• 2 years ago •
Admissions Advice

Brown's PLME is my dream. How do I stand as of right now? What more can I do?

I am a sophomore at a decently competitive public high school (6th in NY)

- GPA: 3.82 UW, 4.21 W

- On track to complete 14 APs, 5 Honors classes, and 2 college courses from LIU by the time I graduate

- Will serve as officer for school DECA chapter (Junior & Senior Year, elections already happened) and won 1st in the state (Tier D)

- Started a club that 3D prints and builds prosthetics for the underprivileged (Tier F for now)

- Starting a chapter for a nonprofit for free naturalization exam prep for eligible residents --> will serve on national board (Tier B)

- Science Olympiad member, 4th in State for GeoLogic Mapping (Tier E)

- Athletics: Soccer and golf, both varsity as a sophomore

- Conducting research at the Feinstein Institute (Tier F)

- 99th percentile in CTY Talent Search (Tier B)

- 1550 on my practice SAT

- Alzheimer's Congressional Team: Internship with a nonprofit to help convince Congressmen pass federal bills to aid those with Alzheimer's (Tier D)


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Accepted Answer
• 2 years ago

I'm going to be frank with you—as a student, you can do everything right, have perfect grades and exams, have all the requisite volunteering and shadowing experience, have more extracurriculars than you can count, and you still have a very, very small chance of getting into a program like PLME. That's not at all to say that you wouldn't have a chance—you're off to a very good start—but BS/MD-type programs are so competitive that you should always go into them with a clear backup plan and a real understanding of their competitiveness. It's significantly harder to get into PLME (which is maybe the most competitive BS/MD program in the world besides Northwestern's HPME) than it is to get into Stanford, Harvard, or any other ultra-competitive university in the US.

Anyway, that aside, your grades and test scores are in a great place and should have you about where you need to apply and have a shot academically at a top BS/MD program. What you really need now is medical volunteering or shadowing experience. Pretty much any successful BS/MD program applicant (not just to PLME, but any of these programs at all) is going to have many hours of work with doctors, in clinics, in hospitals, etc.—whatever is available to you in your hometown or wherever your located. If there aren't any big hospitals that would take high school volunteers in your area, reach out to doctors in private practices and see if you can get some shadowing opportunities. Volunteer at clinics or practices; do anything that would get you experience behind-the-scenes with medicine. Not having those kinds of experiences on your resume is more or less a dealbreaker for BS/MD programs, because if you haven't done that kind of work and found that it matches what you want to do with your life, these programs aren't going to be confident that you won't at some point change your mind away from medicine.

Also, you have a unique opportunity (not from a college admissions perspective, but from the perspective of someone interested in a future in medicine) to get involved with pandemic response efforts wherever you might live. We're in a wildly unique and historic situation right now, and—now this is from me personally more so than from any data, because none really exists—I think taking advantage of this opportunity and volunteering for relief organizations, hospitals, practices, etc., could give you invaluable experience to help you move towards your goals. And, at the very least, it would give you some truly unique points to write about on your applications.

Best of luck!


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