UH Considers Expanding Medical School to Maui Amid Doctor Shortage

February 23, 2020, 8:43 PM HST · Updated February 23, 8:43 PM
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Photo courtesy: University of Hawai’i at Mānoa.

To combat Hawai’i’s worsening physician shortage, the University of Hawai’i is proposing to expand its John A. Burns School of Medicine to Maui.

According to the University, Hawaiʻi is short more than 800 physicians, and shortages are most severe on the neighbor islands.

Maui County is in need of 153 doctors.    

Some patients on Maui are forced to wait up to six months for an appointment or opt to postpone treatment.

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However, UH is asking state lawmakers to consider a $1.4-million expansion of JABSOM to the Valley Isle with hopes of retaining more medical students and increasing the number of local doctors.

Research shows more than 80 percent of doctors who attend medical school and train in-state end up practicing there too.

If funding is approved, recruitment for a Maui-based teaching hub could begin in the next academic year.

If funding is approved in 2020, the first class could start in July 2021.

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