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School of Medicine

MD Program

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 (BIOM) and/or medical education (MDED).

Admission Requirements/Application Process

Candidates for MD training must have completed a minimum of 90 semester credit hours of college-level course work. A baccalaureate degree is strongly recommended.

  • 8 semester credit hours of biology with lab
  • 8 semester credit hours of general physics with lab
  • 8 semester credit hours of general chemistry with lab
  • 8 semester credit hours of organic chemistry with lab
  • 3 semester credit hours of biochemistry (no lab required)
  • 3 semester credit hours of cell and molecular biology (no lab required

The science courses should be of the type acceptable for students majoring in the above disciples AND, where indicated, include laboratory experience. Additional enrichment in the biological and social sciences is encouraged. Applicants should be fully competent in reading, speaking, and writing the English language.

Applicants are required to apply through the American Medical Colleges Application Service (AMCAS). The service permits an applicant to file a single web-based application, which is forwarded to as many participating medical schools as designated on the AMCAS application. AMCAS will implement a criminal background check on applicants applying to medical schools. The AMCAS application is available from June 1 at the AMCAS website: www.aamc.org. The deadline to electronically transmit the application to AMCAS is November 1 (EST) or August 1 (EST) for Early Decision.

Applicants must also take the nationally administered Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), which deals with knowledge of the physical and biological sciences and skills in verbal reasoning and writing. The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) must be taken within three years of an applicant’s anticipated matriculation to medical school. The latest MCATs screened or re-screened in the admissions process is September of the year of application (May for Early Decision).

Applicants who achieve the required screening cut-off points will be requested to submit additional materials and invited for interviews. Sixty-four MD candidates are accepted to the entering first-year class.

Inquiries regarding admissions should be directed to the Office of Student Affairs, Admissions, John A. Burns School of Medicine, 651 Ilalo Street, MEB, Honolulu, HI 96813 or via email medadmin@hawaii.edu. Further information may be obtained on the web at jabsom.hawaii.edu.

Honors and Awards

Alpha Omega Alpha is the honorary society for medical students. Delta Omega is the honorary society for public health students.

Postgraduate Medical Education Programs

Postgraduate medical education programs in Hawai‘i hospitals in cardiology, family medicine, geriatric medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pathology, pediatrics, neonatal-perinatal pediatrics, orthopedic surgery, psychiatry (adult, child and adolescent, geriatric, addiction), sports medicine, surgery, surgical-critical care, and a transitional year medicine-surgery are conducted by the respective departments and accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Also offered are a fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine accredited by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and a fellowship in addiction medicine leading to certification by the American Board of Addiction Medicine. The University of Hawai‘i John A. Burns School of Medicine acts as the institutional sponsor for these residency training programs. Approximately 250 physicians are involved in training, which lasts one to seven years. These physicians serve as members of the house staff in the affiliated hospitals while studying their chosen specialty.

The medical school also conducts a postgraduate medical education program at Chubu Hospital in Okinawa for graduates of Japanese medical schools.