Program Director’s Message: Preparing Residents to Deliver Quality Care for Hawaii’s Patients


faculty-mitch-motooka-mdThis is an exciting juncture for our internal medicine residency program. We now have a full complement of 15 residents in different stages of residency training, and it has been personally rewarding to see the energy and determination of our new interns and the tremendous growth in those who have been with us since our program began.

I am very pleased to announce that our Chief Resident, Dr. Jennifer Katada, has become a primary care physician with the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group. I am proud to have her join us as a colleague, appreciate her contributions to our residency program, and look forward to her ongoing support of our program. Dr. Loni Belyea will be serving as our new Chief Resident and her support has already proven valuable to me and our residents.

As I reflect on 2017 thus far, a few highlights come to mind:

Volunteering alongside residents and their loved ones on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

An important goal of our program is to ensure our residents are integrated into the community and help perpetuate our local cultural knowledge, wisdom and practices. On MLK Day, our residents and guests volunteered at Ka‘ala Farm on the Wai‘anae Coast, joining 1,000 other KP Hawaii family, friends, and community partners volunteering different sites across the islands.


Watching the inaugural Resident Grand Rounds

After braving a rigorous presentation skills course and spending many hours in preparation, our R2s presented Clinicopathological Conference at Grand Rounds in February, which was broadcast to over 20 sites across 4 islands. Our faculty members and I were so proud to watch them as they presented a case of autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy.

Grand Rounds - February 2017

Welcoming our new interns at Professional Development Day and engaging in SELF CARE activities

After welcoming our fantastic incoming class of interns and chief resident at a white coat ceremony in front of nearly 500 physicians, providers, and staff, I had a blast going on a hike with the residents as part of Professional Development Day activities. I also enjoyed making “kawaii” bento with some of the residents. On this day, Residents and Attendings could participate in 40 breakout activities based on the eight SELF CARE practices: Sleep, Exercise, Love and Laughter, Food, Compassion, Awe, Resilience, and Engagement.

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Joining the residents at Breakout Waikiki

Who would have thought an icebreaker competition of residents collectively solving riddles would lead to so many shared learnings about teamwork and communication?

07-03-17 Resident Social Event - Breakout Waikiki 3
07-03-17 Resident Social Event - Breakout Waikiki 4


07-03-17 Resident Social Event - Breakout Waikiki 5


We are definitely on our way to a terrific new residency year full of learning, commitment to excellence, and hopefully as much SELF CARE as possible!


Mitch Motooka, MD, FACP
Program Director
Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Internal Medicine Residency Program


Meet our incoming 2017 Intern Class & Chief Resident


Five new internal medicine interns officially joined the KP Hawaii family on June 12 with a welcoming white coat ceremony at HPMG’s Professional Development Day. With their entrance into the Internal Medicine Residency Program, all 15 slots across three residency classes are now filled for the first time.

“Everyone has been very welcoming and patient with me and our group, so I really appreciate that,” said Matthew Chan, MD, who attended Mid-Pacific Institute and received his medical degree from the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University. “I know diabetes is a big challenge here, and I can’t wait to learn about the different ways we help patients address the disease.”

Four of the five new residents have ties to Hawaii. They’ll continue to work out of Mapunapuna Medical Office, with regular didactic learning sessions and clinical training that focuses on ambulatory medicine. Program Director Mitch Motooka, MD, will oversee the residents along with various faculty mentors from internal medicine and related subspecialties.

“From day one we had a mentor – someone we can shadow and go to for help,” said Jonathan Cho, MD, a graduate of the University of Nevada School of Medicine.

“After meeting the other residents and Dr. Motooka, I knew this would be the right place for me.” “When I was applying to residencies, I was looking for a program that was smaller in size with a close-knit experience,” said Matthew Yee, MD, a Kaiser High School graduate who earned his medical degree from the American University of Antigua College of Medicine. “I want to know my patients and establish a patient population of my own that I can follow through residency, and hopefully thereafter.”

