Janet K. Onopa, MD
I speak: English
My gender: Female
Where I practice
When I was a few months old, my family moved from the Mainland to windward Oahu, where I grew up. We lived in a rural area, and my siblings and I spent our childhood playing in the ocean and exploring the forests and mountains. My husband is a writer and a retired University of Hawaii professor. We have two sons, one a doctor and one an engineer. We’re fortunate to have extended family on the island.
About my practice
Originally I had planned to be a botany researcher, but I found the plant laboratory to be a lonely place. I decided to become a doctor so I could combine my love of science with my desire to work with people. Medicine is a great fit for my values and personality. I enjoy internal medicine, because I get great satisfaction from forming and nurturing long-term relationships with my patients. I’m honored to be a fellow of the American College of Physicians. I give frequent lectures on topics in complementary and alternative medicine. My research includes the integration of pharmacists into the clinic for blood pressure management and the use of ginkgo for altitude sickness on Mauna Kea. Teaching is one of my favorite activities. In addition to educating my patients about their health, I’ve had a long teaching career at the University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine. Teaching residents and medical students helps keep me up-to-date in my field. To further ensure that I stay current, I spend some time most days reading professional journals and catching up on breaking news in the medical world. Because of my years teaching and mentoring internal medicine residents, I wanted to be involved in helping the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group start and develop a residency program. I’m so impressed with the Kaiser Permanente model for outpatient medicine and am very happy to be practicing here. I believe in creating a partnership with my patients and with the entire care team. Everyone deserves excellent medical care. I love getting to know my patients as people, and I try to give them all the time they need to tell me about their concerns. I feel great satisfaction when a patient reports an improvement in their health and well-being.
How I thrive
Outside of work I enjoy hiking with my family, going out on Kaneohe Bay in our little motorboat, working in the garden, hanging out with my cat, cooking for friends and family, reading great literature, and traveling to beautiful places. Taking my golden retriever for walks on the beach or in the mountains keeps me physically active.