Chairman: Helen O Connor

May 14, 2010

Record number of Native Hawaiian students become medical doctors

University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa

On Saturday and Sunday, May 15 and 16, degrees will be awarded and convocation celebrated for the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM). Fifty-eight students will receive their medical degrees from the medical school this weekend, including a record number of Native Hawaiians in a single class.

Media interested in covering the MD graduation are encouraged to attend Sunday’s convocation ceremony, which is the MD program’s official celebration of graduation.

Twelve of this year’s 58 new physicians are Native Hawaiians, the largest single class of students of Native Hawaiian ancestry to graduate from the medical school. They include Kamehameha Schools graduates Jordan Lee (JABSOM 2010 class president), and Marcus Iwane, the American Medical Association 2008 Minority Scholar.

Ninety percent of all students attending the medical school are Hawaiʻi residents, by school tradition. Physicians in the Class of 2010 will continue training in specialties they have chosen.

Fifteen of the class will perform that training in the Hawai’i Residency Program. Through the program, the medical school partners with major medical centers statewide to annually train more than 200 graduated MDs in internal medicine, general surgery, geriatric medicine, family practice, psychiatry (general, geriatric, child and adolescent and addictions), obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, pathology and orthopedic surgery.

According to preliminary research by the medical school that was reported to the 2010 state Legislature, Hawai’i is currently short by 500 practicing physicians, based on population. More than a quarter of the doctors who are in practice are already at retirement age.

To help meet the need demonstrated by that data, JABSOM has announced it will increase its incoming class size to 64 students, beginning with the class enrolling in medical school in July 2010. The school is also increasing its Imi Hoʻola (“Those Who Seek to Heal”) Post-Baccalaureate Program from its current 10 to 12 students. Each year, successful graduates of the one-year “medical boot camp” at Imi Ho’ola are admitted into the incoming class of medical students. The program helps boost medical school enrollment by students from socially, culturally or economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

In addition to the 58 medical doctors graduating this weekend, JABSOM is pleased to announce the following additional degrees being awarded at UH Manoa’s Commencement ceremony at the Stan Sheriff Center on Saturday, May 15:

* Six Doctors of Philosophy (PhD)
* Two Doctors of Public Health (DPH)
* 18 Master’s of Public Health (MPH)
* Seven Master’s in Biomedical Sciences (MBS)
* 10 Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders (BS)
* 10 Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology