Sheldon Riklon, MD, is a Marshallese family physician, born and raised in the Marshall Islands. He is one of only two Marshallese in the world who has completed medical school and residency training at an accredited program in the United States. He completed the Imi Ho'ola Post Graduate Program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and matriculated through the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) where he received his MD in 1998.
At home in the Marshall islands he served as a primary care physician at Majuro Hospital, chaired the national medical referral committee, chaired Majuro Hospital's Pharmacy and Therapeutics committee, was a member of the institutional review committee, and directed the Special Medical Care Program that provided healthcare to the radiation affected population in the Marshall Islands. In 2009, he returned to Hawaii and was a faculty member with University of Hawaii’s JABSOM’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and served as the Family Medicine Clerkship Director.
Dr. Riklon has been actively involved among the Marshallese and the other Micronesian populations in Hawaii as one of the founding members and recent past-chair of the Micronesian Health Advisory Coalition (“MHAC”). He is an active member of the Compact of Free Association- Community Leadership and Advocacy Network (COFA-CLAN).
Dr. Riklon is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine and a co-investigator in the Office of Community Health and Research at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ Northwest Campus. He is the inaugural recipient of the Peter O. Kohler, M.D., Endowed Distinguished Professorship in Health Disparities at UAMS-NW Campus. He serves as a primary care physician at Community Clinic in Springdale that serves a large patient population of Marshallese and underserved populations in NW Arkansas.
Dr. Riklon’s research surrounds culturally competent health research, health care services, and palliative care for indigenous Pacific Islanders. His research has contributed to a deeper understanding about traditional Marshallese care practices and patient-centered care for Marshallese communities.