Beginning their residency at HPMG’s Professional Development Day dedicated to health and wellness was an “amazing” experience for the newcomers. “The fact that this organization supports SELF CARE, that’s really great,” said Hisami Oba, MD, who went to Kalani High School and attended the University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine. “There are so many different teams helping to make this organization work, so I feel that the physicians have great support behind them in whatever they want to do.”

“In Korea, we focus on taking care of the disease and not as much on taking care of the person,” said William Bae, MD, a graduate of the Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea. “I’m looking forward to getting good training on patient-centered care. It’s going to make me a more compassionate and caring physician.”

Incoming Chief Resident Loni Belyea, MD, who joins the program in July, was also on hand for the white coat ceremony. “I’m excited about my upcoming year as chief resident,” said Belyea. “I hope to serve as an advocate, teacher, and mentor to the internal medicine residents.”


Program Director’s Message: Celebrating an Outstanding Year; Looking Ahead to a Larger Ohana in 2017


As 2016 comes a close and we welcome in the New Year, I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to each and every faculty member, provider colleague, nurse, and administrative assistant who supported our internal medicine residents throughout this exciting year.

I would also like to acknowledge Dr. Jennifer Katada, our chief resident, for serving as an exceptional resource and mentor to this talented team. I’m humbled to have the opportunity to work with such generous and enthusiastic individuals who share a collective commitment to compassion, innovation, and excellence.

In a relatively short time, we’ve refined our program to offer our residents a deeper and broader experience that paves the way for their future in medicine. Whatever path they choose, I’m confident that by the end of their three-year residency, they’ll be well prepared to meet the highest standards of care and service we expect from all our physicians and providers.

Not too long ago our new residents made their first IM CME presentation on vitamin D deficiency, summarizing the recent guideline changes for our internal medicine physicians and providers. In a truly collaborative effort across disciplines, they partnered with one of the residents in our KP Hawaii Pharmacy Residency Program to optimize their recommendations.

I was also delighted to see one our residents –Tina Kuribayashi, DO, PGY-2 –receive a top honor for Best Case Report Poster at the 2016 HPMG Research & Innovation Symposium in November. Dr. Kuribayashi partnered with our Chief of Neurology, Todd Devere, MD, on the poster presentation entitled “HMG-CoA Reductase Autoimmune Necrotizing Myopathy: A Rare Side Effect to a Commonly Prescribed Medication.”

The transition to a new year also means we’re approaching the end of the interview season. We’ve met many skilled and inspiring medical students throughout this process. For those who’ve never done a rotation at Kaiser Permanente, it’s only through these interviews, tours, and conversations with current residents, faculty, and physicians of the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group, that they truly begin to understand the benefits of working with Hawaii’s largest multispecialty group practice. They’re also able to get a sense of what it’s like to practice Permanente Medicine, with its rigorous standards for high-quality, evidence-based care.

I would like to thank all of our candidates for their excellent questions, suggestions, and engagement. We’re looking forward to another fantastic year ahead, as we continue to grow our program in 2017.


Mahalo and Hau‘oli Makahiki Hou!


Mitch Motooka, MD, FACP

Program Director

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Internal Medicine Residency Program



Program Director’s Message: Raising the Bar for Mentorship With Our First Chief Resident


faculty-mitch-motooka-mdI’m proud to announce that Kaiser Permanente’s Internal Medicine Residency Program has progressed to a new level of distinction with the addition of a chief resident to our team. We’re pleased to welcome Jennifer Katada, MD, who is serving in this important one-year appointment.

The chief resident role is a time-honored position, integral to every training program, and earned by demonstrating excellence as a resident. Dr. Katada will work closely with me to support our residents and ensure they’re successful in their ongoing medical training.

Communication is Key

Communication is at the heart of everything we do in patient care. Dr. Katada is playing a key role by serving as a liaison between the residents, attending faculty, and the other Kaiser Permanente staff. With our 10 residents on different rotations, keeping everyone informed and in the loop is critical. When we welcome a new set of residents in July 2017, this will be even more important. Coordinating rotation schedules, conferences, meetings, and other resident activities will become increasingly challenging as we enter the third year of our residency program.

