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Scholarships and Medical Education

Discover what’s possible. Browse these features to find out more about the impact of University of Minnesota research, education, and care—and how you can help.


Medical student and military veteran Josh Farley believes the depth of compassion and empathy he gained through his own war experiences allowed him to make connections he otherwise might not have with patients he met in his recent psychiatry rotation at the VA Health Care System in Minneapolis.

UCAM Codirector Christopher Reif, M.D., M.P.H., makes a plan for the day with medical students (from left) Anna Donoghue, Ashley Dohlen, and Mariel Lougee at the Community-University Health Care Center. (Photo: Scott Streble)

The Medical School was ahead of the curve when it designed a novel program to expose students to urban family medicine—nearly 20 years ago. Today the popular program has a two-year waiting list. That’s good news for primary care in the city.

First-year pharmacy student Ernest Ruiz and second-year medical student Katy Bratko discuss a plan for patients at the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic. (Photo: Scott Streble)

Donors Mary K. and Gary Stern have invested in the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic, where faculty-guided U medical students provide care to patients in need.


Brian Park, a third-year medical student at the time, had seen the patient, a morbidly obese woman with CoPd and recurrent pneumonia, for three months. But he didn’t have the context he needed to understand her health struggles — until he saw her home, a very small house where she lived with at least three generations of her family, as well as several friends who tended to come and go.

Through pole-vaulting, Andrea Stember gained an appreciation for hard work—and scholarship support. (Photo courtesy of Andrea Stember)

Andrea Stember knows how to seize an opportunity. When an ankle injury curtailed her budding career as a teenage gymnast, the Bemidji resident decided to take up pole-vaulting. Astonishingly, she managed to break the school record on her first try.

A bequest from the late Ann Salovich will help the Center for Bioethics attract top students to its new graduate program. (Photo courtesy of the Center for Bioethics)

Margaret Hustad-Perrin, M.D., is concerned about the increasingly specialized future of medicine.

“Fewer and fewer people are choosing to go into primary care,” says the recently retired pediatrician and 1976 Medical School alumna.


A sense of anticipation filled the McNamara Alumni Center March 15 as 225 fourth-year medical students waited to receive the envelopes containing a glimpse of their futures: the results of their residency matches.

Kathy Scheffler (center) joined scholarship recipients Allison Bradee and Greg Carlson on a surgical mission trip to Honduras last summer. Here, they reunite at the Medical School's scholarship luncheon in October. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Scheffler)

Russ Scheffler enjoyed medical students. For the two-and-a- half years he lived with cancer of the appendix, he befriended, quizzed, and “tormented” several of them, recalls his wife, Kathy. He recognized the teaching value of his illness, and welcomed the presence of aspiring physicians in the room. “He liked all the attention, he liked that interaction,” Kathy Scheffler says. When his University of Minnesota surgeon, Todd Tuttle, M.D., mentioned plans to bring a student on an upcoming medical mission trip to Honduras, Russ offered to pay for the student’s trip. That was news to Kathy, but she loved the idea.

Physician recruiter Karrie Schipper (right), says scholarship recipient Jonna Maas (left) is just what she looks for in a physician. (Photo: Angelic Jewel Photography)

For most students, committing to medical school comes with a hefty price tag, the weight of which can be overwhelming. Enter Avera Marshall. For six years, the regional medical center in southwestern Minnesota has been working to lift that weight in hopes of inspiring future doctors to return to the area.

Mohamed Hassan (Photo: Scott Streble)

After witnessing the ravages of war in his native country of Somalia, Mohamed Hassan was determined to pursue a career in medicine. "I was inspired [to act] by seeing the civil war ... and many people dying of simple things that could easily be cured," he says.

Hassan, who moved to Minneapolis at the age of 10 and graduated from South High School, didn’t know how he would reach his goal — until he learned about Minnesota’s Future Doctors, which put the U of M junior on track to begin medical school in 2013.

