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VIDEO: JABSOM’s volunteer medical professors to qualify for new state tax credit in appreciation of their dedication

Date: June 12th, 2018 in JABSOM News    Print or PDF

Governor holds up signed bill with lawmakers who supported it.

Pictured: Governor Ige holds the signed copy of the new law, surrounded by current and former Hawaiʻi State lawmakers who supported the measure. From left to right, Senator Jill Tokuda, Senator Lorraine Inouye, Senator Roz Baker, Senator Gilbert Keith-Agaran, Representative Angus McKelvey. Photo by Tina Shelton, UH Med.

By Tina Shelton, JABSOM Communications Director, with Deborah Manog Dimaya UH Med Now

More than 1,200 physicians in Hawaiʻi are volunteer medical professors.

They donate their time to help train the next generation of physicians for the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM). In clinics and in their offices statewide, these dedicated physicians – many who are JABSOM alumni – allow our future doctors to learn first-hand from experienced doctors while they are “on the job.”

On June 13, a new law was signed to allow these vital volunteer doctor/professors called “preceptors,” to receive an annual tax credit of up to $5,000 per year, in recognition of their longstanding service to our State. Volunteer professors for Advanced Practice Nurses at the University of Hawaiʻi School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene and pharmacists who volunteer for the UH Hilo Daniel Inouye School of Pharmacy qualify, too.

“The health preceptor Tax Credit will enable more students to go into pharmacy school, nursing school and medical school because they’ll have the professionals, the volunteer professionals, to help them at the end of their journey,” said Sen. Roz Baker, Chair of the State Senate’s Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health. By the “end of their journey,” she refers to the clinical training years which in medical school are in the third and fourth years, and throughout their post-graduate training as MD Residents, too.

JABSOM Dean Jerris Hedges noted that the Hawaiʻi law may be unique in extending the tax credit benefit to training of advanced practice nurses and pharmacists. “That is forward-looking, actually, because increasingly our community-based clinical training involves interdisciplinary teams of health providers,” said Hedges. Interdisciplinary, one-stop-shop clinics represent a model of care expected to continue to grow, he said.

Annually, JABSOM educates some 280 MD students and trains another 200-300 physicians in MD Residency or Fellowship (specialty training) programs in partnership with hospitals in Hawaiʻi. The volunteer clinical faculty members take the time to be aware of the most recent developments in medicine, and without them donating their time in their offices and in JABSOM classrooms, the medical school could not perform its mission in the exemplary fashion which has earned it superior rankings among its peer institutions.

Watch our UH Med Now Video.


The tax credit measure, SB 2298, also allows tax credits for the volunteers who help the UH train our state’s future advanced practice registered nurses and pharmacists, who along with MDs are in too-short supply statewide.

Dr. Melanie Arakaki is pictured in the center.

Pictured: Dr. Melanie Arakaki, (JABSOM MD 1998) is a preceptor to medical students rotating through her offices in Hilo. Dr. Arakaki is pictured in the center, when she received the first Award of Teaching Excellence by the Hawaiʻi Academy of Family Physicians, in 2016.

A Preceptor’s Life
Dr. Melanie Arakaki (JABSOM MD 1998), an award-winning preceptor and family medicine physician, often jokes that MD students have completed their rotation through her “torture chamber” during their training stints in her Hilo office. Dr. Arakaki and her staff always present the medical students a completion cake. But the students obviously love their time learning under Dr. Arakaki’s supervision, because when they graduate from medical school they have been known to fly over to Hawaiʻi island to stop by her office to say thank you, “Doctor-to-Doctor”.

Dr. Subodh Mishra, MD 2018, was among the former students taught in Hilo by Dr. Arakaki who ventured back to say mahalo after earning his degree in May 2018.

Preceptors certainly earn any honors they receive. And a thank-you and just the recognition of the State Legislature goes a long way to add to their job satisfaction and sacrifice. As the Hawaiʻi State Legislature put it, the bill “…encourages preceptors (volunteer teachers) to offer professional instruction, training, and supervision to students and residents seeking careers as primary care physicians and advanced practice registered nurses throughout Hawai’i, with the intention of building capacity for clinical education at in-state academic programs that are nationally accredited for the training of primary care physicians, advanced practice registered nurses, and pharmacy professionals.”

Watch the news video from KITV-4:


“For the individual preceptor, this is a symbol that we care about providers in Hawaiʻi and we appreciate their teaching,” said Dr. Kelley Withy, a JABSOM professor who championed the bill, along with others within the University and government, as one of a list of measures needed to help Hawaiʻi train and retain more physicians in a climate where we already are short some 700 doctors based on the state population.

The amount of the tax credit, according to the measure, “…shall be equal to $1,000 for each volunteer-based supervised clinical training rotation supervised by the taxpayer, up to a maximum of $5,000 per taxable year, regardless of the number of volunteer-based supervised clinical training rotations supervised by the taxpayer.”

“The amount isn’t big, but the sentiment is enormous,” said Dr. Mary Boland, Dean of UH Mānoa Nursing and Dental Hygiene. “To help these preceptors, these volunteer professors, feel that their countless volunteer hours are valued.”

The tax credit applies to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2018.

Read the Preceptor Tax Credit Video Captions Transcript

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