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Match Day madness at JABSOM gifts every medical student a residency program

 Aly Baniqued receives her match envelope at JABSOM on March 17, 2023.
Vina Cristobal
Aly Baniqued receives her match envelope at JABSOM on March 17, 2023.

More than 70 medical students from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine will soon take the next step in their careers.

For the last four years, these students have worked toward Match Day, a day when they learn where they’ll work for the next several years to complete their medical training.

It was Match Day at medical schools across the country Friday as seniors found out if, and where, they’ll train to become full-fledged doctors.

All med students in the U.S. open their envelopes at the same time, which means a 7 a.m. ceremony for Hawaiʻi students.

JABSOM student Clark Caballero opened his envelope after he applied to about 45 programs. He matched with UH.

"Staying here, I want to give back to the community and take care of that older population, the kupuna," Caballero said.

Applying for residency is a competitive process. The reality is that there are nearly 43,000 students nationwide applying for a little more than 40,000 spots, meaning some will not find a match.

Fortunately, for the 72 students in the JABSOM class of 2023, everyone received a match, including pathology student Britanny Sato.

"UH was my first choice. I’m very grateful that they matched me," Sato said. "Ultimately, I want to be here in Hawaiʻi. What better place to train than the place I want to serve."

For family medicine student Kamuela Andrade, it's a sense of kuleana, or responsibility, that's driven him to select a residency in the islands.

"Particularly the Native Hawaiians, that demographic, I’ve always felt it’s a community that needs some representation in this field and I’m glad and I hope that I can fill that kind of role," Andrade said.

But a majority of JABSOM graduates head to residency programs on the mainland.

Hawaiʻi programs offer a little more than 100 residency slots to aspiring doctors — with 22 of them going to JABSOM graduates.

Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi is a general assignment reporter at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Her commitment to her Native Hawaiian community and her fluency in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi has led her to build a de facto ʻōiwi beat at the news station. Send your story ideas to her at khiraishi@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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