Urban Medicine

5 Reasons to Practice Medicine in Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Everything you need to know about living and working in Honolulu, Hawai‘i, the largest city in the state and the historic capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

Known as the “sheltered harbor,” Honolulu is the southern and westernmost major U.S. city. The largest city in Hawai‘i, it is a major hub for finance, business and tourism, attracting more than 3 million visitors every year. Its healthcare industry is rapidly growing, creating a thriving job market for healthcare professionals in Honolulu.

For those who live and work nearby, the city offers access to over 125 beaches scattered throughout the state, 40 public and private golf courses and a vibrant food and entertainment scene. Learn more about why healthcare providers enjoy living and practicing medicine in this island paradise.

5 Reasons to Live in Honolulu, HI

Connect with Our Healthcare Partner in Honolulu

PS&D is proud to partner with The Queen’s Health System in Honolulu. This nonprofit statewide network has more than 8,000 employees, over 1,500 affiliated physicians and other healthcare providers. The system’s mission is to consistently improve the health and well-being of Native Hawaiians and all residents.

The Queen’s Medical Center

This 575-acute-care-bed hospital is Hawai‘i's only Level 1 trauma center, known as The Queen's Medical Center Punchbowl Campus, also operates the state’s only organ transplant program. It is also a major referral center for Heart Disease, Neuroscience, Cancer, Orthopedics, Surgery, Behavioral Health and Emergency Medicine.

Most Popular Destinations Near Honolulu

Honolulu is filled with some of the most majestic natural beauty in the world. At nearly every turn, people living and working here are met with reminders that they live in a tropical paradise. The breathtaking beaches and manicured golf courses are plentiful, but Honolulu and the surrounding area offers even more. Learn more about some of its most popular day trip destinations.

Queen Emma Summer Palace

Queen Emma Summer Palace is a historic landmark that takes you back to a different time in Hawaiian history. Today, it is a museum, but in its prime, it was the home of the Hawaiian royal family. Built in 1848, this summer retreat sprawls out over five acres with sightings of the Paroaria coronata songbird, known as the Red-crested cardinal. During a tour of the multi-room mansion, you’ll see many of the family’s possessions, including capes, porcelain artifacts, royal cloaks and a tiger-claw necklace.

Diamond Head Mountain

Diamond Head is a volcanic mountain that towers majestically over Honolulu. Originally called Le’ahi (Tuna Brow) because it closely resembled a fin, the mountain is at least 300,000 years old. Some geological estimates put its age closer to 500,000 years. In the 19th century, sailors changed its name to Diamond Head when they confused its shimmering calcite crystals for diamonds. While the mountain doesn’t contain gems, it does offer extraordinary views of land and water, making it a treasure to the Hawaiian people. Take a day trip to hike, enjoy shopping, or even eat atop the volcanic crater

Kualoa Ranch

If you love Honolulu's outdoor vibe, you’ll enjoy this ranch 30 minutes outside the city. This former on-location set for the TV show Hawaii Five-O boasts greenery in every direction. You can take it all in with a thrilling zipline ride over the trees or a rough-and-tumble journey over the landscape in an ATV. Take some time for kayaking, horseback riding or biking, too. It’s a location you don’t want to miss.

Fun Facts About Honolulu

Honolulu is home to the only royal palace in the United States. Iolani Palace was completed in 1882 by King Kalakaua. It served as the royal residence until Queen Liliuokalani, King Kalakaua’s sister, was deposed in 1893.


Why should I practice medicine in Honolulu, Hawai‘i?

You’ll have plenty of opportunity to find and develop your niche serving Honolulu’s large, growing and diverse patient population. Build your network, pursue your medical interests and enjoy the support that comes from living and practicing in a big city with plenty of specialists.

Why practice medicine in urban areas?

Practicing medicine in an urban area offers physicians support, resources, growth and many times, higher salaries. Working in a big city will give you the chance to specialize and build your expertise in an area of medicine you’re passionate about. You’ll have the resources you need at your fingertips, including support staff, specialists, labs, research connections and opportunities, and testing facilities — all of which make diagnosis and treatment easier. Urban centers also offer diversity, convenience, and amenities like restaurants, entertainment venues, fitness facilities and cultural events, usually within a 15-mile radius.

What is the Hawai‘i physician licensing process?

The physician licensing process for every state requires verification of your education and graduate training, exam scores, references, hospital privileges and any current or past licenses. You must submit proof that you’ve completed all three United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) steps. It’s important to learn what to expect, as the physician licensing process — from when you submit your application until your license is granted — typically takes at least 60 days.

Are physician relocation loans common?

Yes, physician relocation loans are common, especially in the form of medical residency relocation loans. Unlike student loans, medical residency relocation loan funds go directly to the borrower. In addition to moving costs, they can pay for board certification, clinical exams and living expenses. These loans frequently have lower interest rates and are only available to medical residents who can provide proof of residency or internship, such as a match letter.

Some practices also have a set amount of money dedicated to relocation packages. These loans typically cover your expenses for travel, flights, hotels, meals, house-hunting and moving your belongings. It’s important to note that any physician relocation loans you receive are considered taxable income, so plan accordingly.

How do you write a physician resignation letter?

If you choose to leave a job, you’re not alone. In fact, 70% of doctors in all specialties will leave their first job within two years. Writing an effective physician resignation letter is important if — and when — you decide to move on. You’ll also want to ensure that you are legally compliant. Be sure to review what's required.

As you write your physician resignation letter, make sure to include:

  • A clear statement that you’re leaving.
  • Where you’re going.
  • Your professional contact information.
  • A personal reflection on your time at the practice.
  • Reassurance that patient medical records are available upon request.
  • Recommendations for other physicians.

Is Honolulu right for me?

Connect with Provider Solutions & Development to learn more.

Our provider and physician recruiters understand the full picture of what it's like to live and work in Honolulu and locations across the country.

Want to explore job opportunities in Honolulu? We can help connect you to a role that will elevate your career and enrich your life. Let's start the conversation.

PS&D supports more than 30 health systems, from Hawaii to Alaska to New York. We serve physicians and advanced practice clinicians with heart, from residency to retirement so that they can do the same for their patients. With exclusive access to hundreds of positions, PS&D offers holistic recruitment advice and placement that puts clinicians’ needs first.