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School of Medicine

General Information

The John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) strives to improve the quality, effectiveness, and equity of health-care delivery in Hawai‘i and the Pacific region. The school provides opportunity for qualified residents of Hawai‘i and the Pacific Islands, including students from various underrepresented socioeconomic and minority groups, to qualify for an MD degree; provides MD graduates with competency to enter postgraduate programs; and provides residency training programs with emphasis on primary-care specialties.

The school also administers graduate research and professional programs that lead to MS and PhD degrees in the basics medical sciences and health-related fields; MS, MPH, and DrPH degrees in Public Health; BS and MS degrees in Communications Sciences and Disorders; and, BS and a post-baccalaureate certificate in medical technology. Medical school faculty participate in undergraduate courses for majors in nursing, dental hygiene, biology, nutrition, and related fields. In addition, the medical school, in partnership with the Hawai‘i Medical Association and the Hawai‘i Consortium for Continuing Medical Education, sponsors continuing medical education for physicians in the state of Hawai‘i.

The school provides instruction for five major categories of students:

  1. Candidates for the MD degree who are admitted directly by the school’s own admissions committee;
  2. Candidates for MS degrees in biomedical sciences (with concentrations in cell and molecular biology, clinical research, physiology, and tropical medicine), public health or in communication sciences and disorders apply through the Graduate Division of UH Manoa;
  3. Candidates for the MPH or DrPH degree who apply through the Graduate Division of UH Manoa;
  4. Candidates for PhD degrees in biomedical sciences with concentrations in clinical research, cell and molecular biology, epidemiology, physiology, and tropical medicine who apply through the Graduate Division of UH Manoa; and
  5. Candidates for undergraduate degrees in communication sciences and disorders or in medical technology, who apply through the undergraduate admissions office.

In addition, a post-baccalaureate certificate for medical technology clinical training is offered.

The Kaka‘ako Waterfront Complex

In 2005, the John A. Burns School of Medicine relocated to a new $163 million facility in Kaka‘ako, on the water’s edge, between Waikiki and downtown Honolulu. JABSOM’s previous location, the 33-year-old Biomedical Sciences building on the Manoa campus, will continue to be occupied by the Office of Public Health Sciences, Department of Medical Technology, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, and by various research units. The Kaka‘ako waterfront complex provides an environment conducive to JABSOM’s goal of becoming a top-ranked research-intensive medical school and offers the opportunity to attract world-class research scientists to JABSOM’s faculty.

Target areas of research, which include innovations in problem-based-learning medical education, are retro-virology/infectious diseases/AIDS, molecular biology/genetics/neuroscience, addiction medicine, Native Hawaiian health, genomic medicine, proteomics, and bioinformatics/computational biology.

Plans also include building an incubator center (leasable research space) to provide biotechnology and bioscience companies a campus-like environment enabling collaboration with academic researchers. A major medical research center, with surrounding space for such companies, as well as Honolulu’s technology infrastructure and ties to Asia and the Pacific, will make the city of Honolulu a prime environment for growing technology and biomedical research industries.


The school is accredited by the Liaison Committee for Medical Education of the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Council on Medical Education of the American Medical Association.

Additionally, all civilian postgraduate medical education programs in Hawai‘i hospitals are accredited as UH John A. Burns School of Medicine-sponsored residency programs by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Approximately 250 physicians within 16 training programs serve as house staff members in these hospitals under the direction of medical school faculty from eight clinical departments as employees of Hawai‘i Residency Programs, Inc. Oversight is provided by the Designated Institutional Official (DIO) and the Directorate of Graduate Affairs. Continuing medical education (CME) programs are accredited by the Hawai‘i Consortium for Continuing Medical Education (HCCME), a liaison committee between the Hawai‘i Medical Association and JABSOM, which is itself accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). The public health degrees are accredited by the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH).


The school maintains affiliations with many facilities for medical student and resident clinical training including the following Castle Medical Center; Department of Health; Department of Veterans Affairs Pacific Islands Health Care System; Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation; Hawai‘i State Hospital; Hawai‘i Medical Center-East; Hilo Medical Center; Hina Mauka; Kaiser Medical Center; Kalihi-Palama Health Center; Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women and Children; Kokua Kalihi Valley Clinic; Kuakini Medical Center; Maui Medical Group; Maui Memorial Medical Center; Molokai General Hospital; Naval Medical Clinic Pearl Harbor; North Hawai‘i Community Hospital; The Physicians Center at Mililani; The Queen’s Medical Center; Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific; Shriners Hospital for Children Honolulu; Straub Clinic and Hospital; Tripler Army Medical Center; Wahiawa General Hospital; Waimanalo Health Center, and Wilcox Memorial Hospital.


Bachelor’s Degrees: BS in medical technology, BS in communication sciences and disorders

Master’s Degrees: MS in biomedical sciences (cell and molecular biology, clinical research, physiology, and tropical medicine); MPH and MS in public health; MS in communication sciences and disorders

Professional Degree: MD

Doctoral Degrees: PhD in biomedical sciences (cell and molecular biology, clinical research, epidemiology, and tropical medicine); PhD in developmental and reproductive biology; DrPH in public health


Premedical advising is conducted by Mrs. Ruth Bingham at the Pre-Health/Pre-Law Advising Center.

Academic Policies

Undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Medicine must adhere to the academic policies of UH Manoa. Medical students are exempted from certain UH Manoa policies and instead must follow academic policies germane to the MD program. Copies are available in the school’s Office of Student Affairs.