The Center for Biology and Society recently caught up with Cecilia Chou, a 2017 graduate with a Masters in Biology and Society, who is now a first-year medical student at University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix.
How did your degree in Biology & Society impact your career?
When I was a pre-med student at ASU, graduate school wasn’t part of the plan. I was lucky enough to take the History of Medicine class during my senior year and learned about the Biology & Society program. I was thrilled to find a humanities-oriented center in a school of science. The graduate program was just what I needed before medical school, and it prepared me to be a well-rounded candidate and better advocate for the role of humanities in medicine.
What do you consider to be the benefits of a degree in Biology & Society?
My time at the Center for Biology and Society taught me to be open-minded and critical about the types of knowledge that I have always taken for granted. This has been especially important in medical school, where it’s necessary to learn and memorize massive amounts of information in a limited time. Focusing on thousands of details doesn’t leave a lot of time for critical reflection of the big picture, and what we can do to improve the big picture. Thankfully, my degree in Biology & Society prepared me to keep seeking out the important connections between the community, students, teachers, scientists, and physicians. I hope to continue that training in the University of Arizona’s MD/MPH program.
What advice do you have for someone seeking a degree in Biology and Society?
Go for it! You’re clearly here because you feel strongly about science and what it has to offer to the world. ASU’s Biology and Society program will take you so much further, equipping you to see many perspectives and understand how scientific research and knowledge doesn’t stand alone. It’s innervated and influenced by so many factors, and our fast-paced society needs individuals well-versed in those diverse connections. Take advantage of the bright minds in the program, never stop asking questions, and be curious about all the exciting projects that everyone is doing. There are so many different interests, but everyone is driven by a passion for learning, asking, and “doing” better. And most importantly, appreciate Andrea, Jes, and the center staff because they are the best support you could get at ASU!
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