A PLME alum returns to her roots
Laura Perez Mayer ’09 MD’14 F’19 became an assistant dean of medicine for the Program in Liberal Medical Education Advising this spring. In addition to advising undergraduates, she is planning and teaching the PLME Senior Seminar, while continuing her work as a supervisor of psychiatry residents and fellows, a reproductive psychiatrist, and a mother of two children.
“I was really excited when [this]opportunity presented itself … because I felt like I was able to come back full circle,” says Mayer, a PLME herself. While concentrating in public health, she delved into the liberal arts, and channeled her creativity through activities like writing and dance. The support she received from the PLME ultimately prepared her for the rigor of medical school while giving her the freedom to stay involved in these other pursuits. “I understand what it’s like to be in this type of program,” she says. Mayer completed her residency at Boston University and returned to Brown for her fellowship in women’s mental health. She runs a small women’s reproductive health practice, which she founded during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But she always envisioned herself as an adviser or teacher—roles that she considers “just as, if not even more, rewarding.” In clinical practice, she educates patients so they better understand their health. She also prioritizes self care for health care workers and medical students, and wants to include information on how to achieve this in the PLME Senior Seminar.
Her appreciation of the time she can spend connecting with patients as a psychiatrist further parallels her emphasis on being open and receptive to students’ needs as an adviser. Mayer aims to listen to students and guide them through the uncertainties and concerns that a path into medicine can bring, as well as “be… their cheerleader, be their advocate,” she says.