UH medical school moves up in national rankings

The University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine is moving up in the ranks. U.S. News and World Report ranked the school’s primary care program at number 57, up nine places from last year, and research at 78, up four places from last year. Rankings are reportedly based on both expert opinion and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students.

JABSOM also led the nation for three years in extramural research funding, including gifts and faculty practice income, among land grant universities without a university hospital, a total of $57 million last fiscal year.

Not all would-be doctors follow a traditional path. “(I) was a child nutritionist with the state and federal government before this, and then I decided to take another career step and head to medical school,” said JABSOM student Ken Ortiz.

The 35-year-old says the opportunity couldn’t come at a more critical time. “With our physician shortage here, having a medical school here definitely helps in keeping our physicians home,” Ortiz said.

The young man from Kahaluu is not alone. Many of his 61 other classmates call Hawaii home.

“We’re especially pleased that 90 percent of them come from right here in Hawaii,” said dean Dr. Jerris Hedges. “We have the best in-state acceptance of any public school in the nation and we’re especially pleased with the talent that we are able to recruit from within Hawaii.”

Ortiz may end up doing his residency on the mainland, but when he finishes, he plans to return home. “I love this place,” he said. “It’s my home, it’s my community, and it’s a community I can see myself working with.”

For U.S. News and World Report‘s medical school rankings, click here.

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