Scholarships for Medical Degrees

By F. F. John , last updated January 9, 2012

With the increasing cost of education, scholarships for medical school have become imperative. In fact, according to the American Medical Association (AMA), medical students graduate with approximately $157,944 in debt. This, in turn, forces many doctors to enter medical fields that pay more so as to quickly eliminate their debt. Consequently, fewer enter primary-care practice, creating a shortage in an essential field. To offset the debt burden, several private organizations and the federal government created scholarship programs, which provide the financial assistance that students need. If you are enrolled in medical school, consider the following options to help you pay for your degree.

Alliance Medical Education Scholarship Fund

Created in 2000, by the Pennsylvania Medical Society Alliance, the Alliance Medical Education Scholarship Fund encourages education in the health sciences. The scholarship is available to Pennsylvania residents who attend medical schools within the state. To be eligible, applicants must be full time students in their third or fourth year of study. The application process requires completion of an application form, submission of an essay about the future of medicine in Pennsylvania, proof of enrollment, and two recommendation letters. Recipients get $2,500.

AMAF Minority Scholars Award

According to the American Medical Association, less than seven percent of all professional physicians are from a minority group. To increase that number, and thereby improve health services to diverse populations, the organization administers the Minority Scholars Award program. Each year, it gives $10,000 to 13 individual students. These students are nominated by their medical schools and must satisfy certain requirements to be eligible for consideration. These include an interest in becoming a primary-care doctor and American citizenship or legal permanent residency. The scholarship is open to students in the first or second year of medical school. To apply, a nominee’s school officials must submit a completed application form, a personal statement from the nominee, a letter of recommendation from the dean, a letter of recommendation from a faculty member, and an official school transcript.

National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program

Established in 1976, the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarship Program aims to create a Corps of health practitioners to serve in areas of the country that have shortages. Applicants must be U.S. citizens pursuing a health-related degree at an accredited school. Recipients get full tuition, money for fees, money for other additional educational expenses, and a monthly stipend for living costs. In exchange for the funds, recipients must serve as Corps members for a period of two years and on a full-time basis. All Corps members work at NHSC-approved sites, which accept Medicare and Medicaid patients. These facilities also cater to the poor and uninsured.

Joan F. Giambalvo Memorial Scholarship

The Joan F. Giambalvo Memorial Scholarship was created to increase the number of practicing female physicians. This is because, although 50 percent of graduating medical students are women, only 25 percent stay on in the field. Administered by the American Medical Association, the scholarship program supports female students who conduct research that intends to improve health care for women and improve the retention of female doctors.

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