Daniel Cheriye (Submitted photo)

Future University of Minnesota Medical School student and Ethiopia native Daniel Cheriye aspires to become a neurosurgeon. Read more about why Cheriye decided to pursue medicine and how the Minnesota's Future Doctors program helped him achieve his goals.

Joohee Han (Submitted photo)

University of Minnesota undergraduate student Joohee Han plans to begin medical school in August 2013. Of being involved in Minnesota's Future Doctors, Han says, "The program means everything to my future.” Read more about Han's amazing journey to Minnesota and how she plans to tackle her goals of being a doctor.

(Far right)Rachel Kay. (Submitted photo)

St. Paul native Rachel Kay, who is working toward her Bachelor's degree in human evolutionary biology at Harvard College, hopes to return to the Midwest to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. Read more about Kay's goal of working in a level 1 trauma center and how her experience with the Minnesota's Future Doctors programs is invaluable.

An accomplished jazz musician, Noah Wride says playing the piano after a long day melts away the stress of medical school. (Photo: Jim Bovin)

When second-year medical student and scholarship winner Noah Wride compares becoming a physician to running a marathon, it’s not an idle metaphor. Wride has tackled two marathons since moving to Minnesota, and he knows a little something about discipline and perseverance.

Having first explored medicine as a high school student in American Fork, Utah, while participating in an outreach program for Native American scholars at the University of Utah School of Medicine, Wride knows he’s in it for the long haul.


On March 16, 213 graduating University of Minnesota Medical School students each opened a small envelope containing big news: the site of their residencies.


Remember the first time you slipped on your white coat? Relive those memories at the Medical School’s White Coat Ceremony, at 1 p.m., Friday, August 10, at the Ted Mann Concert Hall.


Three University of Minnesota Medical School programs rank among the top 10 of their kinds, according to the spring edition of U.S. News & World Report.


Learning became a global endeavor for Lan Luu and Emily Olson, both University of Minnesota students in the Medical School and School of Public Health, when they traveled to India last August for a research study on asbestos exposure and mesothelioma, a deadly lung cancer.

Submitted photo: Jerome Modell, M.D., D.Sc. (Hon.) and Shirley Graves Modell, M.D.

While stationed at the Naval Hospital in Pensacola, Fla. in 1962, Jerome Modell, M.D., D.Sc. (Hon.), had a career-changing close call involving a critically ill patient. “A flight surgery student from Japan drowned,” recalls Modell, a 1957 graduate of the University of Minnesota Medical School. Although he was able to save the patient’s life, Modell was hampered by a lack of treatment protocols related to drowning. Another complication: “We didn’t have intensive care units back then,” he says. In the years that followed, Modell led efforts to establish one of Florida’s first Intensive Care Units at Jackson Memorial Hospital at the University of Miami, and later became a national expert in resuscitation and drowning.

A high-tech classroom made possible by Mercy Health System and its president and CEO, Javon Bea, M.H.A., promotes a collaborative style of learning (Photo: Scott Streble)

Mayo D325 is no ordinary classroom. Gone are the podium and rows of tables and chairs — and along with it, the lecture-and-notes model of education that traditionally has transpired there. The classroom reopened for fall semester as the Mercy Learning Lab, a redesigned and re-equipped facility that includes larger tables meant to promote discussion and teamwork.


For neurologist Arthur Klassen, M.D., teaching is a lifelong passion.

Klassen believes that one of the critical places where young clinicians learn is far from campus. Attending a national conference such as the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology is not only a training program requirement, but it's also a key career move, he says.


The Global Health Course, taught in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, aims to decrease disparities in medicine, in part, by improving health care for immigrants, refugees, and travelers.

The course is open to practicing health professionals in addition to resident physicians in training. Gopherstan is meant to give course participants a taste of working under pressure in “resource-limited settings.”

One of two current University students pursuing a dual degree in medicine and biomedical engineering. Robin Brusen sees his future in academic medicine. (Photo: Scott Streble)

Fourth-year medical student Robin Brusen is a problem solver.

