The John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii at Manoa welcomed 64 new students—its largest class ever—at a "white coat ceremony" Friday at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
The students are entering the class of 2014, which will commence studies next week. Earlier this year, the medical school announced that it would increase class sizes to 64 students from 62.
The incoming students were chosen from more than 1,600 applicants. The average age of the students is 24, and 52 percent of the class is female.
Hawaii residents make up 90 percent of admitted students. The class also includes 18 graduates of UH-Manoa and two from UH-Hilo.
With a severe shortage of physicians in the state, the medical school said it is hopeful that its graduates will choose to practice medicine in Hawaii after graduation. A recent physician work force summit said the state’s physician shortage could double or triple by 2020 as doctors here approach retirement age.
During Friday’s ceremony, the future doctors received white coats to symbolize their acceptance into medical school. They were also led in a recitation of the physician’s creed.