Scholarships for Medical Students: A Prescription for Reducing Student Debt


The United States faces a serious physician shortage. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the country will need at least 61,500 new physicians by 2025 in order to meet its healthcare needs. The AAMC also notes that it’s not just primary care physicians but also specialists that are needed: “the number of psychiatrists is expected to increase by 45 percent over the next decade,” while “overall, 88 percent of all specialties will have unfilled residency positions.” And those positions won’t open up unless medical students are able to go through training without incurring massive debt burdens!

The United States faces a serious physician shortage.

The United States faces a serious physician shortage. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), we need more doctors than we have now–and this problem is only going to get worse. The number of medical school graduates has been decreasing since the 1980s and is expected to decrease further in the future, despite increasing demand for healthcare services (1).

Dr. Michael Poss, the situation has become so dire that some experts believe we should be training more doctors than ever before in order to meet our needs! But how can we do this when there are no easy sources of funding for medical students?

Medical school is expensive.

Medical school is expensive. The cost of tuition and fees at private medical schools has been rising steadily over the past decade, with an average annual cost of $58,000 in 2018–and that doesn’t include living expenses. The average debt of a graduating student was $180,000 in 2018 according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

Medical school tuition has risen faster than inflation for decades due to many factors: increased demand for doctors; competition among schools for students who can afford higher tuitions; and decreased federal funding for research at universities.

There are many medical student scholarships available.

You can find scholarships from a variety of sources:

  • Schools. Many universities offer their own in-house scholarships, which are usually limited to students who are already enrolled at the university.
  • Organizations and companies. Most large corporations have charitable foundations that provide financial support for individuals pursuing a career in medicine, especially if they’re interested in working for them after graduation. Some organizations also offer grants or loans specifically targeted towards college students interested in becoming doctors (or other healthcare professionals).
  • Government programs such as FAFSA can help fund your education with grants, work study jobs through Federal Student Aid Programs (FAFSA), loans and more!
  • Foundations & trusts: If you’re looking for private funding sources outside of school-sponsored ones then consider contacting local foundations who may be able to assist with tuition costs by providing scholarship awards/grants based on need as well as merit based criteria such as GPA scores etcetera.”

Scholarships can help medical students graduate debt-free or with lower debt balances.

Scholarships are a great way to reduce student debt. While not all scholarships can be used for medical school, there are many available to help you pay for your education. You should apply for scholarships as early as freshman year of college, and continue applying throughout medical school until you graduate.

Scholarships are awarded based on merit or need, but sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start looking for them or what criteria they use when selecting applicants. Here are some tips:

  • Use the Internet! Many organizations have websites that list current opportunities and guidelines for applying; search engine queries like “scholarships + [your major] + [your city]” will yield results from these websites in addition to others that may not be so obvious at first glance (like this one).
  • Don’t forget local sources! Your hometown library might host an annual essay contest open only within its immediate area; churches often offer scholarships based on religious affiliation; community groups may give out awards based on participation rather than academic performance alone… The possibilities here are endless!

Scholarships come in many forms, but they are often competitive, so you must apply early and often to be considered for them.

Scholarships come in many forms, but they are often competitive, so you must apply early and often to be considered for them. If a scholarship has an application deadline of December 1st, don’t wait until November 30th to start your search. You should begin researching scholarships as soon as possible after January 1st each year.

There are also some general tips that can help you find these elusive funds:

  • Look beyond the obvious sources: Many students only look at their school’s financial aid office when trying to locate scholarships. This is a mistake! There are literally thousands of private companies offering scholarships every year–many of which are not advertised by any organization other than those who sponsor them (e.g., Rotary Clubs). Your best bet is always going through Google or another search engine using keywords like “scholarship” or “grant” along with terms related specifically about what kind of person/student would qualify for each award being offered (i.e., college student majoring in engineering).


You should consider applying for medical school scholarships as early as possible. The best way to do this is by attending a local college fair or visiting the website of your state’s medical society for more information about available scholarships. You can also search online for scholarship opportunities related specifically to healthcare professions, such as those offered by organizations like Merck and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Incorporated. Remember that even if you don’t win any money now, the process of applying will help develop research skills that will serve you well throughout life!

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