10 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.

medical school

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, 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 10 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 10 best scholarships for medical education.

1. Physicians of Tomorrow Awards

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

10 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.

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 a good opportunity for anyone willing to spend two years working in a medically underserved community. In exchange, you’ll receive two years of free medical 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.

You have to be nominated for this award before you can apply. 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 type of financial need. You can contact the financial aid office at your school 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 therapeutic 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 a variety of 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.

10. Gates Millenium Scholars Program

The Gates Millenium 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.


Attending medical school is expensive, but there are ways you can cut down on the costs. Hopefully, these 10 scholarships have given you a good starting point. These scholarships are going to 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 scholarships and grants you apply for, the better your odds are of acceptance.

See also: How to Find Scholarships and Grants for Grad School

Jamie Johnson
Meet the author

Jamie Johnson is a freelance writer who has been featured in publications like InvestorPlace and GOBankingRates. She writes about a variety of personal finance topics including student loans, credit cards, investing, building credit, and more.