Next Stop is White Coat Ceremony for Imi Ho’ola “grads”

Pictured left to right are Imi Ho’ola graduates Kyle Watanabe, Kaimana Chow, Aldrich Ricalde, Emmanuel de Jesus, Genia Taitano and Steven Gonsalves.

The next stop is the White Coat Ceremony for six graduates of the Imi Ho’ola (“Those who seek to heal”) Post-Baccalaureate Program at the University of Hawai’i Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM).

This year’s Imi Ho’ola graduates include aspiring physicians Kaimana Chow from Kaunakakai, Moloka’i; Steven Gonsalves from Kahului, Maui; Emmanuel de Jesus of Honolulu, O’ahu; Kyle Watanabe of Mililani, O’ahu; Aldrich Ricalde of Ewa Beach, O’ahu and Genia Taitano of Rota in the Northern Mariana Islands.

Imi Ho’ola, a program within the medical school’s Department of Native Hawaiian Health, seeks out promising college graduates from under-served or disadvantaged communities, offering them a year of intensive preparation for medical school. By completing the training, they earn a place in the next class of MD students.

The 2011 Imi Ho’ola graduates will join 60 other incoming medical students at next month’s White Coat Ceremony on July 22 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort, where the entire class will be presented the short white coats, which identify them as medical students.

The incoming medical class, with 66 students in all, is the largest single class ever for the John A. Burns School of Medicine, continuing a gradual increase in class size begun under the leadership of Dean Jerris R. Hedges, M.D.  Ninety percent of JABSOM’s medical students are from Hawai’i or the Pacific Region.

The John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), named for a visionary governor, was established in 1965 and has trained more than 4,500 medical doctors through its MD or residency program. Half of Hawai‘i’s practicing physicians are faculty or graduates of JABSOM or its Hawai‘i Residency Programs. JABSOM also trains bioscience, public health, communication sciences and medical technology professionals. For 2012, three of JABSOM’s programs are ranked among the “Best in the U.S.” by US News and World Report, including Geriatric Medicine at #13 in the nation.

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