Many racial and ethnic minorities, such as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, are historically underrepresented in healthcare. Medical school scholarships for minorities help increase the number of physicians from diverse backgrounds who can provide culturally competent care to medically underserved communities.
In this post, we’ll outline 8 medical school scholarships, grants, and awards available for minority students to use at the medical school of their choice.
Medical School Scholarships for Minorities
Patients from medically underserved communities continually face barriers to accessing healthcare. Especially in rural areas, it can be challenging to find physicians who look like them, speak their language, understand their background and culture, and whom they feel they can trust with their medical care. Diversifying the medical workforce is one way to overcome these disparities in healthcare.
Medical schools across the US aim to increase diversity and build programs that represent the population, but the high cost of medical education is a significant barrier for many students. Medical school scholarships for minorities provide financial aid to students from groups underrepresented in medicine. Unlike loans, scholarships, grants, and awards are financial gifts that do not need to be repaid.
Note that the financial aid listed below can be used at any institution. Additional aid may be gathered from your specific institution. Be sure to research what scholarships, grants, and awards may be available from the school you are about to attend or the school you are currently attending, as well as what may be available locally in your community.
There are some medical school scholarships that are available to students from any minority group and some that are specific to certain groups, such as Hispanic or Latino students or African American students.
The American Medical Association Foundation (AMA) distributes a $10,000 scholarship to medical students who are currently enrolled in a fully-accredited US allopathic or osteopathic medical school and entering their final year of medical school.
There are 12 scholarship categories, including several for those underrepresented in medicine, and each medical school can nominate two students per category. Applicants must be US citizens, permanent residents, or have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status. Students must be nominated by their medical school to apply. Scholarships are selected based on academic performance and financial need.
Scholarship categories with a focus on minorities in healthcare include:
- AMA Foundation Underrepresented in Medicine Physicians of Tomorrow Scholarship: Students must be African American/Black, Latinx/Hispanic, or Indigenous (Native American, Hawaiian, or Alaska Native) and demonstrate a dedication to serving vulnerable or underserved populations.
- David Jones Peck, MD Scholarship for Health Equity: Students must demonstrate a commitment to addressing health disparities and promoting health equity in marginalized and minoritized communities.
- Dr. Richard Allen Williams & Genita Evangelista Johnson/Association of Black Cardiologists Scholarship ($5,000 scholarship): Students must be an African American/Black student interested in cardiology.
- DREAM MD Equity Scholarship: Awarded to a medical student beneficiary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and/or first-generation immigrant to the United States who has demonstrated a history of public advocacy for the equitable treatment of immigrants.
GoodRx funds and distributes a $5000 scholarship to current or recently graduated Black or African American medical school students.
It is open to students of both allopathic and osteopathic programs who have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale. You must have completed medical school no earlier than the spring of the current year to be considered a recent graduate. Potential applicants can sign up at the GoodRX website to be notified when applications open.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) annually awards a $5000 scholarship to five medical school students who are currently enrolled in an accredited US medical school and entering their third year of medical school.
With a focus on eliminating inequities in medical education and healthcare, the scholarship is awarded to students who have demonstrated a leadership initiative in addressing the educational, societal, and healthcare needs of racial and ethnic minorities in the US.
Applicants must be entering their third year of study in an accredited US medical school in the fall to apply for the following year’s scholarship, and they must be nominated by their school to apply. Candidates must be US citizens, permanent residents, or an individual granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. The scholarship application period opens at the beginning of the year.
The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) awards a $5000 scholarship to underrepresented minority students who are future or current students of AACOM member colleges.
Applicants must be either African American, Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiin, mainland Puerto Rican, or Hispanic American. Both current students in their first, second, or third year at an AACOM member college and recently accepted students who plan to matriculate at an AACOM member college may apply.
The selection of scholarship recipients is based on responses to essay prompts about the candidate’s experience as an underrepresented minority student, as well as proposed ideas for increasing underrepresented minority students in osteopathic medicine.
The American Osteopathic Foundation funds an annual $10,000 scholarship for currently enrolled minority osteopathic medical students. The scholarship is open to minorities, including African Americans, Asian Americans, Arab and other Middle Eastern Americans, Native Americans (including American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians), Latinos (including Puerto Ricans), and other Hispanic ethnic origins.
They also welcome applications from international students. Applicants must be OMS II, III, or IV in good academic standing at a COCA-Accredited College/School of Osteopathic Medicine (COM/SOM). Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, financial need, and demonstrated leadership in addressing the educational, societal, and health needs of minorities. The application portal for the current cycle opens in the spring of that year.
National Medical Fellowships distributes many medical school scholarships and awards to students from groups underrepresented in medicine, which they designate as African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian American (Vietnamese and Cambodian only), Native Hawaiian, or Other Pacific Islander.
The award amount, application period, and eligibility criteria vary with each scholarship and award, but all applicants must be US citizens or DACA status holders, and all scholarships and awards are for accredited US healthcare programs (MD, MD/PhD, DO, or DO/PhD). Several opportunities are detailed below, and many future opportunities will be available on the NMF website.
- Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)/Darrell G Kirch, MC Scholarship: These $10,000 scholarships are awarded to eight first-year underrepresented medical students who are enrolled at an LCME-accredited US, MD-granting medical school. This is a multi-year award, and recipients are eligible to renew for another three years.
- Delores and Charles Baker Scholarship: This need-based $5000 scholarship is for currently enrolled underrepresented minority medical students who have an interest in health issues that impact rural populations, as well as an interest in practicing in a rural setting.
- Dr. Prentiss Taylor Scholarship: This $5000 scholarship is for currently enrolled underrepresented minority medical students who demonstrate financial need, academic excellence, leadership, and commitment to community service.
The Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) awards $1000 scholarships to current and future medical school students with outstanding work in the field of LGBTQ+ health, particularly work that serves Hispanic/Latino patients in the US.
Scholarship recipients are selected based on personal qualities, financial need, academic excellence, and extracurricular achievement. In particular, applicants must demonstrate commitment to serving the Hispanic, Latina/o/x, and other underserved communities in the United States, as well as a desire to advance the state of healthcare and education of these communities.
Applicants must be enrolled in or have an active application to an accredited allopathic or osteopathic medical school and be an active, dues-paying member of LMSA National.
The National Hispanic Health Foundation funds a scholarship that includes up to $5000 annually for three years, as well as individual awards of $2000 each. Additionally, scholarship recipients are matched with a professional for a one-on-one mentoring program focused on their professional growth.
To be considered, applicants must be enrolled full-time at an accredited US graduate program in allopathic or osteopathic medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, physician associate, or master of public health or health policy. While it is not required that applicants are Hispanic, they must demonstrate an interest in the health of Hispanic communities and participation in NHHF Scholars Alumni activities.
Application and Medical School Resources
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