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Practicing Medicine in Hawaii?

3434sbs

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I was wondering what the quality of like was like for physicians in Hawaii. I read that there is a severe physician shortage because the high cost of living drives more people to work in the mainland. Is it really that difficult to live comfortably with a physician's salary? Is it worth working as a physician in Hawaii over the mainland?
 

dohopeful13

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Hawaii is also at the bottom for compensation as well, so kind of a double edged sword of low pay and extremely high COL. Also, isn't there a lot of hostility towards non-locals in some areas of Hawaii?

Beautiful place, but I'd just stick to vacations personally.
 
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IMGASMD

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Hawaii is also at the bottom for compensation as well, so kind of a double edged sword of low pay and extremely high COL. Also, isn't there a lot of hostility towards non-locals in some areas of Hawaii?

Beautiful place, but I'd just stick to vacations personally.

Can’t answer for sure. But worked in some touristy area. Usually people who work there, don’t stay long. Unless you have some family tie in the area, they’re very distrustful of outsiders. Like you said, it’s a double edge sword, why would any “sane” people drop everything and go there and stay forever?
 
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peachblacktea96

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Anecdotal evidence but one of my parents grew up and did med school/ residency there while the other went there for residency. Both IM. We ended up in California (and a lot of their residency classmates ended up on the mainland too) due to low job availability/ high volume of people trained relative to the job market, in addition to high COL. That was ~30 years ago so can't speak to present situation very much.
Can't speak to the xenophobia thing but I can definitely see it - Honolulu/ the area around it has a very small town community vibe among the residents and I think they tend to look down on people who leave for the mainland.
 
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medstud56

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Locals only bruh

Haha this is definitely a thing, spend a few weeks there and you will see! Any nice place with lots of tourists will have a vibe like this (just not to the same extent as HI)... I know in my hometown, people grumble about outsiders moving in and crowding the place/tourists .
 
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RangerBob

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One of my coresidents and a med student that rotated with me grew up in Hawaii. They told me it’s pretty common for docs and dentists to end clinics early so they can get some waves.

I have no idea if it’s true, but both seemed pretty serious. I mean, we have plenty of surfing docs where I live, but most are just waking up early to do it.

I don’t know why people make such a big deal out of COL/salaries. You have one life. As a physician you can essentially live anywhere. Live where you’re happy. If you’re happy anywhere, then go somewhere that’s cheap and save up or spend that leftover money on a big house/vacation/fancy toys, whatever.

That said, I find people from Hawaii and the West (not to mention the northeast and to a lesser extent Texas) underestimate how nice “flyover country” can be. If my family lived in the Great Lakes region I’d be happily using my CA house down payment to pay cash outright for a home over there.
 
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Modstopizdy

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I don’t know why people make such a big deal out of COL/salaries. You have one life. As a physician you can essentially live anywhere. Live where you’re happy. If you’re happy anywhere, then go somewhere that’s cheap and save up or spend that leftover money on a big house/vacation/fancy toys, whatever.

You answered your own question there. COL vs salary is part of the calculus that determines happiness.
 
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Tenk

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I almost took a job on the big island in Kona. Main reasons I did not: money, isolation, lack of resources, housing market, and distance from family.

Each island is different. Practicing on Oahu is vastly different Kauai which is vastly different from Maui. There’s only one cath lab that I’m aware of and it’s on Oahu. Most of the surgical subspecialties are there as well. This is great if you’re on Oahu but terrible if you’re not.

Compensation is garbage and everything is super expensive. It’s almost like practicing in another country. The housing market is also ridiculous and you can sell a shed for the same price as a mansion on certain areas of the mainland.

I don’t regret my decision for not working there and I love Hawaii. Been there numerous times and got married there as well.
 
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RangerBob

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You answered your own question there. COL vs salary is part of the calculus that determines happiness.

For some it is. It really doesn’t determine my happiness or how I picked my job/where to live. I think money is a sad way to chase happiness, but everyone has their own right to chase happiness however they want-I just hope everyone actually finds it instead of chasing it.
 
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PeleHonuaMea

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We have many physicians move here, love it (even with COL/salary), and make Hawaii their permanent home. I also know many others that just couldnt stay here >1-2 years.
Sure it's expensive, but if you're good with budgeting then you'll be just fine. I mean, cant put a price on this weather :cool:

Re "Locals only" attitude, that's not true at all. You're treated the way you treat others. So if you move here and then complain about the people, the culture, have an uptight attitude, and constantly grumble about how it's "not like the mainland" ... no one will want to be around you.

Be cool, stay kind, go with the flow, and you'll be treated like family and invited to too many bbq's.
 
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Steve_Zissou

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We have many physicians move here, love it (even with COL/salary), and make Hawaii their permanent home. I also know many others that just couldnt stay here >1-2 years.
Sure it's expensive, but if you're good with budgeting then you'll be just fine. I mean, cant put a price on this weather :cool:

Re "Locals only" attitude, that's not true at all. You're treated the way you treat others. So if you move here and then complain about the people, the culture, have an uptight attitude, and constantly grumble about how it's "not like the mainland" ... no one will want to be around you.

