Cho Family Scholarships: Expanding access to international clinical electives

With a recent gift to Global REACH, two generous donors want to make sure that medical students are thinking about their education – not worrying about expenses– when considering whether to pursue training opportunities overseas.

Global REACH thanks alumni Amy and Lawrence Cho, whose generous gift will help expand access to international clinical electives among UMMS students.

Established by U-M alumni Amy and Lawrence Cho, new Cho Family Scholarships will provide $500 stipends for qualifying students pursuing clinical electives abroad, awards to be given on the basis of need to supplement grants already provided through Global REACH. It marks the first needs-based funding Global REACH has received from donors.

“Medicine is more than a job – it’s a calling. Our goal in making this investment was to lift the burden of financial worry and empower students called to serve abroad,” said Amy Cho, a Minnesota physician who earned her MD at UMMS and an MBA from the Ross School of Business.

“We hope this scholarship will inspire the next generation of University of Michigan physicians to make a true global impact,” said Lawrence Cho, a fellow Ross graduate.

Cho Family Scholarships will augment Global REACH Clinical Elective Grants. Offered at the $500 or $1500 level depending on the host institution, Clinical Elective Grants usually cover some – but not all – of the travel, lodging, and living expenses associated with spending a month abroad. So far in 2019, more than 10 UMMS students have received Global REACH funding for clinical electives in place like Ghana, Korea, Taiwan, and Uganda.

There is no separate application process to receive the supplemental stipend from the Cho Family Fund. As part of the standard application process, all students applying for Clinical Elective Grants are now able to request consideration for additional Cho Family Fund stipends based on their previously submitted Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) information.

“On behalf of UMMS, Global REACH, and especially our students, I am honored and grateful to Amy and Lawrence Cho for their generous gift,” said Sr. Associate Dean for Education and Global Initiatives Joseph Kolars. “I know firsthand the value of medical educational experiences abroad. Making such formative experiences available to an even greater number of students will enhance medical education here at Michigan Medicine today, and enhance care for patients in our communities tomorrow.”