NHSC scholarships

Mistress S

Don't mess with the S
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 16, 2000
  1. Resident [Any Field]
    As I get closer to applying, I am thinking more and more about the National Health Service Corps scholarships. It sounds like a great program, as I am definitely interested in working with an underserved population and am very interested in not having a huge loan to pay off after med school. My only hesitation is committing to a primary care residency before I have had the opportunity in 3rd year to experience the different rotations and see what I really like; but one could also do an internal medicine residency, fulfill their NHSC obligation, and go back and do a fellowship or different residency afterwards if desired. I have a lot of questions about the program though, and was hoping people who have received this or are applying for it could provide some insight:

    1.) Are the scholarships very competitive? I've heard that something like 1 in 7 applicants is selected, but I'm not sure how accurate this is.

    2.) What are the selection criteria (GPA, MCAT, other)?

    3.) How much exactly does it pay?

    4.) Do you apply for this while applying to med school, or after you've been accepted?

    5.) How much freedom do you have in deciding where you want to go to fulfill your obligation? This is a big one for me.

    6.) What if you break the commitment for any reason? Can you postpone or defer it if necessary? (I am thinking here specifically of starting a family after med school/residency, and how that might fit into my plans as far as maternity leave and the like)

    7.) Any other pros/cons for this program?

    Thanks so much!

    Mistress S

    Don't mess with the S
    10+ Year Member
    15+ Year Member
    Apr 16, 2000
    1. Resident [Any Field]
      I looked at the NHSC website (http://nhsc.bhpr.hrsa.gov for those who are interested) and it answered a lot of my questions. But I am still interested in hearing from those with experience with this program as far as their perceptions of it. Also, I am still unclear on some things--so I'll modify my list of questions above:

      2.) not explained anywhere I can find on the website

      3.) they don't say exactly how much the monthly stipend is (I've heard ~$1000/month, but don't know if this is accurate)

      4.) Since the deadline for apps to NHSC is March 25, what if you haven't been accepted to a med school by then (for example, if you're on waitlists and haven't heard yet)? Do you just have to wait another year?

      5.) I looked at the job list and it seems like you just apply where you want to go, but how hard is it to get a position? Is there a lot of competition for jobs?

      6.) Obviously it's a big deal to break the committment, but what about deferring it for family or other reasons?

      7.) I'd still like to hear anything else people can share about NHSC scholarships.

      Thanks again!


      Full Member
      15+ Year Member
      May 31, 2003
      1. Attending Physician
        There is a big thread about this program under the "financial aid" section. you should get most of your questions answered there. i have read a lot about the program so i will try to answer a few of the questions.

        1. the scholarship is competitive; allopathic, osteopathic, PA studetns, and nursing students are eligible. I believe there are about 300 scholarships per year and about half those go to allopathic students.

        2. First, you take a scantron style personality test on the application form. This test is scored to make sure that you are a group-oriented, extrovert who likes making the best of rough situations...if you score high enough on the scantron test you are invited for an interview and the decision to award you the scholarship is then based on the interview. Your GPA, MCAT scores and other academic numbers are NOT considered.

        3. yep, its a little bit more than 1000/month for 12 months and goes up a little each year for inflation, etc.

        4. Yes. You have to give them an aceptance letter or letter of good standing by the end of March.

        5. It just depends on the area where you want to work. I do know that every place in Florida (where I am at) is considered underserved and people have had no problem getting jobs in the major urban areas.

        6. They do offer deferrals with permission
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