The State of Hawaii and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Island (USAPI) countries and territories (Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Palau, Territory of Guam, Territory of American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas) have been in need of primary care physicians since the beginning of the century. In Hawaii, physicians are concentrated in and around the capital city of Honolulu leaving many of the outer islands and rural areas of Oahu with poor access to health care providers. Additionally, the Native Hawaiian population of Hawaii and some of the immigrant populations to Hawaii have been marginalized with regards to health care. In the Pacific Basin, where the health care was charged to the United States under United Nations Trusteeship, there is an extreme lack of health manpower, and the health status of the indigenous peoples of these areas is abysmal. The University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) and health leaders of Hawaii and the USAPI have been attempting to rectify the situation.
One means through which these problems have been addressed has been to create a Family Medicine Residency Program to train physicians with an interest, aptitude, and ability to work in the outer islands and rural areas of Hawaii and the Pacific Basin. This residency is based in a rural setting, has community support, and the capability to prepare graduates to work in rural Oahu and the Pacific Basin. The residency is a joint effort between Pali Momi Medical Center (PMMC), JABSOM and other partnering hospitals including The Queen’s Medical Center, Hawaii Pacific Health Systems (Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children and Straub Clinic & Hospital), Wahiawa General Hospital and other community partners.