Video: Celebrating New Native Hawaiian MDs in the Old Hawaiian Way

An important mission of the University of Hawai`i medical school is to nuture and educate physicians of Native Hawaiian Ancestry, because their ranks are small compared to the Native Hawaiian population of our state.

Last month, new Native Hawaiian students graduating from JABSOM–Akolea Ioane, Sara Ku`ulei Miles, and Kenneth Ortiz–were celebrated at a Kīhei Ceremony, held in the medical school’s “Healing Garden”, in honor of their journey into medicine.

To view our video directly on Vimeo, click KAUKA.

Like the white coat which physicians wear, the kīhei, a cloth draped across one shoulder, is a symbol of responsibility, virtue, teamwork and dedication. Each kīhei was printed using Native Hawaiian techniques and using images which are intended to tell the story of each individual’s voyage to healing.

During the ceremony, each kauka `opio (young doctor) was presented their kīhei by Native Hawaiian physicians, (or Kauka) from the organization `Ahahui o nā Kauka and the John A. Burns School of Medicine Department of Native Hawaiian Health.

After the kīhei were presented, practicing Kauka shared words of guidance about kuleana (responsibility), pono (doing what is right), and lōkahi (teamwork). Our video is by UH Med Student Journalists Deborah Manog and Amanda Shell.

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