While earning his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering at Northwestern University, he and a group of fellow students were charged with finding a quick, easy, cheap way to monitor premature infants in rural South Africa for sleep apnea.

They rigged up a prototype that would buzz if it couldn’t sense the baby’s breathing and then tested it on balloons in their college laboratory. They used the device’s deflection sensor to recharge its own battery.

“To actually see it working in the way you had intended it to work, it’s a pretty amazing feeling,” says Brusen.


“I feel both personal pride and increased responsibility — an ownership of the curriculum for these students,” says Alan Johns, M.D., M.Ed., of this year’s incoming medical students. “I want them to become excellent practicing physicians, and this is their first step.”

Johns (Class of 1976) is taking his first steps, too, as the new assistant dean for medical education and curriculum at the Medical School, Duluth campus. He replaces Richard Hoffman, Ph.D., who left that role in anticipation of his retirement in 2012.

Van Kuijk headshot___thumbnail.jpg

Fredericus (Erik) van Kuijk, M.D., Ph.D., on October 1 began his new duties as head of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

An expert in early diagnosis and nutritional and pharmacological therapies for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), van Kuijk earned both his M.D. and Ph.D. (biochemistry) from the University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands. His research has led to new approaches to preventing the progression of AMD.


Trim in appearance and outgoing by nature, James H. House, M.D. (Class of 1963), a renowned hand surgeon, revered teacher, and enthusiastic ambassador for the University of Minnesota Medical School, describes the 50 years he and his wife, Janelle, have spent together at the University as "a wonderful life."


Medical residents are not students when it comes to paying FICA taxes, and their stipends will continue to be taxed, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in January.


"It's like Christmas," said one student as she and her fellow first-year classmates opened the boxes containing their new iPads®. The gifts were the result of a five-year, $2.3 million Health Resources and Services Administration grant awarded to Jim Boulger, Ph.D., head of the Medical School, Duluth campus Department of Behavioral Sciences, and Ruth Westra, D.O., chair of the Duluth campus Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.

The Medical School–Duluth Campus specializes in educating students committed to practicing primary care and serving the health-care needs of rural communities. (Photo: Courtesy of Jennifer Vesely)

Exposing medical students to rural clinical experiences early in their training has been a mainstay of the Medical School's Duluth campus since it opened in 1972. Now the campus is expanding those experiences by introducing a new Rural Family Medicine, Native American, and Minority Medical Scholars Program (RMSP). The goal remains the same: training more new doctors who are committed to rural practice.

The Boulger family: Jim Jr., seated, with his brother, Peter, and parents, Dee and Jim Sr. (Phot: Dan Schleis)

James Boulger, Ph.D., professor of behavioral sciences and director of alumni relations at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth Campus, is widely known for his commitment to medical students. But this year, the Boulger name became truly synonymous with boosting student success.

Erik Nichols.

Christopher Meyer, M.D., loved her career as a pediatric critical care doctor at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. It was an intense job that required her to be on her feet all day, but she was continually amazed at the strength of the families she met. But a childhood spine condition made it difficult and often painful for Meyer to stand for hours on end. She had several surgeries, trying to alleviate the pain, and each had a rather long recovery period when she couldn't work at all.

Thuy Nguyen-Tran HOMETOWN: Richfield, Minnesota DEGREE : Biochemistry and physiology, University of Minnesota  IN HER SPARE TIME: Teaches traditional Vietnamese dance, wants to start a rock band (she’s a drummer). (Photo: Kelly Mac Williams for Reach ma

As an undergraduate biochemistry major at the University of Minnesota, Caroline Lochungvu knew she wanted to study in Bangkok. Since the U didn't have a study abroad program there, she simply designed her own and set off for Thailand.

Premedical student Thuy Nguyen-Tran wanted to learn more and help educate others about the medical challenges faced by immigrants and refugees. Not finding an on-campus group devoted to exploring such subjects, she created a nonprofit organization, Circle of Giving, to do precisely that.

