About Us

The John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa is one of the leading medical education institutions in the United States.

JABSOM ranked #24 in the country in Primary Care in the 2021 “Best U.S. Medical Schools” list by U.S. News & World Report.

The medical school also is a national leader according to educational data released in 2021 by the Association of American Medical Colleges which show:

  • JABSOM has led the nation the past five years in producing Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander physicians
  • JABSOM has a larger proportion of faculty who are women than 88% of other medical schools
  • More JABSOM graduates are practicing primary care 10 years following graduation (the time it takes for full training and licensing to practice) than occurs at 78% of other medical schools (with more graduates choosing a primary care field for training than 88% of other medical schools)
  • More JABSOM graduates are practicing in-state 10 years following graduation than occurs at 50% of medical schools
  • JABSOM medical graduates considered themselves better trained to care for people of different backgrounds than graduates at 99% of medical schools
  • More JABSOM medical graduates planned to care for the underserved than graduates at 85% of medical schools, and
  • JABSOM led the nation in preparing students to address health disparities in their communities

Our Vision: A.L.O.H.A.

Aloha is a cherished tradition in Hawai‘i, comprised of many layers which guide our way of life. At JABSOM, aloha embraces diversity. Aloha is also spelled out in our school’s vision: Attaining Lasting Optimal Health for All — ALOHA.


In Hawai‘i roots are important. People here have a special need to remember, and pay homage to the past and to those who went before us. Few could guess back in the late 1960’s that Le‘ahi Hospital would become the genesis for a major medical school. One who did, and was instrumental in its founding was Hawai‘i’s Governor John A. Burns. The Board of Regents named the school “The John A. Burns School of Medicine of the University of Hawai‘i” in tribute to him. The goals and philosophy of JABSOM epitomize the public career of the late Governor Burns and his vision for Hawai‘i.

The School opened in 1965 as a two-year program of basic medical sciences, and became a four-year degree granting program in 1973.

The Hawai‘i State Legislature’s commitment to a medical school for the people of Hawai’i was strengthened when lawmakers approved use of tobacco “Master Settlement Agreement” funds to build and help operate the Kaka‘ako oceanfront campus of the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM). The campus, a site chosen by Governor Ben Cayetano, opened in 2005. We proudly educate our students and the people of Hawai‘i about the dangers of smoking and we treat those suffering from tobacco-related disease.

Many prestigious private foundations as well as the U.S. and foreign governments have provided generous grants and funding over the years. This distinguished list includes the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Pew Memorial Trust, and the Queen Emma Foundation, just to name a few.

In 1992, a Harvard University study of the nature and scope of medical education reforms in the United States and Canada identified the John A. Burns School of Medicine as one of ten “… leaders in the reform and improvement of medical education.”

Governor John A. Burns

Governor John A. Burns


The school’s basic mission is not only to train high-quality physicians, but also to train biomedical scientists and allied health workers. Degrees and programs offered at JABSOM include the following.

  • Doctor of Medicine (MD) Program:
  • Master of Science (MS) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees:
    • Biomedical Sciences (Tropical Medicine) (MS, PhD)
    • Cell and Molecular Biology (MS, PhD)
    • Quantitative Health and Clinical Research (MS)
    • Communication Sciences Disorders (MS)
    • Developmental and Reproductive Biology (MS, PhD)
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) or other programs and certificates:
    • Graduate Certificate (GCERT) in Tropical Medicine
    • Graduate Certificate (GCERT) in Clinical Research
    • Medical Technology Bachelor of Science (BS)
    • Medical Technology Post-Baccalaureate Program
  • Graduate Medical Education (MD Residency & Fellowship Training):
    • Internal Medicine (including Geriatrics and Cardiovascular Disease fellowships)
    • Surgery (including Surgical Critical Care)
    • Family Medicine (including Sports Medicine)
    • Psychiatry (including Geriatric, Child and Adolescent, Addiction Psychiatry, and Addiction-Medicine)
    • Obstetrics and Gynecology (including Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Complex Family Planning)
    • Pediatrics (including Neonatal-Perinatal)
    • Pathology
    • Orthopedic Surgery


The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa is one of the most ethnically diverse institutions of higher education in the nation and is one of only 13 institutions in the US to hold the distinction of being a land-, sea-, and space-grant research institution.

JABSOM houses the largest biomedical research facility in Hawai‘i. It has the first clinical department at a U.S. medical school that is focused on health disparities of an indigenous population, the Native Hawaiians.


The JABSOM campus is located on the island of O‘ahu approximately three miles west of the University of Hawai‘i Mānoa campus in Kaka‘ako, adjacent to Kaka‘ako Waterfront Park near downtown Honolulu. The Kaka‘ako area is an emerging epicenter for Hawai‘i’s urban-island culture for residents, artists, chefs and entrepreneurs. For more information on the campus, go to Campus Information.

Back to Top