Students were celebrated at the John A. Burns School of Medicine’s (JABSOM) White Coat Ceremony when proud parents, doctors, faculty and community members officially welcomed them into the study of medicine.

The newest students accepted into the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa medical school include a Fulbright Fellow, a Miss Hawaiʻi Teen USA, a black belt in judo who has represented the U.S. in international tournaments, a former UH Mānoa Wahine volleyball player, and a UH Mānoa Chancellor’s Scholar.

Students wearing their white coats

Class of 2022

The JABSOM ʻohana includes parents, along with a host of teachers, coaches, community leaders and others who have helped the 72 students—accepted from among 2050 applicants—achieve the opportunity to study medicine.

When asked what he was feeling just moments before his daughter, Clare-Marie Anderson, was presented with her white coat Jay Anderson grew emotional thinking of all the others who helped support his daughter and their family.

“It takes a lot. It takes the community and a village to get kids through school these days,” said Anderson, who said that his family moved from Molokaʻi to Oʻahu so that Clare-Marie could attend Punahou School to help prepare her for medical school.

He also thought of the contributions his daughter made, by working hard as a student, and as a student-athlete. Clare-Marie was a member of the UH Wahine volleyball team. When she was accepted into JABSOM, her hard work paid off, and she was rewarded with a full four-year merit scholarship.

“She was awarded a scholarship from John Burns (School of Medicine), which was wonderful, because—as it’s been for most families here I would imagine—it’s been a financial challenge to get this far.”

Also expressing a mix of pride and gratitude was the mother of Billie Ryman Ocampo, a member of the JABSOM Class of 2022 from the Pacific Island of Saipan.

“I just want to say a shout out to everyone in Saipan, to to all our family and a big congratulations to my son Billie,” said Maria Pensader. “We’re very happy for (JABSOM) to give my son a chance to study here, yes. And I’m sure everyone back home is also very happy and appreciative.”

For more on the ceremony, go to the JABSOM website.

Medical students receive white coats

For more on how the students are beginning their journey to becoming a doctor, read the JABSOM story at UH Med Now.