Our five new internal medicine interns enter their residency training with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic serving as an extraordinary backdrop for their new learning environment.
“Entering residency during COVID-19 has been very different than what I initially prepared for, but I feel ready to take on this challenge,” said Kiana Choo Loy, MD, who attended Kamehameha Schools – Kapalama Campus and received her medical degree from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. “Being a part of the first ‘virtual’ white coat ceremony has served as a reminder that in tough times we can always figure out new ways to carry out our plans.”
Two of the five new residents, including Dr. Choo Loy, were raised in Hawaii. Ethan Chun, MD, attended Hawaii Baptist Academy and completed his medical degree at the St. Louis University School of Medicine. “I knew that in the long run, I wanted to return to Hawaii to practice medicine and care for the community that had invested so much in me,” said Dr. Chun. “During the interview process, I truly got the sense that this system is made up of people who treat each other like family and want to live out Kaiser Permanente’s mission to provide innovative, high-value, holistic, and compassionate care.”
This is the first residency class in which all five residents hail from medical schools on the mainland. Helena Holmgren, MD, spent some of her early childhood in Sweden. She earned her medical degree at Northeast Ohio Medical University. “With my husband working in Hawaii, I had the opportunity to do several clinical rotations here and had a wonderful experience building connections with patients and the community,” said Dr. Holmgren. “I’m excited to be part of an organization that emphasizes patient care, especially preventive care, and has an uplifting and positive physician culture.”
Under Program Director Mitch Motooka, MD, the interns experience a combination of learning environments, including didactic learning sessions and clinical training at various KP clinics and Moanalua Medical Center. “As my interest in medicine grew, I became drawn to tropical medicine and infectious disease,” said Jennifer Foster, DO, who hails from Colorado and graduated from the Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine. “I felt that Hawaii would be the ideal place to cultivate my interests and have an adventure at the same time.”
Jordan Jensen, MD, who is the grandson of two doctors, a general surgeon and a cardiologist – and also one of 8 siblings – spent a portion of his life in the Philippines, where his grandparents practiced in the mountains of Ifugao for more than 40 years. “My grandparents modeled selfless service and dedication on medical missions to the tribal provinces of our home country,” said Dr. Jensen – a graduate of the University of Missouri, Columbia School of Medicine. “They dedicated their lives to the education of native people, teaching them primary health care so they might be empowered to help themselves, their families, and their neighbors.”