UH’s JABSOM Working to Ease Doctor Shortage

Amid the chronic physician shortage on Hawai’i Island, the John A. Burns School of Medicine has placed one of its paid faculty members on the Big Island for the first time.

The medical school’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology is posting Dr. Kareem Khozain at Bay Clinic, according to Hilo physician Dr. John Uohara.  The milestone will be celebrated on Friday, May 12 at a luncheon at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center.

“This is extraordinary because JABSOM is reaching out to the Big Island,” Dr. Uohara said.  “This is a wonderful start, and we feel it will go a long way to easing the physician shortage.”

Dr. Uohara, who is among 100 physicians on the Island who graduated from JABSOM, credited the school’s Department of OB-GYN Chairperson Dr. Ivika Zalud, JABSOM Dean Dr. Jerris Hedges and Mayor Harry Kim with helping to spearhead this initiative.

He said there is a proposal to rotate all of JABSOM’s third-year residents through Hilo Medical Center; this would be a required rotation.  “People who do residencies tend to stay there,” he said.

“We feel that JABSOM’S actions are transformational,” Dr. Uohara said.

This initiative is a cooperative effort between two State entities, JABSOM and the Hilo Medical Center, in partnership with the County of Hawai’i.

Department of Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler, Dr. Hedges, Mayor Kim, and CEO of Hilo Medical Center Dan Brinkman will be among the speakers at the May 12 event.  Kurt Corbin, the Chairman of the East Hawai’i Regional Board of Hawai’i Health Systems Corporation, will also speak.