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Cadiz holding up scholarship award
Mitch Cadiz was presented with his scholarship at the 50th anniversary of the ʻImi Hoʻōla Program.

The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation awarded a full-tuition scholarship to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM)’s Mitch Cadiz, a spring 2023 graduate of the ʻImi Hoʻōla Post-Baccalaureate Program and first-year medical student. The scholarship is the foundationʻs first contribution to JABSOM for graduates of the program who successfully transitioned as MD students and have made a commitment to practice medicine in Hawaiʻi.

Don’t limit yourself. Being a doctor, applying to JABSOM, is doable.
—Mitch Cadiz

For Cadiz, a first-generation college student from Kalihi, this scholarship is a full-circle moment, addressing his aspirations to bridge the healthcare gap in his community, particularly the shortage of Filipino physicians. Growing up as the translator for his grandmother during doctor visits, he recognized the need for more representation in healthcare.

Cadiz altered his direction after starting UH Mānoa’s nursing school, he later decided to pursue a career as a physician after working alongside doctors during his studies. Completing his nursing degree, working as a cardiac telemetry nurse and facing challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cadiz’s resolve to become a physician remained unwavering.

“I got to work with the doctors, and I realized I wanted to do what they do,” Cadiz said. “ʻImi Hoʻōla definitely prepared me for the rigor of medical school, molding me into the most well-rounded future physician that each patient deserves.”

Perfect alignment

Cadiz found out about The Clarence T.C. Ching Scholarship in his first semester of medical school. Realizing it aligned with his desire to remain in Hawaiʻi to practice medicine, he applied.

“I had all the chances to move to the mainland for better job opportunities as a nurse, but I was worried that I might not return. So, I decided to stay in Hawaiʻi to fulfill my promise of giving back to my community,” he said. “It ties back to the main purpose of my story, as a kid of immigrants from the Philippines.”

His message to aspiring medical professionals is one of encouragement and breaking self-imposed limits. Returning to his alma mater at Farrington High School, Cadiz shared his story with students, emphasizing that pursuing a medical career and applying to JABSOM is achievable.

“I remember when I was in their chair, listening to talks like this too. I thought, ‘That’s good, but I don’t think I can do that.’ But when I went back there, I told them, ‘Don’t limit yourself.’ Being a doctor, applying to JABSOM, is doable. I know they can do it too.”

Read more on the JABSOM website.

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