Focus on Quality

In addition to communication, we also emphasize the importance of high-quality, patient- and family-centered care. We continually look at ways to improve quality and the residency experience. Dr. Katada will be instrumental in facilitating those discussions so that we can bring out the best in each resident and strengthen our program for future residents.

Emphasis on Ongoing Education

Formal and informal teaching and learning remain the hallmark of our residency program. Although the residency program will grow, I’ll still have direct access to the residents. As many know, I enjoy teaching and Dr. Katada will be able to free me up to focus on my role as program director. This will mean more time for me to concentrate on educational activities and program development.

Preparing to Select the Next Set of Residents

As the year quickly comes to a close, we’ll soon be interviewing candidates for our next class. As always, we’re looking for residents who share our commitment to compassion, innovation, and excellence. And although it’s not a requirement, we hope to find five fantastic clinicians who have aspirations of remaining in Hawaii after residency to practice in one of our clinics at Kaiser Permanente.

Interviews start in November and continue through January 2017, and this year, Dr. Katada will be part of the interview process. We’ll celebrate Match Day in March, and the candidates will be onboard in June 2017.

Mahalo for your ongoing support in shaping Kaiser Permanente’s Internal Medicine Residency and helping us to grow as we work to serve our members and improve the health of our local community.


Mitch Motooka, MD, FACP
Program Director
Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Internal Medicine Residency Program

Get to Know our New Chief Resident

katada_jennifer_im_374_finalJENNIFER KATADA, MD
Chief Resident
University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine –
Honolulu, HI

I’m excited to be serving as chief resident for Kaiser Permanente Hawaii’s Internal Medicine Residency Program. I’ve always been interested in medical education programs and it’s the reason I pursued internal medicine.

When I was growing up, I watched my grandfather being treated for the complications of a lifetime of smoking. I wanted to help others the way my grandfather’s doctors were helping him through very challenging times. My goal is for all my patients to live happy, healthy lives, and ensure all of my fellow residents receive the support they need to get the most from their residency experience.


Residents Walk for Heart Health Awareness


A trio of internal medicine residents joined hundreds of participants from Kaiser Permanente Hawaii at the 23rd Annual Oahu Heart Walk on August 13. The event raises money and awareness for cardiac research and preventive heart health initiatives coordinated by the American Heart Association. The residents joined Team PACE-Makers, which led all teams with 137 participants on the 4.5-mile course.


Pictured from L-R: Maegan Doi, MD, PGY-1; Thuan Nguyen, DO, PGY-2; and Valynn Pham, MD, PGY-1.


Program Director’s Message: E Komo Mai to Our Newest Internal Medicine Residents

July 26, 2016



Our five new residents recently celebrated their rite of passage from medical school graduates to official PGY-1 interns as part of our Internal Medicine Residency Program. The annual white coat ceremony, held at the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group’s Professional Development Day in June, was a major milestone for these talented physicians.

To ensure a smooth transition into their residency, the first three weeks were dedicated to orientation and onboarding activities, including training on KP HealthConnect® – our exceptional electronic medical records system. Onboarding is a wonderful opportunity to share our values including the priority we place on putting our patients and their families at the center of everything we do.

We see our residents as colleagues, and we want to confidently be able to refer our family and friends who need care to them, knowing our loved ones are in good hands. Our rotations are intentionally designed to be rigorous. We cover the full gamut of ambulatory and inpatient experiences at our Mapunapuna Medical Office and Moanalua Medical Center.

As a result of the intimate size of our program, we’re able to offer our residents personalized attention. They get to know their physician mentors, not just in internal medicine, but all of its subspecialties, including cardiology, nephrology, infectious disease, and pulmonary care. There are also rotations in ophthalmology, gynecology, urology, orthopaedics, podiatry, and sports medicine.

Our PGY-2 residents have told us that having access to physicians representing multiple disciplines and specialties is one of the strengths of our residency program. Our doctors are always willing to listen and share their insights. We’ll continue to factor in more time for structured interaction between residents and the medical staff.

