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. For more information on the scholarship program, visit the NHSC website.