Blogside Manner: PLME Perspectives IV

A cool installation in the Medical School.
A cool installation in the Alpert Medical School.

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 feel like I’ve talked about myself enough for now. Thus, this week is another installment of my interviewing series (or, basically I drafted another one of my PLME friends to talk about their lives for you).

How do you like Brown so far?

I really love Brown! Having an open curriculum is a great benefit because you can take what you want without the pressure of narrowing yourself right away. I think PLME is really complements this because it reduces the stress of applying to medical school, which gives you more freedom to explore. While there are required classes, you can take them whenever you want, so everything is completely at your own pace. Also, the people here are great!

What have been your favorite PLME experiences?

I really enjoy the Whole Patient program because what I think PLME really focuses on is the doctor-patient relationship. One of the ways PLME helps make us better doctors is by exposing us early on to important aspects of the medical profession that you really can’t learn from a textbook like the importance of the patient-physician relationship. This program really helped me realize how necessary it is to understand the patient’s story and not see patients as just a collection of symptoms and prescriptions.

How have you been taken advantage of being a PLME?

I think without PLME I would never had considered concentrating in anything except biology; I’m currently considering political science or English. It also gives you a lot of room to go beyond the kind of framework of extracurriculars that medical schools typically like to see such as volunteering at a hospital or research. I am involved in Brown Political Review, which I wouldn’t have gotten into as a regular pre-medical student.

What advice would you give prospective PLMEs?

I think before applying, you should do some soul-searching because it is a tough path. While PLME is gives you a lot of freedom, there are years of training, crushing debt, and loads of other difficulties before you are actually a doctor. Also, think about whether Brown is a good fit for you even without PLME, because sometimes it might be worth it to pursue the pre-medical track at a university you absolutely love. If you’ve gotten in, I think having the reduced stress can help give you a great college experience, so it is something that shouldn’t be considered lightly. PLME will also let you meet great and diverse people and simply not have to worry about the medical school application process. This is a great path for anyone who is devoted to medicine because it does offer these benefits.

A big thank-you to my good friend who agreed to being interviewed despite being sleep-deprived and studying for exams. See you next week!

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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