Panther Learning Communities

The Panther Learning Communities (PLCs) help you get connected and provide support during the many transitions throughout medical school. As part of a Panther Learning Community, you will learn with fellow students in smaller, faculty-lead groups during period one and period two clinical skills. In addition, you will gain a deeper understanding of your courses' subject matter by applying newly acquired skills outside of the classroom, receive valuable support from peer mentors, and gain leadership skills during your medical school experience.


Panther Learning Community (PLC) Anderson is named for Dr. Elizabeth G. Anderson, the first English female physician in Britain and first female mayor in England. The PLC color is green, and the mascot is the phoenix. Through NeighborhoodHELP™, PLC Anderson provides care to households in unincorporated northwest Dade, Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens, Miami Lakes, and Medley.


Panther Learning Community (PLC) Hippocrates is named for Hippocrates of Cos, who is widely known as the Father of Western Medicine. The PLC color is silver, and the mascot is the hippopotamus. Through NeighborhoodHELP™, PLC Hippocrates provides care to households in Miami Gardens.


Panther Learning Community (PLC) Pasteur is named after Dr. Louis Pasteur, who confirmed germ theory and is known as one of the three main founders of microbiology. The PLC color is red, and the mascot is the cow. Through NeighborhoodHELP™, PLC Pasteur provides care to households in Opa-locka and South Miami.


Panther Learning Community (PLC) Semmelweis is named for Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis, who discovered that hand washing could reduce the spread of infection. The PLC color is blue, and the mascot is the owl. Through NeighborhoodHELP™, students in PLC Semmelweis provide care to households in North Miami, North Miami Beach, and Little Haiti.

The Communities

The PLCs were founded in 2009 with the inception of the College of Medicine’s first class of medical students. Each PLC is named after a notable physician or medical scientist: Anderson, Hippocrates, Pasteur, and Semmelweis. The PLCs support co-curricular activities through collaboration with other departments and stakeholders within HWCOM and main FIU through their signature programs that promote and foster the values and principles of a learning community and the mission of HWCOM:

  • Community Service Learning
  • Academic Medicine Pipeline Program
  • MedLEAD: Peer Mentoring and Leadership Development Program
  • PLC Culinary Medicine

More information on our signature programs