UH Mānoa medical students exceed national average in U.S. licensing exam for 7th year in a row

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BY TINA SHELTON – Second year medical students at UH Mānoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) have out-scored their peers across the nation in the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) Step 1 for the seventh year in a row, most recently with 100% of the class passing the exam, and the class’ scores exceeding the national average by a stunning eleven points.



“Each of the past seven years, our medical student scores have risen,” said Jerris Hedges, MD, Dean of JABSOM. “We are exceedingly proud of our students, and we want the people of Hawai`i to know how exceptional these students – 90% of them Hawai`i residents—truly are.”


Dean Hedges believes JABSOM’s intensive, problem-based curriculum gives its students the opportunity to excel at school, post-graduate training and throughout their life-long careers in medicine.  Problem-based learning immerses JABSOM students in both learning and hands-on patient care throughout their four years of medical school.


Dean Hedges said the streak of above-average scores by the UH medical school’s second-year students is a testament to the commitment of the school’s faculty and its more than 1,000 volunteer clinical faculty throughout the State. “We strive to produce not only more physicians but the best physicians for Hawai`i,” Hedges said.


The USMLE evaluates the students’ knowledge at the halfway point of their education. Medical students around the country must pass the exam before they proceed into clinical training rounds at teaching hospitals in their third year of study. JABSOM partners with The Queen’s Medical Center, Hawai`i Pacific Health medical centers, Kuakini Medical Center, Tripler Army Hospital, Wahiawā General Hospital and other community facilities in training Hawai`i’s future doctors.


This Saturday, JABSOM will graduate 64 new physicians in the Class of 2012.



Tina Shelton is the Communications Director and Legislative Coordinator for John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa