The MD program follows a problem-based curriculum, which was implemented in fall 1989. It includes the following key features: knowledge is acquired in problem-based modules; self-directed learning is fostered in small group tutorials; students are actively involved in the learning process; faculty members function as both facilitators of learning and resource experts; basic sciences are learned in the context of solving clinical problems; no discipline-specific courses are required; and interdisciplinary basic science lectures are integrated around cases. In addition, students are trained to think critically and to evaluate new information and research data. Evaluation is based on competence in a variety of problem-solving exercises. Early clinical and community experiences are also unique features of the curriculum. The curriculum courses are listed under biomedical sciences
Admission Requirements/Application Process
Candidates for MD training must have completed a minimum of 90 credit hours of college-level course work. A baccalaureate degree is strongly recommended.
- Biology (with lab) (8)
- Molecular & Cell Biology (with lab) (4)
- General Chemistry (with lab) (4)
- Biochemistry (4)
- General Physics (with lab) (8)
The science courses should be of the type acceptable for students majoring in the above areas (not survey-level) AND, where indicated, include laboratory experience. Additional enrichment in the biological and social sciences (e.g., immunology, genetics, microbiology, human anatomy, physiology, embryology, psychology, and sociology) are encouraged. Applicants also must be fully competent in reading, speaking, and writing the English language.
Applicants must apply through the American Medical Colleges Application Service (AMCAS). The service permits an applicant to file a single application, which is forwarded to as many participating medical schools as designated. Application request forms may be obtained from a pre-med adviser, any participating medical school, or the Office of Student Affairs after April of each year.
Applicants also must take the nationally administered Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), which deals with knowledge of the physical and biological sciences and skills in verbal reasoning and writing, within three years of expected date of matriculation.
Each entering class of MD candidates is limited to 62 students. Correspondence regarding admissions should be directed to Admissions Office, John A. Burns School of Medicine, 1960 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96822 or via e-mail email@example.com. Further information may be obtained on the Web at medworld.biomed.hawaii.edu. Applications are accepted from June 1 through December 1 for entry the following year.
The School of Medicine offers the MS and PhD degrees in biomedical sciences, with concentrations in anatomy and reproductive biology, biochemistry, biophysics, genetics and molecular biology, pharmacology, physiology, and tropical medicine. In addition, a non-discipline-oriented program-in which students take a one-year interdisciplinary core of courses and laboratory rotations before selecting a thesis topic-leads to a PhD degree in biomedical sciences with an interdisciplinary concentration. A cell, molecular, and neuro-sciences (CMNS) program is also available in conjunction with a cooperating graduate department.
Correspondence regarding admissions to the interdisciplinary, genetics, reproductive biology, and CMNS programs should be addressed to Graduate Admissions, Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Hawai'i John A. Burns School of Medicine, 1960 East-West Rd., A-209, Honolulu, HI 96822.
Additionally, the school offers an MS degree in speech pathology and audiology.
Refer to the specific departments for further information. Inquiries should be addressed to the chair of the specific concentration.
Postgraduate medical education programs in Honolulu hospitals in family practice, geriatric medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pathology, pediatrics, psychiatry, surgery, orthopedic surgery, and a transitional year are conducted by faculty and accredited as University of Hawai'i School of Medicine residency programs. Approximately 240 physicians are involved in training, which lasts one to seven years. These physicians serve as members of the house staff in the hospitals while studying their chosen specialty.
The school conducts a postgraduate medical education program at Chubu Hospital in Okinawa for graduates of Japanese medical schools.
Liberal Arts/MD Program
The medical school has developed a program whereby a limited number of undergraduates may apply early in their college careers and be given provisional admission to medical school. Students in this program are required to complete the bachelor's degree and all prerequisites necessary for the study of medicine during their undergraduate years.
Imi Ho'ola Post-Baccalaureate Program
The John A. Burns School of Medicine is actively involved in the recruitment, admission, and retention of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, who are interested in pursuing an MD degree. Imi Ho'ola (Hawaiian for "Those who seek to Heal") is a post-baccalaureate program designed to provide educational opportunities to students from disadvantaged backgrounds capable of succeeding in medical school. Although Imi Ho'ola is not limited to persons of Hawaiian, Filipino, Samoan, Chamorro, and Micronesian descent, a large number of these students in the past have been able to demonstrate that they are from a disadvantaged background.
Each school year, 10 students are selected to participate in this one-year program, and upon successful completion, they matriculate the following year into the John A. Burns School of Medicine. The curriculum emphasizes the integration of concepts and principles in the sciences and humanities and further develops students' communication and learning skills. Eligible individuals are from a disadvantaged socioeconomic and/or educational background who have demonstrated a commitment to serve areas of need in Hawai'i and the Pacific.
Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence
The Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence is a project undertaken by the John A. Burns School of Medicine to address the barriers to health care for native Hawaiians. The mission is to improve the school's ability to train physicians with the commitment and special skills to care for the indigenous peoples of the state. The center offers recruitment initiatives to interest Hawaiian high school and college students in medical careers and prepare them for entry into health professions; development of a student tracking system to identify Hawaiian students at academic risk early in their medical training so that appropriate interventions can be made; a one-year fellowship to recruit additional native Hawaiian faculty for the school; revision of the medical school's curriculum to ensure that all students are exposed to the unique health problems and interpersonal skills involved in dealing with Hawaiian patients; and student research electives in Hawaiian health and medical care.
Honors and Awards
Alpha Omega Alpha is the honorary society for medical students.