UH Medical School Adjusts to Meet Hawai‘i’s Doctor Shortage

Sep 13, 2016

Credit Dr.Farouk / Flickr

Hawai‘i is still experiencing a shortage of doctors… but help may be on the way.  A survey conducted by the John A. Burns School of Medicine says just under 3,000 doctors are licensed to treat patients in Hawai‘i. 

Last year yielded some good news, the state lost 45 doctors to retirement, but gained 97 new doctors…a huge jump from just four new recruits the year before.

O‘ahu had the biggest deficit… with about 500 doctors needed.  But the impact is more severe on the neighbor islands where the workforce is straining to meet the growing population and many specialized positions remain unfilled.

Dr. Kelley Withy is the Director of the JABSOM Area Health Education Center.  

Withy says the school is attempting to address the problem with larger class sizes…. and more outreach to attract prospective health workers.  She adds that when doctors train and do their residency in Hawai‘i, they have a much higher chance of staying in the islands. 

The John A. Burns School of Medicine posts information about health care, and becoming a physician on their website