Having another class of residents on our team is a milestone for Kaiser Permanente Hawaii. It’s rewarding to see our program expand its reach in perpetuating a compassionate culture of continuous learning and quality process improvements. As with all new programs, we’ve been able to continually refine our internal medicine residency program during the first year, thanks to the feedback from our first residents as well as our staff and patients.

We look forward to another fantastic year at KP Hawaii as we dedicate ourselves to caring for our members, patients, their families, and the community.

Mitch Motooka, MD, FACP
Program Director,
Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Internal Medicine Residency Program


Get to Know More About Our New Internal Medicine Residents


University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine –
Honolulu, HI

I was born in Taiwan and came to Hawaii when I was five years old. I grew up as a Kaiser Permanente member and was always impressed with the care provided to my family. I had the same physician for more than 20 years, and I hope to establish that same sort of bond with my own patients over time. I’ve chosen internal medicine for my residency training, because I really enjoy connecting with people and helping them to manage their health issues. I’m working on building a rapport with patients quickly in order to be able to take proper care of them. I see each patient as a mentor to me in this area.


Doi Maegan_croppedMAEGAN DOI, MD
University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine –
Honolulu, HI

I was born and raised in Honolulu and attended Iolani School. While spending vacations with my grandparents and great-grandmother in Naalehu, I developed an interest in geriatrics, and I became aware of the need for improvements in health care available in rural communities. These experiences led me to pursue a career in medicine, and I’m grateful for the support and inspiration my family has provided me all along the way. I chose internal medicine as a specialty, because there’s always something new to learn in this field. This practice also allows me the opportunity to form lifelong relationships with patients and to help them achieve a good quality of life.


Lew Henry_croppedHENRY LEW, MD
Charles R. Drew/UCLA Medical Education Program –
Los Angeles, CA

I was born and raised in the Lincoln Heights area of East Los Angeles. After graduating from college with a degree in economics, I worked in banking. Although I enjoyed the work, I believed that I had another calling, and after much reflection I decided on a career in medicine. My grandmother had faith in me and encouraged me to become a physician. My goal is to be a physician who thoroughly understands the issues that bring patients to me and to make effective decisions based on that knowledge. It’s a privilege for me to hear about my patients’ lives and experiences. Based on what I learn, I strive to work in partnership with them to come up with personalized plans for their health and well-being.


Moreno Daniel_croppedDANIEL MORENO, MD
Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara Facultad de Medicina –
Guadalajara, Mexico

I was born in California and moved to Hawaii with my family when I was five years old. I attended Punahou School before going back to the mainland for my undergraduate education. My family’s been an amazing influence, providing me with unlimited support and love my entire life. I chose a career in medicine because of my long-held desire to serve others in the best way that I could, and there seemed to be no better way to spend my time in this world than to serve my community as a physician. I’ve found internal medicine to be a fascinating field that includes diagnosing, treating, and managing a wide range of illnesses. Caring for patients through their recovery process and watching them go home feeling grateful and in good health is the most rewarding feeling.


Pham Valynn_croppedVALYNN PHAM, MD
University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine –
Honolulu, HI

I was born in Hilo and grew up in Honolulu. My brother was deaf and passed away from brain cancer at a young age. His optimism and strength inspired me to help those like him, and I thus chose a medical career. Before medical school I was a nursing student and a medical assistant for an internist. These experiences led me to specialize in internal medicine. I look forward to establishing strong relationships with my patients and providing compassionate, individualized care. As a doctor I want to empower patients to take charge of their health. Building trust creates meaningful connections that can have great impacts on patients and doctors alike. How the physician makes a patient feel can make a big difference.


HPMG Welcomes Residents With Annual White Coat Ceremony

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Internal Medicine Residency Program Director Mitch Motooka, MD, along with more than 350 physicians and providers from Hawaii Permanente Medical Group (HPMG), welcomed the 2016-2019 class of internal medicine residents at HPMG’s Professional Development Day on June 10. Each resident was presented with a white coat by his or her core faculty mentor and a PGY-2 colleague.

