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Largest class enters UH Mānoa medical school

JABSOMís White Coat Ceremony features a magician doctor

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Tina M. Shelton, (808) 692-0897
Director of Communications, Office of Dean of Medicine
Posted: Jul 22, 2011

Dr. Alson Inaba
Dr. Alson Inaba
Sixty-six new medical students will receive the short white coats that mark them as physicians in training on Friday, July 22, at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel Resort and Spa, Tapa Ballrooms I and II.  The entrance of the incoming Class of 2015 students begins at 6:30 p.m. The ceremony continues until 8:30 p.m.

The 66 newest students represent an expansion of the MD class to address an ongoing physician shortage. Chosen from more than 1,600 applicants received by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa's John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), the class includes nine neighbor island residents (six from Maui, two from Moloka'i and one from Hawai'i Island) and O’ahu residents whose hometowns include Kailua, Kane’ohe, Aiea, Wai’anae, Wahiawa and Honolulu. Eight of the students are non-residents, including one each from Beijing, Japan and Canada. Men make up 52% of the class. The average student age is 23.

Dr. Alson Inaba, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Department Physician at Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children, will deliver the keynote address.  Dr. Inaba is known nationally for inspiring the use of the Bee Gee’s tune, “Stayin’ Alive” to help medical students learn the proper rhythm for chest compressions while performing CPR.  The American Heart Association is sharing his technique worldwide in a current media campaign. (

Dr. Inaba also is an accomplished magician, who as a youth performed with professional magician David Copperfield. He is expected to engage the new MD class in a little magic during the evening. Dr. Inaba was invited to deliver the keynote by the last graduating class of JABSOM, who selected him as the recipient of the Leonard Tow in Humanism Award for the compassion he shows toward patients and families.

The John A. Burns School of Medicine trains a little over 250 students in its MD program annually, as well as another 250 post-MD trainees. The school also confers advanced degrees at UH Mānoa in Public Health, Communication Sciences & Disorders, Biomedical Science and a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology. 

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