Rural Clinical Rotations

Summary of JABSOM Rural Training Programs

“It was important for me to see what the practice of medicine would be  like on the neighbor islands because I had interest in working there after residency. Now that I experienced the community and health care system there, I feel much more secure in my decision to practice there or in a similar rural community”.  Student, 6L Program First Year Medical Students

Community Health rotations available in community health centers in rural areas on Oahu. The major goal of the community health experience is to explore methods for promoting health and improving the quality of life for patients by working with a community organization. (funded through AHEC)
Summer between first and second year
  • MD5 - Students lecture, years 1 & 2 of medical school. (2) 4 week blocks of time, one of which can be spent in Pacific jurisdiction learning about the culture, the medical system, and participating in research. An average of 12 students a year participate in pacific training experience as part of MD 5.
Third Year Medical Students
  • 6L Program - Alternative longitudinal track for students completing their clinical clerkships. Students spend one semester (5-1/2 months) in a rural community completing the out-patient portion of their clinical training. They work one-on-one with individual precptors in the community. The other semester is spent in urban Honolulu completing their inpatient training.
  • Current out-patient training communities include Hilo, Maui, Kauai, Waimanalo, Leeward Oahu, and Wahiawa.
    Family Medicine Clerkship - Students completing the traditional clerkship track are generally placed in rural locations for their Family Medicine Clerkship. Students are placed with individual community Family Physicians and are encouraged to go to the Neighbor Islands for rotation. Clerkship training sites include Big Island (Hilo, Kamuela,Kona), Maui(Kahalui,Kula,Kihei,Lahaina), Molokai, Lanai, and Kauai (Kapaa, Lihue, Waimea).
Fourth Year Medical Students
  • Rural Preceptorships - Students are given the option of doing elective rotations on the Neighbor Islands and in other areas of the Pacific Rim. These electives are mainly offered through the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.
Family Medicine Residency Program
  • The Hilo Medical Center is establishing a rural Family Medicine Residency Program on the island of Hawai’I, located in the city of Hilo. The current UH Family Medicine residents spend one month each in their second and third years of training in Hilo.

Instructions for Students and Residents Interested in Hawaii Preceptorships/Rotations:

Medical Students

  • The Hawaii/ Pacific Basin AHEC works closely with the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine office of Medical Education and  Department of Family Medicine and Community Health (DFMCH) to provide clinical training for MD,PH, nursing, APRN and PA students. If your school requires that UH provide credit, you will have to go through a department such as DFMCH. Even if you do not need school credit, we request that you contact them to alert them to your interest so that local students will not be negatively impacted.
  • Third Year Medical Students: JABSOM usually does not support clerkships for students from other schools because of the volume of local demand. Non UH credit opportunities in rural Hawaii and the Pacific are available through AHEC. Contact Dr. Kelley Withy at
  • Fourth Year Medical Students: Contact Melia Young at regarding subinternships and other rotations in family medicine. If she is unable to assist you, and you would like to work in the US Jurisdictions of the Pacific, your school will need to provide any necessary credit, but we have opportunities in American Samoa, Guam, Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Family Medicine Residents

PA Students

  • Contact Dr. Kelley Withy at AHEC allocates $250 a year per students for travel to Hawaii for rotations. Original receipts for travel or lodging must be submitted. If you have a site already picked out and the preceptor has agreed, please complete the attached forms (student trainee checklist and WH-1 forms. If you do not have your boarding pass, you must complete the memo_no_boarding_pass also).

APRN Students

  • Please have your faculty contact Dr. Kelley Withy at to figure out the easiest way to support travel expenses for clinical rotations and training.

Allied Health Students

  • Please have your faculty contact Dr. Withy at to figure out the easiest way to support travel expenses for clinical rotations and training.