September 15, 2014

Hawaii Launches internal medicine residency program

New training model prepares physicians for 21st century health care.

HONOLULU — Patients in today’s changing health care landscape are receiving primary and specialty care more frequently in an outpatient setting versus a hospital. In an effort to stay ahead of the curve and to ensure that patients continue to receive high-quality medical care, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii announced today the launch of its new internal medicine residency program. The program’s progressive curriculum will prepare physicians to practice more often in office, clinic and even virtual settings.

“We are excited to offer a unique residency training program that reflects the spirit of innovation at Kaiser Permanente,” said Mitch Motooka, MD, internal medicine residency program director. “These new doctors will be educated to care for patients with the latest technology in a neighborhood clinic setting, where primary care physicians are desperately needed.”

Most of the U.S., including Hawaii, is experiencing a physician shortage with the most acute need in primary care. According to an analysis conducted by the Hawaii/Pacific Basin Area Health Education Center at the University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine, Hawaii has a shortage of 300 primary care physicians. That need will continue to increase as baby boomers age.

“To address the worsening primary care physician shortage here in the Islands, we need to begin training more physicians now to fill these roles in the coming years,” said Dr. Motooka. “It’s our hope that once they complete their training, many of our residents will choose to stay in Hawaii to help take care of our local communities.”

Among the things that will make this residency program attractive to new physicians is Kaiser Permanente’s recognized leadership in health care technology. The organization’s Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect® electronic medical record system is one of the largest and most advanced in the world, serving more than 9.5 million patients. The state’s largest and highest-rated integrated health care organization uses this technology to provide patients with the ability to view lab results and X-rays, order prescription refills online and make appointments without having to pick up the phone.

The Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Internal Medicine Residency Program uses a competency-based framework for resident education and evaluation, emphasizing primary care with a curriculum weighted toward ambulatory aspects of internal medicine, including all major subspecialties. Residents will train and practice primarily on the island of Oahu and will also participate in rotations at other clinics.

Led by the physicians of the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group in partnership with Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Hospital, residents will train in one of the nation’s top integrated care delivery systems.

About Kaiser Permanente Hawaii

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has provided total health to the people of Hawaii for more than 50 years, with physicians who are members of the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group, the largest multi-specialty physician group practice in the state of Hawaii. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. Visit for additional information. Become a fan of good health with Kaiser Permanente Hawaii: Like our page at and follow @KPHawaii on Twitter.