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Policy & Advocacy

Advocacy Press Releases

DO Students Awarded 40 Percent of Physician NHSC Loan Repayment Scholarships


December 15, 2010

Wendy Fernando
Vice President for Communications and Marketing
Phone: 301-968-4174
E-mail: wfernando@aacom.org

Osteopathic (DO) medical students comprise just under 20 percent of all U.S. medical students, but this year, they received 40 percent of the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) scholarships awarded to medical students (DO and MD). For each year students receive a scholarship, they agree to a one-year service commitment providing health care services to underserved populations located in selected Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) identified by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The osteopathic medical education community has a strong tradition of graduating physicians who choose to provide care in rural and urban underserved areas, and osteopathic medical students may be particularly attractive scholarship candidates because of their affinity with serving those most in need.

  • The NHSC scholarship program awarded 211 scholarships in 2010 to students preparing to become physicians (MD or DO), dentists (DDS or DMD), family nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives or physician assistants.
  • The scholarships cover tuition, required fees, and some other education costs, tax free, for as many as four years.
  • Scholarships were awarded to 105 individuals studying to become physicians, both DO and MD.
  • Osteopathic medical students received 42 of the scholarships awarded to medical students, accounting for 40 percent of total physician scholarships awarded.
  • The osteopathic medical profession has a proud heritage of producing primary care practitioners and has a special focus on providing care in rural and urban underserved areas.

Additional Information

  • View additional information on the NHSC scholarship program.
  • View additional information on osteopathic medical education.


"Greater knowledge of the NHSC scholarship program among current and potential medical students could serve the dual purposes of reducing debt load and beefing up the nation’s primary care workforce (and the physician workforce in general). The bottom line is a win-win for students and the U.S. health care system alike."

Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH 

American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine

U.S. Capitol