanks for sticking with me for so long!

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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