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UH program strives to show a pathway to careers in medicine


Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Pacific Island students visited John A. Burns School of Medicine, as part of the Pathways for the Advancement of Pacific Islanders, or PAPI Program. This was the first time the University of Hawaii put this program on and they are happy to report that many students left with the realization that they can have a career in medicine.

Each Pasifika group presented indigenous elements of their heritage, with a slide presentation of their island culture.

Students from Samoa were part of the group — and identified themselves as “Navigators”. They did a ’taualuga’ — with dollars flying around and ‘aiaiuli’ echoing throughout the room.

At the end of the program, Certificates of Completion were awarded.

According to the school’s Director of Communications, Matthew Campbell, “The hope is that we sparked a desire for them to practice medicine with the goal they will learn here and return to their home and care for their populations.”


PAPI is a new summer program for Pacific Islander students in Hawai‘i.

Scheduled for May 21-27, 2023, this program hosted eligible students in UH Manoa dormitories to give them an opportunity to explore the university campus, visit different colleges, and meet with faculty.

According to the UH at Manoa website, the purpose of this program is to boost enrollment, retention and graduation success of Pacific Islander undergraduate students, particularly in STEMM, and to integrate indigenous values into STEMM education and mentoring to foster inclusive excellence.

It is being funded by the UH Manoa Provost’s Strategic Investment Initiative and is available at no cost to eligible students.

[photo: Vina Cristobal]