VIDEO: Meet some of the newest MD class at the John A. Burns School of Medicine

Meet some of the members of the University of Hawai`i’s newest MD class! They will forever be known as the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) Class of 2016–that’s when they are scheduled to receive their medical degrees. Note–we actually have TWO pairs of siblings in the class. Other quick facts:

  • They are the first JABSOM class to fully use I-Pads. Our curriculum has been adjusted to incorporate the tablet computer.
  • Average student age is 24. Range of ages is 20-33.
  • 58 of the 66 are Hawai’i residents.
  • 83% graduated from Hawai’i high schools (23 public, 32 private).
  • The class includes two sets of siblings (brother and sister).
  • The public schools with most entrants this year are Waiakea and Roosevelt, with 3 each.
  • Fourteen of the 66 have advanced degrees, including 13 holders of Master’s degrees and a PhD.
  • 16 attended the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa.
  • Eight students are from Hawai`i Island, two are from Maui, and one is from Kaua’i.
  • This is among the largest-ever entering classes of women (61%).

(If you don’t have time to watch the video right now, our written report is below.)

“Hi, I’m Lauren Hu, and I was born and raised on O`ahu. I did my undergraduate (study) at Creighton, which if you don’t know is in Omaha, Nebraska. So needless to say I’m glad to be home (laughter).”

The 66 newest medical students at the University of Hawai`i’s John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) were chosen from more than 1,600 men and women who applied to be in the Class of 2016.

“Hi, I’m Kelcy Higa. I’m a graduate of Roosevelt High School, and I like playing basketball and football. So if any of you are down for that, give me a call.”

Basketball isn’t all. As the students introduced themselves, they were asked to mentioned at least one interest outside of medicine, and with marathon running, yoga, martial arts, water polo and even snow boarding, it’s clear we’ve got a few athletes on board.

Jodie Sasaki, Punahou Graduate: “A lot of active students! So I think there will be a lot of hikes, runs, going up a mountain–”Jennifer Nakamatsu, Punahou Graduate: “I’m so uncoordinated, I’ll probably fall off the mountain when we hike–.” Jodie: “I’ll protect you.”

An afternoon “mixer” allowed the students to get to know each other even better. 59 of the 66 graduated from Hawai`i high schools, 32 from private schools, 23– like Chadwick Council–from public schools.

Chadwick Council, Kaimuki HS Graduate: “My mom was actually a nurse, I would kind of follow her around when she would help her patients, and she really made an impact on me. I remember this one gentleman…when we would see him on the weekend, he would just light up when my mom came there. This might be the only person he would see that weekend, and he would be so happy. It made such an impact on me. I want to pass it onto my kids. I remember asking (my mom), ‘why do we have to go so far–we would go on the bus? And she said, ‘we have to take care of people.’ And when she died, actually on Mother’s Day in 2008, I kind of remembered that she said, ‘No matter what, trust in God and assist those around you.’ And I really think this is the best way I can do that, as a doctor, helping my patients.”

Eight of our new students are from Hawai`i Island; two are from Maui and one is from Kaua’i. The eight students accepted from outside of the state of Hawai`i come from Montana, Oregon, Utah, California, Canada and Guam.

Some worked in “the real world” between undergraduate studies and medical school.

Jennifer: “I worked as a data entry clerk at Kapi’olani and then I worked as an activities director as a care home. Jodie worked at Planned Parenthood.” Jodie: “I worked at a lot of places, research, medical assisting, that sort of thing.” Interviewer: Did you guys plan to take time off before medical school? Jodie: “A little bit, but not so much.” Jennifer: “Not so much.” Jodie: “But everything happens for a reason and at the right time, so I think we are in a good place.” Jennifer: “And I’m really glad to be here with Jodie, it’s really nice to have a support system.”

There’s a former art teacher, a worker from a homeless shelter, even a professional pianist. We also have not one but TWO sets of siblings (both brother-and-sister) in the class; and 14 holders of advanced degrees, including a PhD.  Women make up 61% of the new class. All are now part of the John A. Burns School of Medicine class on schedule to become medical doctors in 2016.

Video by Arnold Kameda & Tina Shelton. Written by Tina Shelton.



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