2022 Tillman Scholar

Nam Yong Cho

University of California - Los Angeles
Doctor of Medicine

“My path to becoming a physician is a continuation of my military calling – to serve my community and endeavor to improve the health of my patients.”

Nam grew up in Seoul, South Korea, before immigrating to the US at the age of ten. As an undergraduate student at UCLA, he enlisted in the Army as a combat medic with an aspiration to serve others. As he provided first aid and evacuated patients with other team members, he learned that the esprit de corps is the foundation of medical care. Soon after, he reciprocated his training from instructors and military physicians by mentoring other medics. When Nam was deployed in Afghanistan, he found his passion for medicine while treating wounded patients at his assigned outposts.   

Following his discharge, Nam started medical school at the David Geffen School of Medicine (DGSOM) and began working at the Cardiac Outcomes Research Laboratory (CORELAB) at UCLA. Through his research, Nam strives to advance healthcare at a systemic level. Beyond research, he has targeted gun violence, one of the leading causes of trauma-related death in the US. By implementing a gun violence prevention module and advocacy at DGSOM, Nam aims to reduce firearm injuries and deaths in his community..   

After medical school, Nam plans to attain further training in treating trauma patients. Remembering the vulnerability of injured patients witnessed throughout his service, Nam wishes to help such a population through acute interventions. In particular, Nam hopes to work closely with the VA healthcare system to care for veterans who often experience long-lasting physical and mental traumas. In continuation of his community work and research endeavors, he aspires to improve the health of his community and beyond.