Be cool, stay kind, go with the flow, and you'll be treated like family and invited to too many bbq's.

Second this regarding the “no locals” thing. I lived there for ~4 years and had zero issues mainly because I was respectful of the culture/land. When tourists come over and start doing dumb **** to get photos or unnecessarily ****ing with wildlife is when I’ve seen local friends get pissed.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Re "Locals only" attitude, that's not true at all.

I was stationed there for about a year. My wife experienced several instances of racism and discrimination directed at her or our kids. A lot of folks I know who have spent time there have had similar experiences, and someone I know who was born there but happens to be white has been threatened with physical violence for “appropriating” their language and only was left alone after explaining that she (yes, she was threatened with physical violence by a grown man for saying “kanack attack”) was born there.

So yeah, it is definitely real.
 
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PeleHonuaMea

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I was stationed there for about a year. My wife experienced several instances of racism and discrimination directed at her or our kids. A lot of folks I know who have spent time there have had similar experiences, and someone I know who was born there but happens to be white has been threatened with physical violence for “appropriating” their language and only was left alone after explaining that she (yes, she was threatened with physical violence by a grown man for saying “kanack attack”) was born there.

So yeah, it is definitely real.

Really sad to hear that happened to your family! I hope that you wont paint our entire state in that negative light or that we have a "locals only" attitude.

Jerks exist everywhere, but for every single knucklehead (on these islands or the mainland), we have thousands of loving folks.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Really sad to hear that happened to your family! I hope that you wont paint our entire state in that negative light or that we have a "locals only" attitude.

Jerks exist everywhere, but for every single knucklehead (on these islands or the mainland), we have thousands of loving folks.

Yeah I mean I don’t judge people by the actions of others, and I’ve only been to Oahu. But it happened a LOT to us and a lot of people I know, so it’s not just a few knuckleheads. There were plenty of nice folks too though.

That said, it’s a beautiful place and now that I’m an officer I wouldn’t mind going back there and living closer to Kaneohe. My youngest daughter was born at TAMC so I’d love to let her live in Hawaii again.
 
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PeleHonuaMea

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Yeah I mean I don’t judge people by the actions of others, and I’ve only been to Oahu. But it happened a LOT to us and a lot of people I know, so it’s not just a few knuckleheads. There were plenty of nice folks too though.

That said, it’s a beautiful place and now that I’m an officer I wouldn’t mind going back there and living closer to Kaneohe. My youngest daughter was born at TAMC so I’d love to let her live in Hawaii again.
Oh let me know when you and your family visit, we are on the windward side! We'll make sure you guys get Aloha treatment here :happy:

And If you want to experience the real Hawaii, dont stay in Kailua/Waikiki/or any military base :D
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Oh let me know when you and your family visit, we are on the windward side! We'll make sure you guys get Aloha treatment here :happy:

And If you want to experience the real Hawaii, dont stay in Kailua/Waikiki/or any military base :D

I lived in Pearl City on Ahaiki street lol.
 

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I was stationed there for about a year. My wife experienced several instances of racism and discrimination directed at her or our kids. A lot of folks I know who have spent time there have had similar experiences, and someone I know who was born there but happens to be white has been threatened with physical violence for “appropriating” their language and only was left alone after explaining that she (yes, she was threatened with physical violence by a grown man for saying “kanack attack”) was born there.

So yeah, it is definitely real.
I mean, idk if you can really blame the native Hawaiians' attitude toward "outsiders". Their land was literally stolen from them and their way of life was nearly destroyed.
Sure, people should be civil to each other but this is a group of people that's really been through a lot of trauma. It makes sense why they react the way they do
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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I mean, idk if you can really blame the native Hawaiians' attitude toward "outsiders". Their land was literally stolen from them and their way of life was nearly destroyed.
Sure, people should be civil to each other but this is a group of people that's really been through a lot of trauma. It makes sense why they react the way they do

I don’t want to make the whole thread about this, but racism is racism. It’s not okay just because my wife and kids are white, and there are other ways to deal with it then being racist against people who weren’t alive when the coup happened (and btw neither was anyone else).
 
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Doggeronie

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I don’t want to make the whole thread about this, but racism is racism. It’s not okay just because my wife and kids are white, and there are other ways to deal with it then being racist against people who weren’t alive when the coup happened (and btw neither was anyone else).
You totally missed the point. These are reactions of distrust towards members of an outside race who they associate with the complete destruction of their way of life. This is an expression of hurt and frustration, and it is not even close to the systematic oppression that they have endured due to their colonization by the United States.

You might as well go ahead and say "All lives matter" while you're at it.
Can't believe the attitudes of some people in med school smh.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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You totally missed the point. These are reactions of distrust towards members of an outside race who they associate with the complete destruction of their way of life. This is an expression of hurt and frustration, and it is not even close to the systematic oppression that they have endured due to their colonization by the US government.

