Hawaii Residency Program

University of Hawaii Pediatric Residency Program
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A message from our Chair

Aloha from the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Hawai`i John A. Burns School of Medicine. I am excited about your interest in our residency program. Our commitment to providing you the foundation for a lifetime career in pediatrics is evidenced by our excellent training in primary care and subspecialty experiences. At Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children, our specialty access maternity and children’s hospital focuses only on women and children, providing our program with the attention and resources necessary for pediatric excellence. As a community based program housed in a maternity and children's hospital, we are able to take full advantage of an accessible and dedicated faculty in addition to outstanding community role models that work side-by-side with our faculty. We know that location is an important consideration for you, both in your professional and personal life. Here, you have the wonderful integration of a multi-ethnic population of Hawai`i providing opportunities to learn about general pediatrics, health care delivery, different types of clinical practice, child advocacy and research, and the humanistic aspects of pediatric care, all with a mindfulness to multi-cultural perspectives. Hawai‘i is also a great place to live and to enjoy the benefits of true paradise. Honolulu is rated as the top U.S. city based on quality of living in 2011. The Gallup Group found that Hawai‘i is one of two states to be in the top 10 list of highest well-being state every year in the nation, since tracking began in 2008. The care of patients here is a joy. Many practitioners who move here comment on the pleasure of their practice because of the grateful patients that we serve. The “Live Aloha” spirit truly still exists.

I hope that in reading about our residency program, you will share my enthusiasm for the quality and uniqueness of our program. Please access our annual department report  for greater detail. We welcome your application and I look forward to meeting you personally.


Kenneth Nakamura, M.D., C.M.O.
Professor and Chair
Dr. Nakamura's Journey to Chair Pediatrics , in the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, UHMedNow, April 2, 2012.

kurahara Thank you for your interest in the University of Hawaii Pediatric Residency Program! 

We are excited to share information about our training program, life as a pediatric resident, and life in Hawaii.  As Dr. Nakamura mentioned in his message, our program offers the close-knit community of a small program while simultaneously exposing our residents to a wide-variety of common and unusual illnesses in a socially and culturally diverse population.  Our residents come from medical schools from all over, further adding to the richness of the living and training experience that we offer.  In our program, we strive to support and challenge our residents to grow and thrive in their clinical, research, and quality improvement endeavors. Residents enjoy lots of direct contact with faculty, who are devoted to their education.  Our graduates work all over the world in academic and community-based settings, and pursue fellowship training in their top choice programs. 

As you consider University of Hawaii as a residency site, please keep in mind that we offer elective rotations in the Fall and mainland interviews in December, leaving plenty of time to come to Hawaii for a second look. 

Thank you,

David K. Kurahara, M.D.
Associate Professor
Residency Program Director


Congratulations!  You are about to embark on the challenging and rewarding journey towards becoming a pediatrician. We are happy that you are considering our residency program as a place that you can  thrive in this exciting and meaningful role!  We live and work on a beautiful island, full of wonderful families that we care for at Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women & Children.  The interesting pathology that  you will see here is unparalleled, and there is certainly plenty of “bread and butter” pediatrics as well; you will graduate from our program prepared to pursue general pediatrics or a subspecialty of your choice. The smaller nature of our program allows you to have increased 1:1 time with attending physicians, providing a personalized experience throughout the journey.  We look forward to meeting you and sharing our best aloha!  Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.

Best Wishes,

Jennifer Di Rocco, D.O.
Assistant Professor
Associate Residency Program Director


Welcome to anyone who was brave enough or curious enough to consider even briefly a residency in Hawaii. I have figured out over the years that those of us that think about Hawaii are a special group. (Yes, UH students, I already know you are special.) I used to think, “well, who wouldn’t?” But that clearly isn’t the case. This requires a sense of adventure for people who didn’t grow up here. The good news for the special few is that you can have an experience like no other. Not only will you have different patients and treat different diseases from anywhere else in the U.S., but you will get to work with some of the best human beings I have ever met. Nearly everyone that works here from the janitors to the operators to the nurses and doctors are among outrageously kind to our patients and us. We have a dedicated faculty with that weird old fashioned willingness to do almost anything to help their patients, and because our residency is small you get to spend a lot of time with them. And, yes, it is pretty outside too. Besides, if you come here you get to see my great socks. I’m looking forward to meeting you when you come to visit and can’t wait to start working with you as you learn to be the best pediatrician you can be.

Gina French, M.D.
Associate Professor
Associate Residency Program Director



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