“I want to be a well-rounded, efficient, and compassionate primary care physician, and I know the Kaiser Permanente residency program is going to get me there,” said Valynn Pham, MD – a JABSOM (University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine) graduate who completed her third-year longitudinal clerkship at Kaiser Permanente. “All of my preceptors were amazing. They were excellent teachers and really great examples of the physician I want to be.”

The five interns will be based out of Mapunapuna Medical Office and will receive the majority of their training in the clinics, though they’ll spend six months of their first year at Moanalua Medical Center. Dr. Motooka will oversee the residents with various faculty mentors from internal medicine and related subspecialties.

“What really sold me about the program was how welcoming and friendly everyone was,” said Maegan Doi, MD, who received her medical degree from JABSOM. “Everyone’s been really open to helping us and giving us advice, making it a little less stressful.”

Beginning their residency as an attendee at HPMG’s Professional Development Day was an eye-opening experience. They were surprised with a welcome video that featured a number of their future colleagues. All five residents remarked on how impressed they were with the event, including the speakers and the training they received in shared decision-making.

“I think one of the best parts was the small group session in which you could practice shared decision-making and get feedback from other physicians,” said Li-Hsieh Chen, MD, also a JABSOM graduate.

“I don’t think any other residency program has quite an experience like this,” said Henry Lew, MD, who attended the Charles R. Drew/UCLA Medical Education Program. “The welcome video, and the chance to sit down and meet the physicians and other residents – it was a great first day for us.”

“I’m looking forward to trying a bit of everything and learning about which area I enjoy the most, so I can find my niche,” said Dan Moreno, MD, a graduate of the medical school at the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara Facultad de Medicina in Mexico (where physicians receive a Medico Cirujano degree, or Master of Surgery). “Hawaii’s home – where else would I want to be?”

Incoming Chief Resident Jennifer Katada, MD, who joins the program in September, also received her white coat.

Mahalo to the IM Residency Program core faculty, the Internal Medicine Department at Mapunapuna Medical Office, and the residency program team (Jeani Jow, RPh, PharmD; Krissy Mai; and Kenika Lorenzo), for their dedication to supporting our residents.


Program Director’s Message – Match Day Results: Exciting for Candidates and IM Residency Team

May 27, 2016


faculty-mitch-motooka-mdMatch Day is an important milestone in the lives of medical students. It’s an annual rite of passage that sets the stage for a physician’s career. It’s also a day of affirmation, a time to celebrate years of hard work and dedication in preparing for medical residency training.

According to the National Resident Matching Program, this year’s match was the largest on record. There were more than 42,000 medical school students and other registered applicants vying for 30,750 positions worldwide. Internal medicine residency programs clearly led the way, offering more than 7,000 positions.

As with all residency programs across the country, Match Day was an exciting time for us. Personally, it stirred up the feelings and memories from my own Match Day when I was a fourth-year medical student at the UC San Diego School of Medicine and was thrilled to know I would be able to come back home to Hawaii and participate in an internal medicine residency program at the University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine.

I’m very pleased to announce our next five internal medicine residents. Three of them are proud University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine graduates: Li-Hsieh Chen, MD; Maegan Doi, MD; and Valynn Pham, MD. We’re also thrilled to welcome Henry Lew, MD, who graduated from the Charles Drew/UCLA Medical Education Program; and Punahou graduate Daniel Moreno, MD, who studied at the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara Facultad de Medicina in Guadalajara, Mexico.  Watch for more information about these fine candidates as they prepare to join our first group of hard-working residents and the rest of the internal medicine team in June 2016.

The interview season and Match Day process provide a wonderful opportunity for us to meet some of the country’s brightest young women and men through hundreds of hours of interviews with prospective residents. In addition to screening candidates for excellent board scores, outstanding recommendations, and compelling personal statements, the interview process helps us determine which of these emerging doctors will best be able to thrive in our highly collaborative instructional environment.

Mahalo to everyone who applied to our program in 2015. We wish all of you tremendous success in your careers as healers, leaders, and partners in medicine.

Mitch Motooka, MD, FACP
Program Director,
Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Internal Medicine Residency Program