Nash Witten, a family medicine trainee in the University of Hawaiʻi Family Medicine Residency Program, has received the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Excellence in Graduate Medical Education Award. The honor is reserved for only 12 of the 3,500 family medicine trainees in the United States and recognizes outstanding residents for leadership, civic involvement, exemplary patient care and aptitude for and interest in family medicine.
The honorees receive a $1,000 scholarship and a trip to the AAFP Family Medicine Experience conference in Philadelphia to receive the award in person.
“It was an honor to represent Hawaiʻi at the national conference,” said Witten. “I am grateful for the support of Ernel Roque, Chapter Executive of the Hawaiʻi Academy of Family Physicians (HAFP), Dr. Steven Hankins, UH Family Medicine Associate Program Director, and Dr. Seiji Yamada, mentor and faculty advisor, for encouraging me to apply for this award. I also want to thank the HAFP for supporting my attendance at hands-on simulations at the conference in Philadelphia.”
Witten entered John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) by completing the ʻImi Hoʻōla Post-Baccalaureate Program and graduated from JABSOM in 2017. He is now in his final year of training in the family medicine program based at the Hawaiʻi Pacific Health’s Pali Momi Medical Center.
“After spending time during my undergraduate years shadowing physicians at a Federally Qualified Health Center in Kahuku and Hauʻula Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi, I decided to become a family physician,” Witten wrote in his application for the award. “Having been born in Kahuku and received healthcare from this health center as a child; the goal to return home as a family physician to provide primary care to my underserved community has always been at the forefront of my calling to be a physician.”
—By Tina Shelton