The Medical School–Duluth Campus specializes in educating students committed to practicing primary care and serving the health-care needs of rural communities. (Photo: Courtesy of Jennifer Vesely)

The University of Minnesota Medical School-Duluth Campus ranks first among schools graduating M.D.s who practice in rural areas and second among the 18 allopathic and osteopathic medical schools reviewed in a study published in the April issue of Academic Medicine. The authors examined a 10-year group of practicing M.D.s and D.O.s who graduated from medical school between 1988 and 1997.

The family of Nancy English, M.D., established a scholarship for nontraditional women students in her memory. (Photo: Courtesy of Hilary Crook)

When second -year University of Minnesota, Duluth medical student Anya Gybina, Ph.D., joined the Dr. Nancy English Memorial 5K Walk/Run on July 31, she was running in the footsteps of someone a lot like her.

Gybina is the first medical student to receive the Nancy I. English, M.D., Scholarship, which was designated for a woman medical student on the Duluth campus by English’s daughters, Hilary and Emily Crook; husband, Thomas Crook; and father, Blake English. Nancy English, a member of the Medical School Class of 1992, died suddenly in August 2008.

A mother keeps a close watch as her baby is treated for jaundice in one of the phototherapy boxes Balsam and her colleagues built. (Photo: Courtesy of Ashley Balsam)

After finishing a 30-hour hospital shift, Ashley Balsam, M.D., a third-year internal medicine and pediatrics resident, doesn't go straight to bed. "I'm going to play soccer," she says. That energy is typical of Balsam. Her normal routine includes doing rotations at University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, playing soccer on a team with other residents, and caring for her new puppy, Chopper. She also finds the time and passion to volunteer with local outreach programs and travel to Nicaragua, where she’s studying the long-term effects of neonatal jaundice.

Motivated by a vision of healthier American communities, Leslie and Lowell Kruse created a scholarship to support future leaders through the School of Public Health’s Master of Healthcare Administration Program. (Photo: Tim Rummelhoff)

Lowell Kruse was the youngest student in the Master of Healthcare Administration (M.H.A.) Program when he came to the School of Public Health (SPH) in 1965. He was 21 and had just graduated from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. His wife, Leslie, was 19. They drove to Minnesota in Lowell’s father’s cattle truck with their furniture and 6-week-old baby. "We were absolutely clueless," says Leslie. "We looked like the Clampetts."

Ophthalmologist Richard L. Lindstrom, M.D., and his wife, Jacalyn, are giving back in gratitude for the support Richard received as a medical student.

Twin Cities ophthalmologist Richard L. Lindstrom, M.D., has many fond memories of campus life as a University of Minnesota medical student, including his fraternity involvement and season tickets to Gopher football games. But most memorable and inspiring, he says, was the support he received from others.


More than 20 students from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health worked abroad this summer on their field experience, the hands-on component of several SPH academic programs. While their projects and settings varied dramatically, the overarching goal is the same: promote health and improve lives. Much of this work is done in collaboration with non-governmental organizations and locally based groups that helped the students connect to the communities they served.


Two SPH faculty members and one student have received Global Spotlight awards from the University of Minnesota Office of International Programs (OIP). The OIP’s global spotlight is a biennial focus on a region of the world and a pressing global issue. The latest focus is on Africa and the issue is water in the world.

Thumbnail image for Angela Fryer (left) and Angela Voight celebrate their match results. Fryer will be entering Allina’s family medicine residency program, and Voight will join University of Minnesota’s family medicine residency program at St. John’

Eunice Abiemo has received an International Peace Scholarship from the Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO). The scholarship is for female international students pursuing graduate study in the United States or Canada.

Second-year family medicine resident Sankari Kasi, M.D., examines first-grader Hamsa Abdala at Smiley’s Clinic in south Minneapolis. (Photo: Scott Streble)

At Smiley’s Clinic in south Minneapolis, first-grader Hamsa Abdala, 7, waits with his mother, brother, and a Somali language interpreter to see a doctor. He hops up on the exam table, flashes a bashful smile and says that he’s glad to miss a school fieldtrip that day because of his checkup. His class was going ice skating, he explains—he prefers golf.

