Celebrating 40 Years of ‘Imi Ho‘ōla
Winona K. Lee M.D., Malia-Susanne Lee M.D., Dee-Ann Carpenter M.D.
Hawai‘i Journal of Medicine & Public Health
In 1973, the ‘Imi Ho‘ōla (Hawaiian meaning for “those who seek to heal”) Program was formed under the leadership of Dr. Benjamin Young. ‘Imi Ho‘ōla was originally created to increase Pacific Islander and Native Hawaiian representation in medical school by increasing their competitiveness to successfully gain admission and graduate from JABSOM. The program’s mission continues to focus on improving health care for Hawai‘i and the Pacific by increasing the number of physicians through a one year enrichment program. An Advisory Committee, comprised of community leaders in education, medicine, and business was established to review prospective candidates, conduct interviews and select students for the program. In the first two decades of the program’s history (1973–1994), ‘Imi Ho‘ōla focused on premedical enrichment for students preparing to apply to medical school. Up to 25 students were accepted into each class and upon completion, students would competitively apply for entrance into JABSOM.