Categorized | Featured, Health

Two isle students accepted to UH medical school

Pictured holding their acceptance letters from the medical school are Brian Imada of Honokaa, Jessica Yuen of Kapolei, Karra Imoto of Hilo, Jolana Gollero of Waipahu, Paul Muna Aguon of Guam, Andrea Bucci of Honolulu, January Andaya of Honolulu, Crystal Lam of Aiea, and Janelle Otsuji of Ewa Beach. (Photo courtesy of JABSOM)


Two Hawaii Island residents are among nine students who have received automatic entrance into the John A. Burns School of Medicine.

The nine are the latest students to complete JABSOM’s Imi Hoola (Those who seek to heal) Post-Baccalaureate Program, a yearlong intensive sometimes described as a “boot camp for medical school.”

These nine successful students are going to be among 66 members of the MD Class of 2016, which begins its studies next month.

For more than three decades, Imi Hoola has recruited promising students from historically under-represented and/or disadvantaged communities, helping them to successfully enroll in medical school and become physicians.

More than 225 physicians — 40 percent of them Native Hawaiians — have graduated from the John A. Burns School of Medicine through the Imi Hoola program. Nearly all of them have returned to their under-served communities to provide needed medical care.

JABSOM holds as a high priority the education and training of physicians from underserved communities, including Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.

Census data from 2011 showed only 3 percent of physicians practicing in Hawaii are Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, even though 26.2 percent of the population is of that heritage.

The Imi Hoola Post-Baccalaureate Program Completion Ceremony, held June 13, “marks an important milestone in the students’ careers, recognizing their academic accomplishments, professional development and individual perseverance”, said Dr. Winona Lee, Director of the program and the Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence at JABSOM.

In April, each of the nine Imi students received $1,000 tuition assistance awards from the “Friends of Imi Hoola.”

The Queen’s Health Systems helps to fund the opportunity for a total of 12 promising students to enter the Imi Hoola program each year. The next class of 12 begins at JABSOM in July.

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