I am currently working with the Hilo Medical Center and the University of Hawaii John A Burns School of Medicine to support the Rural Residency Program in Hilo. This is a multi-disciplinary clinic in which doctors, nurses, and pharmacist work together in providing patient care.
Studies show that medical residents have a greater chance of opening their practice where they have completed their residency. Currently we are graduating 66 students a year from the medical school in Hawaii and only a fraction of these MD's can stay in Hawaii to complete their medical training. Creating more rural residency opportunities is an investment being made now to address the shortage of medical doctors in Hawaii.
In the future, we will replicate this model in other rural areas throughout the state which will increase the likelihood of physicians opening a practice in these areas as well as possibly lowering the cost of medicine by diverting emergency room patients into a more economical clinical setting.