Hamsa is one of six pediatric patients that Sankari Kasi, M.D., a second-year family medicine resident at the University of Minnesota, will see that week for a clinical research study she’s working on as part of her residency.

Medical students Ncha Xiong and Melissa Sherman (second and fourth from left, respectively) conduct a mock exam of stand-in patient Megan Tucker, while David Power, M.D., M.P.H., observes. (Photo: Emily Jensen)

Minnesota’s medical schools and teaching hospitals had more than an $8.4 billion impact on the state’s economy in 2008, according to an Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) report on its member institutions.

Those institutions include the University of Minnesota Medical School and Mayo Medical School as well as Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Hennepin County Medical Center, Regions Hospital, Saint Marys Hospital, and University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview.

Second-year medical student Curt Nordgaard spends some of his free time organizing fundraising events to benefit health-related projects overseas. (Photo: Scott Streble)

Music, literature, travel, foreign languages, and simple curiosity. These were some of the things W. Albert Sullivan, M.D., valued most, says his widow, Theresa Sullivan.

She helps administer the Albert Sullivan Endowed Scholarship fund, created by an anonymous Medical School alumnus to honor the longtime educator and associate dean of student affairs, who died in 1990. The scholarship helps support students who are not only promising future physicians but also "well-rounded people," says Theresa, who contributes regularly to the fund.

Kara Roberts (left) called loved ones with the news that she had matched in internal medicine at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. “I’m relieved,” she said. “I haven’t eaten or slept in two days.” Looking on, Jennifer Vesely, who ma

Anxious students from the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Class of 2010 gathered at the McNamara Alumni Center on March 18 for this year’s Match Day ceremony. Surrounded by family, friends, and Medical School staff and faculty, the students learned where they would complete their residency training.


When a group of four University of Minnesota Medical School students and two faculty members visited hospitals in Israel in 2008 through an International Medical Education and Research (IMER) program, they weren't sure exactly what to expect.

They knew not to expect the same Israel they'd seen on the news. They knew not to expect third-world conditions. They just weren't expecting the huge, leading edge simulation center they saw at the country’s largest hospital, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, near Tel Aviv.

Paul G. Quie, M.D.

After his first international medicine experience in China in 1981, Paul G. Quie, M.D., couldn't turn back. Quie, a pediatrician and infectious disease expert who has been on the Medical School faculty since 1958, was struck by the glaring health-care disparities between these countries and the United States.

"That and hearing the 90-10 rule," which, Quie explains, estimates that 90 percent of the world’s wealth spent on health care belongs to 10 percent of its population.

In 25 years, the Center for Bioethics faculty has grown from three core members to 11 faculty and 14 affiliate faculty across the University today. (Photo: Courtesy of the Center for Bioethics)

Never doubt that a small group of committed students can make a far-reaching and lasting impact. Indeed, it was a small group of students that provided the initial spark for the University’s Center for Bioethics, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Today the center is widely regarded as one of the few "top-tier" bioethics programs, says Arthur Caplan, Ph.D., who was its first director, from 1987 to 1994, and now heads the bioethics program at the University of Pennsylvania.

At the Raiter Clinic in Cloquet, Medical School alumna Victoria Heren, M.D., mentors medical student Brock Urie as part of the University’s Rural Physician Associate Program, which is designed to encourage students to practice in rural areas after they

Forty years ago, when rural family physicians were in short supply and the problem was getting worse in Minnesota, state legislators established a two-year medical campus in Duluth that would specialize in educating students committed to practicing in rural communities and who would complete medical school on the Twin Cities campus.


The school’s third annual Alumni and Friends Scholarship Gala raised more than $33,000, and donors made additional gifts of nearly $10,000 to the Alumni Scholarship Endowment during the Gala-related fundraising drive.


The first round of Premier Richard Norling Scholarships was awarded to winners of the CLARION National Case Competition, which recognizes interprofessional efforts among health care teams.

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