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Welcome, Class of 2022! -- MDs-to-be enter JABSOM

July 23, 2018 —

Pictured: The JABSOM Class of 2022. 

Written by Marybeth Kotrodimos

A big step into the future was taken by the 72 members of JABSOM’s MD Class of 2022 when they were officially welcomed as new medical students at the White Coat Ceremony at Farrington High School on July 20.

In the White Coat Ceremony, the incoming class of medical students are “cloaked” by a person of their choice (often a family member or mentor) with the white, waist-length lab coats which will become the first uniform of their chosen profession.  For the class of 2022, this was a well-earned honor, as these 72 students were selected from 2,050 applicants. Eleven members of the new class came through the challenging ʻImi Hoʻola Post-Baccalaureate Program, which makes this the largest ʻImi class thus far to matriculate into the medical college.  Nine members of the new class have Master’s Degrees and one has earned a PhD at JABSOM.  All certainly worked hard to earn their place at the U.H. medical school and get started on their careers as doctors.

Of the 72 students admitted to this incoming class, 47 are from Oahu, five come from Maui, two are from Hawai’i Island, two are from Kauaʻi, ten are from the US Mainland or Canada, two come from Guam, and one is from the Pacific Island of Saipan. This is a mix which reflects the JABSOM commitment to increasing the diversity of its student body and its success in recruiting, retaining and graduating students from underrepresented backgrounds and underserved areas in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific Basin.

But White Coat is never just about the students, impressive as they are; it is just as momentous of an occasion for the parents who proudly came to see their future doctors receive the symbolic white coat which will identify them as medical students in hospitals and clinics throughout the island.  One father said that his family moved from rural Molokaʻi Island to Oahu just so that his daughter could attend a highly regarded private school to prepare for an education in medicine. The mother of the student from Saipan was there as well, giving credit to all the teachers, neighbors, community leaders, and organizations who contributed to her son’s acceptance into medical school.

This will be the 30th class to study medicine in JABSOM’s “Problem-Based Learning” (PBL), in which active hands-on, mentor-to-student and student-to-student learning methods are emphasized over a reliance on a lecture-based style of teaching.  Additionally, educational curricula is incorporated that encourages students to examine the needs of underserved communities. Opportunities exist  for students to gain experience while providing community service through community health electives, optional selective summer courses in rural and/or international sites, and student-led interest groups such as Partners for Social Justice.

Congrats to the incoming Class of 2022! We at UHP look forward to supporting you and the JABSOM vision of ALOHA: Attaining Lasting Optimal Health for All.