Maui News

UH Requests $1.4M to Train Aspiring Doctors on Maui

December 3, 2019, 10:06 AM HST
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Future physicians could soon receive year-round training on Maui through the University of Hawaiʻiʻs John A. Burns School of Medicine.

Earlier this month, the UH Board of Regents submitted a $1.4 million budget request to create a medical cohort on Maui.

According to university officials, the funds would allow JABSOM to hire eight full time faculty to train about five to six students each, through all four years of medical school.

“Expanding capacity for year-round preclinical and clinical education of medical students on a neighbor island rather than Oʻahu is expected to create a pipeline of new physicians positioned to initiate their practice on the neighbor islands,” the 2020 UH Supplemental Budget Request read.

Medical school representatives believe that residency programs on neighbor islands could be established within three years with the necessary funding and faculty members.

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JABSOM has increased admission for every incoming class since 2010, expanding the entering class from 62 students to 77 without adding faculty or new classrooms.

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According to a press release from the school, Dean Jerris Hedges has asked UH leadership to consider a Maui and Hawaiʻi Island cohort, as data continues to show a decline in the state’s supply of doctors.

The release called the latest data from the Hawaiʻi Physician Workforce Assessment “startling,” citing gaps in specialty care physicians on neighbor islands that require patients to travel to another island, usually Oʻahu, for emergency aid.

Data shows that Kauaʻi, Maui, and Hawaiʻi Island have no island-based specialists for a variety of health care needs, including colorectal surgeons and neonatal-prenatal doctors.

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The budget request for the Maui-based cohort awaits approval from lawmakers.

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