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:
BS Human Biology Pros
The biggest advantage of course is you get to finish med school in just six years versus eight years, and as you know, time is very important when you’re pursuing such a long career.
How is this possible?
To give you a better idea, click here to view the BS Human Biology Course Curriculum.
Basically, courses are condensed or skipped altogether, and students have to study up to two times more material in one semester. For example – Botany One and Botany Two are usually taken up in two different semesters, with one being the prerequisite to the other, but in the Human Biology curriculum, all the Botany topics are covered in one course – “Fundamentals of Botany”.
So you can imagine how much studying has to be done there eh?
At least, if you know you’re going to med school anyway, you get to skip or fast forward with the non-essential subjects and just get them over with. Right? I mean no offense to Botany or Zoology or Ecology, but I did not specifically need those for med school. (Although they helped me a lot – more on that in another post!)
Another advantage is you never have to worry about what medical school you’re going to. Once you get accepted in the BS Human Biology program, you’re already guaranteed a spot in DLS-HSI College of Medicine two years later. That’s a lot of load off your back – trust me. Med school applications, essays, interviews, NMAT, and waiting for results and reconsiderations take a lot of time, money, and effort. You’d be very relieved to skip all that.
BS Human Biology Cons
Here come’s the “disadvantage” – and this is where it gets very personal and subjective. Therefore, please read with caution and understand that this may or may not apply to you.
Here it goes. I will admit that I really did not enjoy studying Human Biology AT ALL! Because that time, I wasn’t even that sure if I wanted to become a doctor already, and I was in a course wherein I will be forced to become a doctor.
Going to my classes was torture! I mostly just enjoyed college because of my friends and extra-curriculars.
Simply put, if you’re not sure about what you want yet, you do not want to get stuck in that program.
Another disadvantage is that you are limited in your med school options. DLS-HSI is a reputable school, but there are also other practical options in terms of tuition fee and location. Majority of students incurred additional living and transportation expenses because the campus is not in the metro.
Back to the personal issues. The biggest disadvantage for me is that I thought two years of college was NOT enough. You may disagree with that, because practically speaking, two years off the usual track should make things easier for everyone.
But personally, I wanted to stay in college longer because like what I always say, college is a time for growth. Thinking I was only going to stay in the DLSU campus for two years, I had to limit my activities, extra-curriculars, and other possibilities for trying new things and meeting new people. This is very dramatic, but I somehow felt robbed of my over-all college experience. (And people who knew me back then would probably disagree because I seemed to have a lot of fun but hay, they know nothing. LOL.)
But all in all, looking back, it’s not all that bad. My classmates then are now certified board passers and resident physicians. They’re now my seniors! They turned out okay. 🙂 It’s really just how you look at things, and I’m betting a lot of you are a perfect fit for that program.
Remember, it’s just all about PERSPECTIVE.