You might as well go ahead and say "All lives matter" while you're at it.
Can't believe the attitudes of some people in med school smh.

I didn’t miss the point. You’re justifying racism against people based on something that happened in the past. It is completely unacceptable for a restaurant to refuse to serve someone because they are white or for people to say rude things to a 2 year old girl because she’s white (or black, or Hispanic, or any other race).

And yes, it disturbs me greatly that some people are okay with racism as long as it’s against the right people. Smh indeed.

Congratulations on being only the second person I’ve put on ignore on this forum.
 
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Doggeronie

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I didn’t miss the point. You’re justifying racism against people based on something that happened in the past. It is completely unacceptable for a restaurant to refuse to serve someone because they are white or for people to say rude things to a 2 year old girl because she’s white (or black, or Hispanic, or any other race).

And yes, it disturbs me greatly that some people are okay with racism as long as it’s against the right people. Smh indeed.

Congratulations on being only the second person I’ve put on ignore on this forum.
Can someone explain to me how this guy is an admin?

No one is saying that racism is ok. What is expected is a LITTLE EMPATHY towards a race that suffered an immense amount of trauma.
Their reactions of distrust towards outsiders are NOT EQUIVALENT to systematic oppression and racism, which is what they face.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Oh I definitely understand now (transplant city)... you would've been better off in Waipahu :laugh:

I really want to go back and live in Kaneohe. It was so beautiful up there. I’m not really sure what practicing as a civilian would be like, but I’d be practicing at Tripler most likely. Wouldn’t mind the commute.

Edit: you know fireworks are illegal there. Well, the neighbors set them off every single night for the entire month of December. At one point it was so bad the smoke was rolling down the hill into our yard and into our house.

We called the cops, and when they got our address, they were like oh yeah bro you live in the war zone. Haha.
 
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Steve_Zissou

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I really want to go back and live in Kaneohe. It was so beautiful up there. I’m not really sure what practicing as a civilian would be like, but I’d be practicing at Tripler most likely. Wouldn’t mind the commute.

Edit: you know fireworks are illegal there. Well, the neighbors set them off every single night for the entire month of December. At one point it was so bad the smoke was rolling down the hill into our yard and into our house.

We called the cops, and when they got our address, they were like oh yeah bro you live in the war zone. Haha.

The fireworks and smoke scare away the evil spirits, at least the Chinese tradition portion of it.
 
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VA Hopeful Dr

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I didn’t miss the point. You’re justifying racism against people based on something that happened in the past. It is completely unacceptable for a restaurant to refuse to serve someone because they are white or for people to say rude things to a 2 year old girl because she’s white (or black, or Hispanic, or any other race).

And yes, it disturbs me greatly that some people are okay with racism as long as it’s against the right people. Smh indeed.

Congratulations on being only the second person I’ve put on ignore on this forum.
Good call
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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The fireworks and smoke scare away the evil spirits, at least the Chinese tradition portion of it.

Oh yeah I don’t care that they were doing it. I just didn’t want that **** coming into my house with a toddler and a newborn haha.

I’m pretty sure the main reason why we had such a bad experience was where we lived. I know a lot of people who loved their time there, and for the most part I liked it too (and would like to go back). There just are negatives. It’s not all paradise.
 
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BunnyMan17

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I managed to snag a funded rotation at TAMC for about a month and absolutely loved every second of it, I talked to a lot of the civillian/GS attendings and it seemed the vast majority of them were content with the salary/COL balance. The kicker seemed to be whether or not they went stir crazy after a few years.
I did have a few occasional instances of people not being too fond of us haoles but a quick conversation to the extent of 'I promise I'm not an entitiled [email protected]$*#" seemed to do the trick. Also in their defense I grew up in an area with a fair amount of tourists and I can understand the annoyance, I even got annoyed by tourist families O'ahu on more than one occasion.
 
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I managed to snag a funded rotation at TAMC for about a month and absolutely loved every second of it, I talked to a lot of the civillian/GS attendings and it seemed the vast majority of them were content with the salary/COL balance. The kicker seemed to be whether or not they went stir crazy after a few years. Even
I did have a few occasional instances of people not being too fond of us haoles but a quick conversation to the extent of 'I promise of not an entitiled [email protected]$*#" seemed to do the trick. Also in their defense I grew up in an area with a fair amount of tourists and I can understand the annoyance, I even got annoyed by tourist families O'ahu on more than one occasion.

Yeah it’s easy to go stir crazy. I think a couple years is just long enough for me to not get sick of it.
 
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BunnyMan17

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Yeah it’s easy to go stir crazy. I think a couple years is just long enough for me to not get sick of it.
Guess I haven't actually been stationed there but I would agree. If it was an option for residency, I would highly consider it. A lot of the fellows I met in San Antonio did their IM residency at TAMC and said that was the perfect length.
 

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After 4 years I still wasn’t ready to leave. I guess he helps that I lived on an island as a kid so I was used to it
Everyone’s different too. My brother in law lives there and has for years. He just bought a new house up by Kaneohe. Has a great job and is married. No plans to leave.
 
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