Medical Schools In Hawaii: How To Top The Application List

The best medical schools in Hawaii have over the years improved in becoming better and more suited for prospective medical students.

The state of Hawaii is a place where residents may take advantage of everything, including lush jungles, a rich cultural past, and delectable food. Hawai’i does not, however, have a wide selection of medical schools.

The University of Hawaii has a medical program that would be unmatched even if there were other colleges with which it could be compared.

The university is a great place to learn, with a 320-acre campus and a $327 billion endowment. High achievers have graduated from UH throughout its more than 100-year history, including Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons and Senator Tammy Duckworth. 

The school is committed to supporting its diverse student group and provides everything a student could ask for, including excellent support personnel, cutting-edge labs, and other things.

In this article, you will get to see the various medical schools in Hawaii, their ranking, requirements, and other interesting details.

Steps on how to become a medical practitioner

To become a medical practitioner, there are some steps you will need to consider. And they are:

Earn a bachelor’s degree

Before applying to medical schools in Hawaii, you need to first finish a bachelor’s degree program. 

For undergraduate study, students can select from a wide range of majors; nevertheless, you should make sure that your course load contains a sufficient quantity of science studies. 

Additionally, you must complete your undergraduate courses in mathematics, English, and social sciences.

Take the Medical College Admissions Test as a success suggestion (MCAT). Nearly all medical schools in the United States require MCAT performance results. 

The MCAT includes sections that examine biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics content. A person may take the MCAT up to three times a year if they intend to apply to medical school.

Finish medical school.

It takes four years to graduate from medical school. Students receive core courses in the practice of medicine, human systems, and diseases during their first two years. 

You will rotate through various hospital specialty departments throughout your final two years of medical school to obtain experience in patient care while being supervised by faculty. 

The U.S. Medical Licensing Examination is one of several tests that you must pass in your final year.

You should also check out the best medical schools in New York if you want a city that supports good un-winding and academics

Finish your residency

Residency programs are selected by people based on their desired careers. These courses address both broad medical principles and particular medical specialties and often run for three to eight years. 

Residents carry out a wide range of complex tasks, including doing physical examinations, gathering patient histories, attending conferences, and interpreting test results. 

Individual preferences are used by the National Resident Matching Program to match applicants to residency programs.

Obtain a License

Every doctor needs to have a license in order to practice medicine. Candidates must get a degree from a recognized medical school in order to be eligible for licensing. 

Candidates must also pass the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination and finish a residency program (USMLE). 

For example, some jurisdictions may only allow candidates a set number of chances to pass the USMLE, but others may not place any restrictions on the number of USMLE tries. Each state has its own licensing criteria.

Why Study Medicine in Hawaii? 

Education possibilities

Hawaii is one of the top 5 states in the US to live in. Scholars can pursue certain educational possibilities there as well.


Hawaii is a safe place with a basic, traditional way of life. Reviews from some locals claim that it is a safe haven for both tourists and guests.

Life expectancy is high

Hawaii has one of the greatest life expectancies in the nation. This is due to its laid-back, serene, and calm style of life.

Medical education’s quality

Despite the fact that Utah only has one medical school nationwide, US News and World Report has given it high rankings.

Top medical schools in Hawaii

The state of Hawaii has just one medical school, and you will get to see all you need to know about the school.

University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine (Honolulu, HI)

The state’s flagship university was founded as a land-grant institution in 1907, despite the fact that Hawaii did not become a state until 1959. 

Since then, the university has developed into a top-tier research institution, in great part because of its John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM).

With a $57 million endowment, JABSOM is the industry leader in both medical research and doctor training. 

The school is ranked 64th nationally for research (tied with Rush University in Chicago) and 24th for primary care by U.S. News & World Report (tied with the University of Vermont and Ivy League schools Dartmouth College and the University of Pennsylvania).

The dedication to diversity that JABSOM embodies with the slogan ALOHA: Attain Lasting Optimal Health for All is arguably the school’s most striking feature. 

This goal directs JABSOM to develop a learning community that represents the diversity of the island it is situated on. 

This purpose involves behaving “with thoughtfulness towards right relationships, respect, and moral action,” as well as forging “alliances unique to Hawai’i and the Asia-Pacific region.”

The JABSOM uses a problem-based learning curriculum that emphasizes community-based medicine to accomplish these objectives. By placing students in clinical rotations and internships at their numerous partner hospitals, such as Wahiawa General Hospital, Straub Clinic and Hospital, the Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children, and U.S. Army and Veteran’s Affairs Clinics, the school offers students practical, hands-on training. 

University of Hawaii–Manoa (Burns) is ranked No. 74 (tie) in Best Medical Schools: Research and No. 24 in Best Medical Schools: Primary Care. Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence.

Also, to be admitted into this school you need a GPA of 3.76, and an MCAT of 511.

For more options, you can check out the best medical schools in the world

Requirements of medical schools in Hawaii

MCAT and GPA required for admission

The University of Hawaii’s medical school has high standards. JABSOM is the only medical school in the state, hence admission is quite competitive.

A total of 2,176 applicants tried to get into the program in 2020, including 300 applicants from Hawaii and 1,876 applicants from out of state. 

