Categorized | Education

Medical students set to begin residency training

Krista Kiyosaki, of Hilo, at Friday's 'Match Day' (Photo courtesy of JABSOM)

Krista Kiyosaki, of Hilo, at Friday’s ‘Match Day’ (Photo courtesy of JABSOM)


Can you owe more than $104,000 in educational debt and still be ecstatic? Yes, you can!

Relief, along with ecstasy was in the air Friday at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), as members of the MD Class of 2013 opened the secret envelopes that revealed where they have been accepted into “Residency Training” as newly minted MDs.

The information inside the envelope is what the medical students have worked years for; opening those envelopes on what is called “Match Day” is a pinnacle moment of an MD’s career.

Friday’s “Match” was conducted simultaneously across the country’s time zones, with Hawaii’s ceremony the earliest — starting at 7 a.m.

Across the country, 31,000 students were competing for approximately 24,000 residency positions in the National Resident Matching Program, which coordinates the “Match” by computer, pairing students with training programs and delivering the information inside the Match Day envelopes.

Thirty young men and 25 young women were “matched” at JABSOM.

Class President Krista Kiyosaki of Hilo told her fellow students, “We are incredibly fortunate to pursue our dreams and we get to do something we love every day.”

Sixty-seven percent of JABSOM’s Class of 2013 selected Primary Care Medicine as the specialty they will pursue in required post-MD training. That’s one of the highest percentages in the country choosing primary care, which includes medicine, family medicine and OB-GYN.

The ongoing shortage of physicians in Hawaii is most severe in Primary Care. And JABSOM is very good at primary care. This week US News & World Report ranked us in the Top 75 on its “2014 Best Medical Schools” list.

Dean Jerris Hedges said he was especially glad JABSOM graduates are choosing primary care medicine despite the relatively lower salaries a primary care physician can expect to earn, compared with those in more lucrative fields such as anesthesiology.

On average, individual medical students who graduate from JABSOM have $104,586 in educational debt. Meanwhile, the median income of the families of JABSOM MD students is $85,000 year.

As a class, the totals can seem staggering. JABSOM’s current MD student debt is:

* $2.2 million owed by 48 members of our MD Class of 2015

* $3.4 million owed by 53 members of our MD Class of 2014

* $3.9 million owed by 42 members of our MD Class of 2013

Nevertheless, at JABSOM, screams of joy erupted as the envelopes were opened, followed by several minutes of joyful hugging, high-five’s and even tears of joy, as class members learned where their training would take them next.

The JABSOM MD Class of 2013 includes five neighbor island students, and seven students who entered JABSOM through Imi Hoola Post-Baccalaureate Program, a yearlong intensive study for promising students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Ninety percent of the class are Hawaii residents.

Through the Hawaii Residency Programs, Inc., in partnership with Hawaii’s major health care centers, JABSOM also trains more than 240 MD Residents in 14 specialties.

Some of our newest MD graduates will stay here, while other new MDs from the around the world will begin making plans to train in the Aloha State once they earn their MDs this May.

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