The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) is ranked number 19 in the nation in its graduation rate of family physicians according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.
“As the U.S. struggles with a current primary care physician shortage that is expected to be exacerbated to a shortage of more than 33,000 primary care physicians by 2035, this contribution is critical to the health of all Americans,” said John Meigs, academy president.
JABSOM’s Allen Hixon, chair of Family Medicine and Community Health, said the national recognition as a high performing primary care medical school is an example of JABSOM working to meet critical state shortages.
“We are gratified by the recognition for our efforts so far to close the current gap of 500 physicians in Hawaiʻi,” said Hixon. ”But the shortage is expected to worsen significantly in the next decade, and to make a significant long-term impact, new partnerships and investment are required to expand post-medical school training in our state.”
JABSOM oversees 17 post-graduate medical residency and fellowship programs in cooperation with major medical centers in the islands. Annually, approximately 235 physicians care for patients under JABSOM faculty supervision while they work toward licensure and board certification.
“Medical education is a team sport, and we are indebted to our key teaching hospital partners, particularly the Pali Momi Medical Center, where our in-hospital training of family medicine MD residents is based,” said Hixon.
JABSOM also relies on an army of volunteer clinical faculty, many of them JABSOM graduates. Overall, more than 1,200 physicians in Hawaiʻi serve as volunteer clinical faculty for JABSOM statewide. They open their private offices to teach medical students.
More than 70 percent of the graduates of the Family Medicine Residency Program have remained in the state to care for local patients, something the medical school finds most rewarding. “The practice of family medicine is based on a long-term continuous relationship with patients,” said Hixon. “That continuity of care is one of the most significant factors in improving the health of our citizens.”
—By Tina Shelton