Letters to the Editor

Letter: In defense of PLME and of facts

Monday, September 12, 2011

To the Editor:

I commend Young Seol ’14 for opening a discussion about PLME undergraduate requirements versus standard admission requirements (“The program in lax medical education,” Sept. 9). However, I seriously wonder if Seol did any research or even spoke to any medical students before extolling the virtues of competency in “electronics and particle physics.”

As a second-year medical student, I can assure all of you that these concepts provide no benefit to medical education. Even organic chemistry has little direct utility to medical school. Seol would have difficulty finding a medical student who is upset that our school focuses on educating us about patient care instead of particle physics.

Furthermore, Seol’s rationale about why residency programs receive undergraduate transcripts is a blatant falsehood. The Office of the Registrar sends a single transcript for all of a student’s degrees at Brown. I could take the MCAT a dozen times, and this policy would remain intact — it is a matter of logistics, not of mistrust.

I graduated from Brown with an Sc.B. in biology, so I share Seol’s enthusiasm for the sciences. And I encourage all Brown students, pre-med or not, to take as many courses in the sciences as possible — not because you’re obligated to, but because the subject material is interesting and the professors are fascinating.

As for this article, I would remind Seol that evidence-based medicine is the cornerstone of medical practice. When you base your viewpoints on ire instead of reason — on opinions instead of facts — you do a disservice to yourself, your future classmates and your future patients.

Rahul Banerjee ’10 MD’14