JABSOM only admitted 67 in-state students and 10 out-of-state students after interviewing 306 applications, for a remarkably low acceptance rate of just 3.5 percent. Even the Ivy League colleges are less stringent than that, with the exception of Harvard, which accepts only 3.4 percent of applicants.

With such a low acceptance rate, it is understandable that the university has high expectations for academic performance. The average undergraduate GPA of those accepted into JABSOM is 3.76. The accepted students’ average MCAT score is 512.

These figures are consistent with those of the majority of the nation’s medical schools. The risks are substantially higher because this institution is the only one of its kind in Hawaii. 

Application requirements include passing the MCAT within three years of graduating from undergraduate studies and having completed 90 credits at an authorized institution.

Students must enroll in lab-based courses like general biology, general physics, general chemistry, and organic chemistry during their undergraduate education. 

They must study biochemistry, but there is no need for a lab component. Students should consider taking classes in anatomy, calculus, cell and molecular biology, genetics, etc., according to the admissions handbook.

Strategies for admission to medical schools in Hawaii

Applicants who want to study at JABSOM must be thoughtful when filling out their applications due to the institution’s low admission rate. 

Of course, one should study hard to get the necessary total GPA and earn top grades in the aforementioned mandatory courses. To pass the MCAT and fulfill those fundamental prerequisites, taking test preparation classes and exercising on practice examinations can be helpful. 

But getting into JABSOM—or any medical school—is more complicated than just playing the numbers. Admissions officers prefer students in their program who are well-rounded rather than merely test takers.

Beyond only GPA and MCAT scores, JABSOM has admissions procedures to ensure that they enroll those kinds of students. 

Future applicants must first submit an American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) application, which provides crucial details to prospective institutions across the nation. The application period opens on June 1 and closes on November 1 for the regular deadline and August 1 for the early decision program. 

Students must include a $150 application fee. Make sure you budget for this charge as it is non-negotiable when submitting your application.

The JABSOM program also requires a separate application that is exclusive to their program after submitting the AMCAS. Although it may seem like a redundant step, the supplementary application actually benefits the majority of students. 

One has even more opportunities to stand out and demonstrate to the school what a well-rounded student they could be with this supplemental application.

Recommendation letters

The secondary application specifically asks for letters of recommendation. Most people are aware that a solid letter of reference ought to be written by a reputable professor in their profession, but it isn’t the only consideration. 

Don’t ask for a letter from a professor who gave you a B in their class; instead, ask for a letter from someone who knows you well and who can speak to your qualities and abilities.

One should begin early in order to obtain a strong letter of recommendation. Take steps to collaborate with instructors who have a solid reputation in the sector you intend to enter. Establish a working relationship with them by taking numerous classes and volunteering together. Of course, make sure to get high marks in your classes.

More than any other aspect of your application, letters of recommendation highlight your skills and character. 

You’ll have the best chance of being one of the select few who is accepted into the Burns School of Medicine, though, if you have high marks and a compelling application.

5 things to consider when moving to Hawaii

Hawaii’s cost of living may appear excessive, but many inhabitants will gush about how much they adore the state and offer advice, making the transfer simpler. Here are some things to be aware of:

1. Traffic is still very congested

Unless you work remotely, Hawaii won’t let you escape your commute. When you are traveling alongside cliffs and coastlines, it is challenging to take backroads.

2. Amazing and terrible wildlife 

You are only a few minutes away from magnificent coral reefs, whale pods, and a variety of birds. However, this also means that you are not far from snakes, spiders, and other types of wild animals.

3. Island hopping is common

You can still travel to other islands even if you relocate to one of them. In certain areas, you can go on day outings or have weekend vacations.

4. Locals enjoy special prices

Even though Hawaii’s high cost of living may frighten you, many establishments give you a discount if you have a local ID or driver’s license.

5. The mainland is expensive and time-consuming to visit

Living in Hawaii could be difficult if you need to travel, need to work, or like to explore the United States. From Honolulu, it takes six hours to fly to Los Angeles, and prices might increase during the busiest travel times. You must carefully plan your trips.


When the medical schools in Hawaii are compared with other medical schools, it is evident that Hawaii medical school still stands out.

Frequently asked questions about medical schools in Hawaii.

How long is med school in Hawaii?

The University of Hawaii at Manoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine is the sole medical school in Hawaii and offers a 4-year MD-granting curriculum. 

Why are doctors leaving Hawaii?

Doctors are leaving Hawaii because of the cost of living, which is the highest in the nation at 195% above the national average, so it is no surprise that doctors are leaving the state. 


What salary do you need to live comfortably in Hawaii?

A salary of about $20 will be enough for housing, food, transportation, healthcare, and other costs.

Why is Hawaii healthcare the best?

Hawaii has the best healthcare because the hospital market is not so occupied.

How long does it take to get medical license in Hawaii?

From the date of application, it normally takes 45 to 120 days for the Hawaii Physician License to be issued.

Can I live in Hawaii on $2000 a month?

If you want to rent, you may expect to pay just under $2,000 per month—but only if you choose to pay the median amount.


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