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School of Medicine

MD Program

The MD program follows a problem-based curriculum, which was implemented in fall 1989 and includes the following key features: knowledge is acquired in problem-based modules; self-directed learning is fostered in small group tutorials; students are involved actively in the learning process, not simply passive recipients of information; the small group leaders function as facilitators of learning; content experts function as resources to the learning process; laboratory exercises, demonstrations, the library and audiovisual-computer centers supplement faculty input; basic sciences are learned primarily in the context of solving clinical problems; students are trained to think critically and to evaluate new information and research data; and evaluation of students is based on competence in a variety of problem-solving exercises.

The learning activities in the first two years of the curriculum take place in the school’s state-of-the-art Medical Education Building and in community health sites. The advanced clinical instruction that constitutes the bulk of the second two years of instruction takes place in affiliated community hospitals and clinics.

Admission Requirements/Application Process

Candidates for MD training must complete a minimum of 90 college-level semester credit hours of which the following specific science coursework is required for entry into the MD curriculum.

  • 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)

Each course should be acceptable for students majoring in the above science disciplines. Additional enrichment in the biological and social sciences is encouraged. Applicants must also 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 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 transmit the application to AMCAS is November 1 for regular admission (EST) or August 1 (EST) for Early Decision and Doctor of Medicine Early Acceptance Program Students.

Applicants must also take the nationally administered Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), which deals with knowledge of the biological and biochemical foundations of living systems; chemical and physical foundations of biological systems; psychological, social, and biological foundations of behavior; and critical analysis and reasoning skills. 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) and Doctor of Medicine Early Acceptance Program Students.

Applicants who achieve the required screening cut-off points will be requested to submit additional materials and invited for interviews. Seventy MD candidates are accepted to the entering first-year class.
Inquiries regarding admissions should be directed to the Office of Admissions, John A. Burns School of Medicine, 651 Ilalo Street, MEB 3rd floor, 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.

Graduate Medical Education Programs

Graduate medical education programs in Hawai‘i hospitals are in family medicine, sports medicine, internal medicine, geriatric medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopaedic surgery, pathology, pediatrics, neonatal-perinatal medicine, developmental-behavioral pediatrics, psychiatry (adult, child and adolescent, geriatric, addiction), general surgery, surgical critical care, cardiology, and transitional year. 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 UH 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 graduate medical education program at Chubu Hospital in Okinawa for graduates of Japanese medical schools.