Becoming a medical doctor is a childhood dream that ends up being a long and expensive road. The amount of debt (possibly $100,000-$250,000) is almost as big as the commitment it takes to endure the rigorous study and residency programs. The debt can be crushing and a barrier for many to enter the field, but you can become a doctor for FREE. There are always other options.
Go to Medical School for Free with MD/PhD and MSTP
What is a MD/PhD program?
An MD/PhD program is another option for those desire to enter into the medical field without the burden of cost. You be getting a duel MD and PhD. upon completion (6-8 years). Unlike a traditional MD, you’ll also receive research experience that could help you later in your medical career. If you are are unsure if this path is right for you read Three Crucial Questions Questions when applying to M.D.-Ph.D. Program.
What is MSTP program?
There are similarities between the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) and MD/PhD programs, but differences in funding may exists depending on the institution. Read MSTP vs MD/PhD to help clarify the differences.
Financial Benefits of MD/PhD or MSTP programs
If this is the path you choose for your medical career you could graduate without paying tuition, annual stipends and grants, travel and research funds, and insurance and healthcare (some). You’ll be getting a free ride to medical school! Example funding for MSTP program at University of California Irvine.
How to Qualify for MD/PhD Program
This is a non-traditional path and is even more competitive than medical school. That means they only let the top students into this program. You’ll need a a high undergraduate G.P.A., high MCAT and GRE scores, and experience with medical research (Summer Undergraduate Research Programs). Remember the spots are few and grants generous, so do your research and speak with other MD/PhD graduates to find out what their qualifications were that garnered entrance into the MD/PhD program. Read also Applying to MD-PhD Program.
Here is a list of MD/Phd programs by state to help you research the individual schools including requirements and grants.
Medical School Debt Forgiveness Programs
If you already have medical school debt there are a few programs to repay your medical student loans:
- National Health Service Corps– By serving in a Health Profesional Shortage Areas (HPSA) you can have up to $60,000 forgiven in two years and more if you continue to serve.
- AAMC also over medical loan repayment or forgiveness plans by state.
Other Options to Pay for Medical School
- National Health Service Corp Scholarship– Have tuition paid with stipend in return for commitment to HPSA area for 2-4 years.
- HPSP Scholarship Program– The military has a robust program to financially support military MDs. Free tuition + $20,000 sign on bonus + $2,000 month stipend in exchange for 1 year of service for every year of scholarship. Upon graduation you’ll receive a starting rank of captain.
Would you consider an alternative path to medical school?
Photo Credit 401K (Creative Commons)