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Keaʻau Graduate Accepted Into 2020 UH MD Class

June 14, 2016, 1:58 PM HST
* Updated July 1, 1:20 PM
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ʻImi Hoʻōla 2015-2016 Class: (From left) Gavin Ha, Keith Sablan, Christina Kawai, Britney Quibelan, Carrie Ip, Leilani Manglicmot, Jaymes Lonzanida, Eddy Leung. Photo by UHMed

Carrie Ip of Keaʻau, a graduate of Waiākea High School in Hilo and the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo (biology), was one of eight students to be accepted into the University of Hawai’i MD Class of 2020.

The students (see below) earned their admission letters in the hardest, most fulfilling way possible—by completing the rigorous curriculum of the ʻImi Hoʻōla (“Those Who Seek to Heal”) Post-Baccalaureate Program.

The program recruits applicants from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds or communities, and the first slots in the upcoming MD class are reserved for those who complete the course.

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Their training in science and the humanities is compressed into less than a year in the ʻImi classroom.

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Tonight, they will celebrate with their families in the Medical Education Building Auditorium at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

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The seven other MD students are:

• Carrie Ip of Keaʻau on Hawaiʻi Island, a graduate of Waiākea High School in Hilo and the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo (Biology).

• Gavin Ha of Honolulu, a graduate of Roosevelt High School in Honolulu and the Washington State University (Biochemistry).

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• Christina Kawai of ʻAiea, a graduate of ʻAiea High School and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (Molecular Cell Biology).

• Eddy Leung of Honolulu, a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (Molecular Cell Biology).

• Jaymes Lonzanida of Pearl City, a graduate of Pearl City High School and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (Microbiology/Bacteriology).

• Leilani Mangilcmot of Waipahū, a graduate of Waipahū High School, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (Biology) and Johns Hopkins University (MS, Molecular Biology).

• Britney Quibelan of ʻAiea, a graduate of Santa Teresa High School in San Jose and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (Biology, Women’s Studies).

• Keith Sablan of Guam, a graduate of Notre Dame High School and the University of Guam (Biology).

They will meet their classmates in the MD Class of 2020 in mid-July, when all 70 members of the incoming class begin their studies.

The ʻImi program, in its 42nd year, selects up to 12 applicants per year from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds or communities, including rural towns in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific. Those selected have the opportunity to earn admission to the University of Hawaiʻi medical school through a challenging one-year premed course. They are able to focus solely on their learning through generous stipends provided by The Queen’s Health Systems.

Graduates of the ʻImi program have gone on to earn their JABSOM degrees and achieve great success. Alumni include Gerard Akaka, MD, chief medical officer and vice president of The Queen’s Medical Center; Naleen Andrade, MD, the first woman psychiatrist of Native Hawaiian descent in Hawaiʻi who is now the designated institutional officer of JABSOM’s Graduate Medical Education; Chiyome Fukino, MD, former Hawaiʻi state director of health, and many physicians who are helping provide top-notch care to communities throughout Hawaiʻi.

ʻImi is not limited to students of Native Hawaiian ancestry, but many have been, along with students of Filipino, Chamorran, Micronesian and Samoan ancestry.

So far, the program has successfully nurtured more than 250 MDs—about 40% of them physicians of Native Hawaiian ancestry.

A majority of the ʻImi graduates practice medicine in underserved communities when they complete their MD and MD graduate medical (“Residency Training”) education.

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