Skip to content
Reading time: 2 minutes

group of people wearing lei

The University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) earned national recognition as the 2023-24 Alpha Omega Alpha Professionalism Award winner. The national medical honor society chooses one winner annually for its best practices in the education and practice of medical professionalism.

The JABSOM Professionalism philosophy centers around “pono,” the Hawaiian word for ‘proper’ or ‘righteous.’ It guides the medical school’s work to ensure its students, faculty and staff understand the responsibility to act with integrity while taking action to eliminate health disparities in the spirit of social justice.

It’s the compassion; it’s the empathy; it’s the advocacy, the care and the self-care
—Dee-Ann Carpenter

In addition to its philosophy, three other elements make up JABSOM‘s approach to professionalism. A Shout Out form highlights outstanding professionalism among peers, while a Professionalism Concern form allows anonymous communication with JABSOM‘s Ombudsman for faculty, staff and learners. The JABSOM Professionalism Advisory Committee (JPAC) convenes biannually to review trends and provide suggestions for further growth in professionalism.

According to Dee-Ann Carpenter, from JPAC, what sets the medical school apart from others is embracing professionalism with aloha.

“One of the things we do in promoting professionalism is by looking at this from a positive standpoint rather than a punitive one,” Carpenter said. “It’s the compassion; it’s the empathy; it’s the advocacy, the care and the self-care. It’s certainly the care of our patients and the whole reason why we become physicians in the first place. This is our philosophy, and within that is the word aloha. That’s unique to us.”

Brayden Wacker, JABSOM’s associate dean for academic affairs administrative officer, added, “To be a small part of telling JABSOM’s story and to be part of the impact that these students will make when they go out into the communities and hospitals is awesome.”

The Alpha Omega Alpha Professionalism Award comes with a $10,000 prize. The funds will be used by JABSOM‘s Office of Medical Education to promote further growth.

Read more on the JABSOM website.

Back To Top