State's newest 62 physicians graduate from John A. Burns School of Medicine

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Tina Shelton, (808) 554-2586
Communications Director, Office of Dean of Medicine
Posted: May 19, 2014

MD graduates in the JABSOM Class of 2014.
MD graduates in the JABSOM Class of 2014.

The John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) has graduated its Class of 2014, which includes 62 MDs, and 21 recipients of PhDs and Master's of Science and Bachelor's of Science degrees.

The 62 newest physicians in the class were selected from more than 1,600 who applied in 2010. Ninety percent of JABSOM's 264 medical students (four classes) are local residents. Priority is given to local students, because so many Hawai`i families struggle financially.

“The parental median income for our families supporting these students is the lowest in the nation," said JABSOM Dean Jerris Hedges, MD, at graduation ceremonies. “We know many of you have sacrificed much to help these students and that’s why we are so pleased for those who have stepped forward with scholarships and hope you will encourage others to support scholarships and endowments that will allow opportunities to future students.”  (Source: Association of American Medical Colleges survey, 2014.)

Dean Hedges also pointed out that the medical school has a tremendous impact on health care in Hawai`i. “Over 50% of those who are practicing medicine (in Hawai`i) are either graduates of the medical school, its residency and fellowship programs or serve on its faculty; a tremendous footprint that we have and a tremendous responsibility," he said.

Fifty-three of the new MDs are from Hawai`i. Eighteen attended local public high schools. JABSOM's new MDs include one from Hilo, one from Līhu`e, one from Guam and one from Saipan. Three of the graduates are of Native Hawaiian Ancestry. A half-dozen completed the `Imi Ho`ōla Post-Baccalaureate Program at JABSOM, a one-year intensive pre-med course for promising students from underprivileged or under-represented communities.

WHY WE CELEBRATE: Hawai`i currently has about 700 fewer doctors than are needed, according to the state’s population. (Source: Hawai`i Physician Workforce Assessment.) And the shortage is worsening fast. A study completed just last year found that, because of retirements (one quarter of Hawai’i’s practicing MDs are already at retirement age) and increasing demands from an aging population, there is a need for about 150 additional new doctors per year.

OTHER DEGREES FROM JABSOM: JABSOM’s other degrees included four PhDs and one Master’s of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology, one PhD and one Master's of Science in Clinical Research, 11 Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders (Speech Pathology and Audiology) degrees and two Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology degrees.

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