I didn’t really think much about scholarships being a part of paying for medical school but my school made it really easy.
I submitted my FAFSA which was easy because I didn’t have to file taxes and as a graduate student you no longer need your parents’ income taxes to file.
Then, I went through a slew of scholarships, selected the ones I qualified for, filled out one generic scholarship with a couple paragraphs explaining my goals in becoming a physician and then turned it in.
I haven’t heard back about the internal scholarships yet (the ones OSU itself distributes), however one external one got back with me.
Its a scholarship that requires a service commitment in a rural setting. The state-run scholarship pretty much covers all the tuition. One year for every year you receive the scholarship. So, not a bad deal. Its an incentive the get more doctors into primary care in rural communities.
The thing is, I want to keep my options open and it requires a pretty hefty commitment for something I’m not totally sold on. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against it and I want to serve in an underserved area of medicine. I’m just not sure I want to nail anything- like a specialty or where I practice- down before I actually experience any real medicine.
I went to the interview and it went well. But, if you end up not practicing where they want you to, you have to pay back triple the interest and it just doesn’t sound like fun.
Also, if I do end up wanting to practice in a small town and in a primary care specialty (including internal medicine, ob/gyn, family practice, emergency) there are other programs that the state can offer me like signing bonuses, loan repayment contracts etc. The need here in Oklahoma is really dire, I’m just not sure of where I will be in four years and if it matches up with where they want me to be. So, I’m leaning towards turning it down, if I should be chosen.
Of course, since you have to reapply for it each year, I could always wait until next year and see if rural/primary care are still things I am interested in and maybe make a more educated decision.
Now I want to hear from you guys… Do you think I should take it? Go ahead! Even if you aren’t a med student or anything close! I’ve had so much trouble deciding what to do. I want to know what you would do
Did any of you get scholarships? Did they require a commitment?