HSOG Year End Report
The State of Hawaii faces a shortage of 800 physicians. (Please see JABSOM report to the State Legislature 2022). This is most evident in rural areas and Neighbor Islands. HSOG has attempted to address this problem with a three pronged effort: Engagement, Awareness, and Opportunity.
The Neighbor Island rotations for the 3rd and 4th year residents of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology has existed for 11 years. The program rotated thru the island of Maui for seven years and resulted in 4 residents (who had no other connection to Maui) locating to practice on the island.
The Hilo Resident rotation is in its 4th year of existence and has resulted in 3 physicians who have located to Hawaii County. In addition, 3 physicians who have graduated in June will share one FTE at North Hawaii Community Hospital. The Department of OB/GYN has located 4 new physicians (Drs. Stickley, Kozaim, Adrian, and Stowers) who are full time faculty to Hilo. This is the first Department from JABSOM to place full time faculty in a remote location. This was done at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars and a belief that the Hilo Rotation should be an integral part of the Residency training.
This rotation of one month per 3rd and 4th year resident is vital to continuing the pipeline of physicians. Exposing young doctors to a rural workplace is an important experience in their lives. Please see: Hawaii Journal of Health and Social welfare, April 2023 Volume 82 No. 4: ISWN 2641-5216, “Perceived Impact of a Core Rotation on Hawaii Island on Future Career Intentions among OB/GYN residents”.
HSOG has supported these efforts since its inception. We have provided for housing, airfare and a stipend.
HSOG’s 2nd Annual IMUA: Womens Health was held on May 6, 2023. The attendance increased from 30 (1st year) to 62. The purpose of the conference was to bring awareness to the medical disparities that exists in rural and remote areas. Speakers in telehealth, drug addictions, Hawaiian cultural birth practices were some of the topics that helped enlightened medical students residents, and attending physicians. Support for our mission of locating physicians to rural and neighbor islands was overwhelming positive.
The Physicians’ Career Pathways was co-sponsored by the Hawaii Residency Program and was held on May 9, 2023. It was attended by more than 30 resident physicians. Kauai, Maui and Hawaii Island were all represented.
Hilo Medical Center, North Hawaii Community Hospital and Kona Community Hospital/Alii Health Center had the opportunity to meet with prospective employees. They were also able to make valuable contacts of Department Chairmen and Administrators from the Hawaii Residency program. These alliances have set the groundwork for future resident rotations of many specialties. The event was attended by Governor Josh Green and covered by television as well as print media. This was Hawaii’s first Physicians Job Fair solely dedicated to the Neighbor Islands.
HSOG was fortunate to receive support from the Hawaii Community Foundation (Yoshinaga Family Foundation), Hawaii County Non-profit Grant in aid, Woolsey Foundation, and various individual donors.
This past year, HSOG made a change in its bylaws to include all physician specialties to be located in rural areas. This change was made after much discussion from the board. The Board concluded that efforts to recruit all specialties to areas of need would be most impactful for the State. Going forward we are excited at the larger scope of work and are confident that our efforts will lead to an even greater positive change.