One way to minimize debt is to obtain scholarships for medical school. There are two main reasons why my student debt was lower than the average doctor. First, I went to a less expensive medical school. Second, I was able to get more than 35,000 dollars in scholarships for medical school. Not one of the scholarships came easy. Each one took a lot of effort to find. I wish it were as easy as putting your CV online. However, there are ways to make your search easier described below.
Start Local And Branch Out For Scholarships
The easiest scholarships to obtain are those from the medical school you attend. Search your school’s website for any available scholarships. If this doesn’t lead to any results, ask the financial aid department about available scholarships. At the school I attended, each year there were about 8 different scholarships given out. I spent hours applying to all of the scholarships each year. By the end of my 4 years, I was able to obtain 6 out of the 8 of the scholarships listed.
An example from a UT medical school about scholarships available. Most schools have at least some kind of scholarships available.
Search For Groups That You Are Affiliated With
Before attending medical school, I volunteered briefly at a local hospital and some local cultural organizations. These organizations provided additional scholarships. I also became a member of the Texas Medical Association which has its own scholarships available. It might not sound like much but several $250 scholarships add up to real money to put towards tuition. That extra $1,000 is money that I don’t have to take out as a loan and pay 7+ years of interest on.
These organizations can be local or national.
- The American Medical Association Physicians Of Tomorrow scholarship hands out up to $10,000 worth of scholarships per year.
Look Into Organizations That Support Your Cultural Background
There are often numerous cultural groups that distribute scholarships based on your background. I’m from a small town with few doctors from the town. I reached out to a cultural organization in the area and was awarded $24,000 from this one place in particular. It can’t hurt to ask!
Other organizations that support various groups with scholarships for medical students :
- American Medical Women’s Association gives out 14 scholarships or grants to medical students each year
- Up to $40,000 in loan repayment and in return a two-year service commitment to practice in health facilities serving American Indian and Alaska Native communities
- The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship is for first generation Americans. Scholarship is for up to $90,000
These are just a few examples of scholarships for people of a certain background or heritage. Search for local organizations and branch out more regional or state-wide for best chances to obtain a scholarship.
I don’t think I could get by without mentioning serving our country and signing up for the military scholarships. This is another option to obtain a scholarship in order to pay for tuition. However, many people will tell you the same thing that was told to me. You don’t sign up for the scholarship for the money. You sign up because you want to serve our country. If you think it’s going to be an easy payday with little work, I think you might be in for a big surprise.
Were you able to obtain any other scholarships outside of the methods I mentioned above? I would love to hear about it. Contact me or respond below!