UPDATED: COLLEGE FOOTBALL STANDOUT, 65 other exceptional students in new University of Hawai`i medical school class

Selected from 1,800 applicants, all 66 first-year students are top-notch

High school sports fans: we’ve got you covered as a new class of aspiring physicians enters the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) at the University of Hawai`i Mānoa. We’ve got Red Raiders from Kahuku and Kaua`i, and Warriors from Waiākea and Kamehameha. Weʻve also got Vikings, Tigers, Trojans, Cougars, Falcons, Bulldogs, Rough Riders, Na ali`i, Junior ‘Bows, Owls, Pride, Lancers and Menehune, along with Buff and Blue and Raiders, too.

One of our newest medical students isn’t just a fan of the home team. He is a former standout defensive lineman who maintained a 4.0 grade point average in biology while sacking the other team’s quarterbacks for the New Mexico State University.

David Niumatalolo doesn’t tell you that when you first meet him. He’s remarkably low-key when asked to introduce himself. “I went to Kahuku High School and New Mexico State and I just want to say thank you to my friends and family for supporting me,” said Niumatalolo. No mention that he was a standout athlete on and off the gridiron who also served two years on a Mormon mission in Africa. In 2011, the College Sports Information Directors of America named him to the Capital One Academic All-America First Team.

Like Niumatalolo, Hawai`i high school graduates make up 82% of the entering MD Class at JABSOM. The 66 members of the new MD class were chosen from among 1,880 applicants for the MD Class of 2017; each has an impressive personal story.

Kyan Agbayani of Aiea gets his White Coat

Kyan Agbayani of Aiea gets his White Coat

Kyan Agbayani, a graduate of Aiea High School and the UH Mānoa Honors Program, would be the first in his family to become a physician. “Right now I’m open to any field, primary care or specialty—I don’t want to pigeonhole myself right now; who knows?” Agbayani said. Who knows, indeed, how many remarkable futures lay ahead for these young men and women who may soon save the lives of any one of us, our family members or neighbors.

Dr. Melanie Arakaki, JABSOM Alumna and Hilo physician

Dr. Melanie Arakaki, JABSOM Alumna and Hilo physician

Hilo physician keynote speaker
JABSOM introduced its newest class at a White Coat Ceremony on Friday, July 19 at the Kaimuki High School Auditorium. (The White Coat Ceremony is named for the waist-length white cloaks incoming students wear in clinical settings to identify themselves as medical students.)  Dr. Melanie Arakaki, a 1998 JABSOM alumna and a family physician in Hilo on Hawai`i Island, was the keynote speaker. Dr. Arakaki is the 2013 recipient of the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award, presented by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. The JABSOM MD Class of 2013 selected Dr. Arakaki in recognition of her compassion and professionalism. Dr. Arakaki is a clinical professor who volunteers countless hours helping to train JABSOM medical students on clerkship rotations in Hilo. More than 1,000 of Hawai`iʻs physicians, like Dr. Arakaki, are volunteer faculty.

More facts about JABSOM and the MD Class of 2017:
86% are Hawai`i residents
61% are women
21 attended public school in Hawai`i
33 attended private school in Hawai`i
30% went to college in Hawai`i
10 hold graduate degrees
Six completed JABSOM’s `Imi Ho`ōla (“Those who seek to heal”) Post-Baccalaureate Program for students from disadvantaged or under-served backgrounds
About half of the doctors treating patients in Hawai`i trained at JABSOM
The medical school educates 264 medical students annually and oversees the training of another 230 physicians in post-MD education, in cooperation with Hawai`i’s major medical centers and the Hawai`i Residency Programs, Inc.
Nearly 80% of the “Best Doctors” identified in Hawai`i in 2013 trained at JABSOM*
JABSOM students routinely score above the national average in the US Medical Licensing Exam
Tuition for in-state medical students in 2013-2014 is $31,608**
Tuition for out-of-state medical students in 2013-2014 is $65,232
The median annual income of our students’ families is $85,000***

Team names, in the order listed in our first paragraph, represent Kahuku High, Kaua`i High, Waiākea High, Kamehameha Schools, Hilo High, McKinley High, Mililani High, Kaiser High, Kalani High, Kaimuki High, Roosevelt High, Aiea High, University Laboratory School, Mid-Pacific Institute, Saint Andrewʻs Priory, Sacred Hearts Academy, Moanalua High, Punahou School and Iolani School.

*Best Doctors in America
**Tuition, established by the University of Hawai`i Board of Regents, is scheduled to increase annually through 2015-2016
****Association of American Medical Colleges




NOTE: The original post of this story misidentified Niumatololo’s college team as the University of New Mexico, instead of N.M. State University. UHMEDNow regrets the error. Mahalo, David and Kyan for being willing to let us write about you, to demonstrate our pride in you and all of your classmates! By Tina Shelton, UHMEDNow Editor.

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