JABSOM ʻOhana Connection Night Sheds Light on Medical School Experience

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It's widely known that medical school can be rigorous. Intensive studying, conducting research, participating in Learning Communities, prepping for medical licensure exams, going on rotations, and applying for residency are all part of the JABSOM experience. On Thursday night, JABSOM Interim Dean Lee Buenconsejo-Lum, MD, Director of Medical Education, Jill Omori, MD, and Lawrence Burgess, MD, Director of Student Affairs, spent the evening connecting with parents to give them a deeper understanding of what their student does in each year at JABSOM.

"Having this opportunity to see where they're at and what their future is this year and next year is really important to me," said Scott Lawton, father of second-year medical student Dylan Lawton.

With food provided by JABSOM's Friends of the Medical School, dozens of parents of second-year medical students joined the ʻOhana Connection Night in person and online. 

As Dr. Omori detailed the intensive work in a medical student's third year, parents left with a greater understanding of the challenges ahead.

"The level of testing and studying that he has to do is remarkable," Lawton said. "Coupled with the stresses of everyday life, getting through that is really difficult, so it helps me to understand what he's going through. Now I understand that he can't come for Sunday dinner or he can't do the things that we normally used to do."

ʻOhana Connection Night is an opportunity to raise families' awareness around JABSOM MD program curriculum and supports while reinforcing the need for families to nurture and encourage their learners.

"I'm much more understanding about that and will actively support him more," Lawton said. "I think in the end, his journey to where he wants to go will be well worth it. I'm very proud of him and I'm very proud of all the people who helped support him and get him through this."

JABSOM ʻOhana Connection Night started in 2016 but was paused during the pandemic. It returned for the first time in 2024, and parents are grateful for the access and transparency provided by JABSOM administrators.

"It's invaluable to have this opportunity to have a moment to talk face-to-face with JABSOM leaders and to talk to other parents as well," Lawton said. 

JABSOM will welcome the families of our current third-year students at the next ʻOhana Connection Night on April 4.