12 Best Scholarships for Medical Students


If your dream is to attend medical school, it’s certainly a worthy endeavor. As a health care professional, you can make a positive impact on the world. But it’s no secret that attending medical school is also very expensive.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the average medical student graduates with $196,520 in student loan debt. However, the average salary for a primary care physician is almost $215,000, so the heavy debt burden may be worth it.


And fortunately, there are many scholarships available to students attending medical schools. Medical school scholarships can help you significantly cut down on your student loan debt.

The 12 Best Medical School Scholarships

If you’re looking for ways to pay for medical school, scholarships are the best place to start. When you earn a scholarship, that’s free money that you won’t have to repay after graduation. Listed below are the twelve best scholarship programs for medical education.

1. Physicians of Tomorrow Awards

The Physicians of Tomorrow Awards is a medical school scholarship given by the American Medical Association (AMA). Every year, the AMA awards 10 different $10,000 scholarships to third-year medical school students.

However, you can’t just go online and apply for this scholarship; but rather, you need to be nominated by the dean of your college. But that doesn’t mean you have to just passively sit by and hope you get chosen.


If you’re interested in the scholarships, contact the financial aid office at your school. If you are selected for nomination, then you’ll submit the following information:

  • Your application
  • A personal statement
  • A letter of reference
  • Your college transcripts
  • A financial statement

Ten different scholarships fall under the umbrella of the Physicians of Tomorrow Awards. Each scholarship comes with its own requirements. For instance, the Under-Represented in Medicine award is given to scholars dedicated to serving vulnerable populations.

2. Tylenol Future Care Scholarship

Every year, the Tylenol Future Care Scholarship awards 10 different $10,000 scholarships and 30 different $5,000 scholarships. Scholarship funding is designed for medical students that want to specialize in patient care.

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The program is open to undergraduate students and students currently in medical school, and the application process is fairly easy. To apply, you’ll need to submit two essays and a copy of your transcripts. An independent committee reviews all the applications and chooses the scholarship recipients.

3. Diverse Medical Scholars Program

The Diverse Medical Scholars Program is offered by the United Health Foundation and the National Medical Fellowships. It started in 2013 as a way to increase the number of medical providers working with underserved communities.

Every year, the program awards a $7,000 scholarship to 29 different medical students. To apply, you need to complete a 200-hour community health project at the location of your choice. And the fourth-year medical students will need to give an oral presentation about their project.

You’ll also need to meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Identity as African-American, Latino, Native American, or Asian American
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • You must be in your second, third, or fourth year of medical school
  • Have a site mentor who can guide you on the community health project
  • Be committed to working in medically underserved communities

4. National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program

This scholarship is an excellent opportunity for anyone willing to spend two years working in a medically underserved community. In exchange, you’ll receive two years of free medical school tuition. You’ll also receive a monthly stipend to help with your living expenses.

To apply for this scholarship, you need to be pursuing a career as a primary care physician. The program is also available to dentists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and certified nurse-midwives.

5. Herbert W. Nickens Student Scholarships

The Herbert W. Nickens Student Scholarships is a scholarship program awarded by the AAMC. The $5,000 scholarship is given out to five third-year medical students who are committed to serving minorities.

The scholarship is named after Herbert W. Nickens, who was the director of the AAMC’s division of community and minority programs. Nickens’ goal was to make medical school more accessible for minority students.

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You have to be nominated for this award before you can apply. In addition, you’ll need to submit a letter of recommendation and your personal statement with your application.

6. Chesapeake Urology Associates Scholarship

The Chesapeake Urology Associates Scholarship is a $5,000 scholarship awarded based on academic merit and financial need. The scholarship award is for students pursuing medical education in any medical field.

7. HRSA Scholarship for Disadvantaged Students

The HRSA Scholarship for Disadvantaged Students is a program designed to help disadvantaged students who are pursuing a career in the medical industry. The scholarship is available to medical students, dental students, and nursing students.

To qualify for this scholarship, you must demonstrate some financial need. You can contact your school’s financial aid office to find out if you’re eligible for the program.

8. James “Rhio” O’Connor Memorial Scholarship Fund

The James “Rhio” O’Connor Memorial Scholarship Fund is a scholarship offered by the University of Chicago. It’s named after a man who was diagnosed with a deadly form of cancer and given one year to live. He survived the disease by doing intense research and creating his own treatment.

This $1,000 scholarship is open to undergraduate students that want to pursue unorthodox cancer treatments. To apply, you’ll need to write an essay on alternative medical approaches to treat cancer.

9. National Hispanic Health Foundation Scholarship

The National Health Foundation Scholarship awards scholarships to students pursuing a career in various medical fields. To qualify for the scholarship, you must demonstrate strong leadership skills, academic excellence, and a commitment to providing medical care to the Hispanic community.

11 students will receive a $5,000 scholarship for two years, and 13 students will receive a $2,000 scholarship for one year. Being Hispanic is not a requirement, but you must show an affinity for serving the Hispanic community.

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10. Gates Millennium Scholars Program

The Gates Millennium Scholars Program doesn’t specifically cater to medical students, but these students are welcome to apply. This $12,000 grant is for African-American students pursuing an undergraduate degree in any field, including medicine. The program selects 1,000 new scholarship recipients every year.

11. BoardVitals Medical School Scholarship

BoardVitals is awarding scholarships to three medical school students who have shown strong academic standing are passionate about the impact experience has on recently discovered perspectives in medicine.

The first-place winner will receive $2,000, the second-place winner will receive $1,000, and the third-place winner will receive $500, all in the form of a VISA Prepaid Card.

You must be 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or a 4th-year medical student enrolled in MD/DO accredited Medical School in the United States. To apply you will need to fill out the form and submit an approximate 500-word essay answering the question on their website.

12. USA Medical and Surgical Scholarship Program

The USA Medical and Surgical Scholarship Program is open to college and university students studying one of the following:

  • emergency medical services
  • diagnostic imaging
  • health care
  • laboratory science
  • medical technology
  • medicine
  • nursing
  • pathology
  • pharmacy
  • psychiatry
  • psychology
  • radiology
  • social sciences
  • therapy
  • other health related disciplines

To apply, you must write an essay on how medical supplies or medical equipment has the biggest impact on healing, improving, or extending human lives. The winner will receive $1,000 to help with their educational fees and expenses.


Attending medical school is expensive, but there are ways you can cut down on the costs. Hopefully, these medical school scholarships have given you a good starting point. These scholarships will be more competitive, so don’t forget to apply for smaller scholarships and grants as well.

Keep in mind that no scholarship is too small to apply for. And the more medical school scholarships and grants you apply for, the better your odds are of acceptance.


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