College Days

How To Be A Medical Doctor In 6 Years (BS Human Biology Program)

About the BS Human Biology program

You may or may not know that my original pre-med course was BS Human Biology in De La Salle University Manila. For a little background, this is the official course description from the DLSU website.

The Bachelor of Science in Human Biology is a three-year program of De La Salle University main campus (DLSU-Taft) being offered in consortium with De La Salle University College of Medicine (DLSU-Med) of the DLSU Health Sciences Institute.


The program allows highly qualified students to obtain the Doctor of Medicine degree from DLSU-Med in just six (6) years. The first two-year courses will be taken at DLSU-Taft while the third year courses will be taken at DLSU-Med. The third year courses are the first year courses of the regular medicine proper students of the College. These will be taken together with the regular first year students of the DLSU-Med.


After obtaining the BS Human Biology degree, the graduate will be admitted into the DLSU-Med directly into the second year of medicine proper. A student thus obtains his Doctor of Medicine in only six (6) years.

The first two years are spent in De La Salle University Manila as an undergraduate student, and upon completion, students are accelerated straight to medical school in De La Salle Health Sciences Institute on their third year. When they finish this first year in med school (or “third year of college”), that’s the only time they get a college diploma (BS Human Biology). Then they continue to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year medicine as usual.

Wow! A shortcut to medicine? Sounds like a big advantage, yes. But of course there are pros and cons to everything, and in my experience, these are just some:

All About The BS Human Biology in DLSU – The Pros and Cons


Self Portrait #1

Lo and behold, found among my old college handouts and files – my first ever self-portrait.

This was created by my friend Madel Cimatu for one of our Art classes. I refuse to believe the flower was my idea.

We even attempted to explain the work with this feeling-sophisticated description.

This portrait is representative of the subject’s personality – unconventional and lively. It was expressed very well by the artist’s choice of colors and additional elements like the flower, shades and zebra vase. These ideas came as the artist progressed with her work – showing her creative imagination, but not compromising her skills.

Note from the professor, whom we almost outwitted – “Very good drawing, but insufficient explanation.”

Salikneta Farm Practicum

Sharing with you the video I made of our second week of summer practicum at Salikneta Farm. I shot lots of random clips of my classmates using my camera and monopod. (… este my sister’s camera and Ogie’s monopod hehe)

Keri lang. While our friends interned at coolio magazines and New York hotels, we Biology majors got sent off in a farm where there were trees to count, insects to identify, worms to breed and kids to teach.

I loved every part of it. 🙂

P.S. The food was the best part.

The Day I Turned Twenty

Here I am, exhausting my wits to come up with a noble reason for hosting birthday parties (almost) every year of my teenage life. My siblings think it’s bratty. As much as I want to deny that, I can’t. Everyone remembers how I had a fit on my Supposed Sweet Sixteen because I didn’t have any party or plans.

This year was different. I just turned twenty!

Dr. Claveria made sure I got a cake and a birthday song!

The night before, I slept way before the clock ticked twelve. I woke up with a smile on my face, not caring for a minute that the rest of the girls in the dorm were already dressed and ready for breakfast. I got up, received handpicked flowers while brushing my teeth, and got a few pats on the back from the sausage fest as a birthday greeting. Then we were off for the day’s work.

I spent most of that day getting lost in a forest, counting trees near and far, and getting stung by wild amorseco seeds. I’m a graduating Biology major, and I have no choice but to spend my birthday doing my summer internship.

I used to tell people that birthdays are special because that’s when the people who love you celebrate the day you came to be. (Yes, that’s my noble reason for hosting birthday parties – so people who love me can be happy!) This year, I was confined in a remote area that didn’t even allow the supposed SMS greetings to come through.

I guess this was simply a chance for me to see how blessed I have been this whole year, without the need for fancy gifts and trippy celebrations. God answered my prayers in the most unexpected yet wisest ways. That’s all I can say for now, as I believe that what I am dying to write are worthy of individual blog posts themselves. 🙂

The hypocrisy of the oath

Came across this comment from a doctor while researching for my bioethics final paper.

As a senior medical student about to move on to residency, the overwhelming emotion I have at this time is one of disillusionment. At the heart of the Hippocratic Oath, both classical and modern, is the vow to avoid doing harm and to help when appropriate and necessary. Yet medical education, both undergraduate and graduate, brutalizes its students.

Sleep deprivation is the norm—I have seen residents working up to 120 hours a week. With such inhuman work hours for so many years, alienation from one’s family, health, and peace of mind is often the result. Falling asleep at the wheel is common, and deaths of both residents and medical students have been noted in the press. Medical mistakes are inevitable when people are so exhausted. The medical literature clearly and unequivocally states the risk to health and even life when people are sleep deprived, but medical educators seem to believe that somehow, magically, doctors can rise above their own physiology. Physical and psychological abuse from attending physicians are common complaints of both residents and students.

To quote from the Annals of Internal Medicine, “For many residents, fatigue cultivates anger, resentment, and bitterness rather than kindness, compassion, or empathy” (Annals of Internal Medicine 123(1995):512-517). How are we to provide compassionate care to others when our own educational system is the model of abuse? Primum non nocere indeed—the hypocrisy of this oath is that we can’t even manage to muster nonmaleficence to practitioners of our own profession, let alone our patients.


The finer points of indulgence

Finally!! A week-off from school and academic requirements. A few treats for myself:

1. I went grocery shopping and stocked up on the basic snacks for our pantry. Was so surprised to find this in the shelves! I’m supposedly on a “diet”, but when I read the description, I was sold.

“A refresher course in the finer points of indulgence. Between the exquisite cookies of this classic Milano awaits a refreshing duet of cool mint creme and rich, dark chocolate. Very cool indeed.”

My new favorite!

2. I just finished reading Harry Potter 4 and decided to buy more books from Booksale. I have three more books that I haven’t read, though.

New books to read, all from Booksale! (P10-60 each)

3. And finally, a chance to catch up on my favorite TV shows! I don’t really mind missing out on a few episodes, if it means I can watch them back to back on a carefree day such as today.

Catch up with my favorite TV shows

I’m fooling myself, really. Putting myself on vacation mode when I know that in less than a week, I’ll be back in school to take three more final exams and submit a revised, foolproof and hardbound thesis. But our returned manuscript should motivate me enough! 🙂

Our manuscript returned from one of the panelists ... !!!!!!