HomeHealthMedicineMedical training track to have prolonged, impactful presence on Garden Isle

Medical training track to have prolonged, impactful presence on Garden Isle

The first batch of students of the Kauaʻi Medical Training Track will commence studies in March.

With help from a $10 million grant of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) the University of Hawaii at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) prepares to plant carrots on the Garden Isle. A year ago, CZI helped launch a new training track for medical students Kauaʻiswitch JABSOM to expand education and healthcare and have a longer-lasting and impactful presence there. The first cohort of students will start their studies on May 28 Kauaʻi in March.

Related: The first students start Kauaʻi medical training programAugust 2022

There are two halves to a medical student’s journey. The first two years are devoted to classroom learning, while on-site clinical training makes up the second half.

“Historically speaking JABSOM has always been student-centered O’ahu, and they do almost all their training here. There are some options to go to in the first year Hawaii Island, Kauaʻi or Lāna’i,” said Travis Hongdirector of national training JABSOM. “In the third or fourth year, students can go to KauaʻiMaui or Hawaii Island. That is the extent of the experiences of students on the neighboring islands.”

Plant carrots

Each year, six students will learn and reside Kauaʻi for the next five years. The first cohort includes Jamie Emoto, Erin Evangelista, Dylan Lawton, Kirra Borello, Ivan Yoon and Brent Fujimoto.

“The O’ahu curriculum in medical school will be translated to Kauaʻi. The lectures will be held virtually but there is a doctor on site doing the same problem based learning tutorials and curricular activities with the students so it really is the same experience on O’ahu‘ Hong said.

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When students enter their clinical years, they will treat patients Kauaʻi.

“Students in their third year are busy for at least six months Kauaʻirotating through primary care, including pediatrics, internal medicine, family medicine, OBGYN, surgery and psychiatry,” he said. “This is what every JABSOM student does. This group just keeps going Kauaʻi.”

Electives and various specialisms are reserved for fourth-year medical students. JABSOMs Kauaʻi Students on the Medical Training Track take two elective months and two required months of emergency medicine and geriatrics on Kauaʻi.

Commitment after residency op Kauaʻi

The CZI scholarship offers medical school students a full, four-year scholarship JABSOMbut it comes with a promise that takes care of it Kauaʻi residents will also reap the benefits of the subsidy.

Ultimately, our goal is to have these students return Kauaʻi and practice and start making a small contribution to managing the island’s doctor shortage.
—Travis Hong

“Work obligation,” Hong said. “Once they complete residency training, they must return to Kauaʻi practice the profession as an independent physician for at least four years. There is no compulsory specialty that they have to delve into. We encourage primary care, as it is most needed in underserved areas.”

While family physicians are needed statewide, students may take a different route. Neighboring islands have a shortage of specialist doctors and it is common for doctors to be present O’ahu make monthly trips to neighboring islands to treat patients.

“If you look at it broadly, every island faces the same issues, but this program allows us to get students in the hospitals and clinics to see patients and shadow doctors at an early stage,” Hong said.

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The Kauaʻi Medical Training Track is funded for five years, which will result in 30 positions Kauaʻi by the end of the grant.

“Ultimately, our goal is to have these students return Kauaʻi and practice and begin to play a small role in managing the island’s physician shortage,” Hong said.

Read more on the JABSOM website.

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