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Physicians of Tomorrow Awards

Jessica Portillo

Jessica Portillo of the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Physicians of Tomorrow Award recipient.

The AMA Foundation has made it a priority to assist medical students in handling the rising cost of medical education. The Physicians of Tomorrow Awards were created in 2004 to provide financial assistance to medical students facing spiraling medical school debt. On average, medical students in the U.S. graduate with a debt load of nearly $162,000. A large debt burden may deter many from practicing in underserved areas of the country or practicing primary care medicine. To date, over 1 million has been granted to exceptional medical students across the nation.

Scholarship Cycle

Starting on March 1st,the 2015 application will be available.

Please contact your medical if you are interested in being nominated for the Physicians of Tomorrow Awards. They will be able to provide you with the application form as well as inform you of other required materials.

Physicians of Tomorrow Award Eligibility

These $10,000 scholarships reward current third-year medical students/individuals who are approaching their final year of medical school. The number of recipients is determined after all applications have been received. Typically, 8-12 recipients in total are selected. Each medical school can nominate one person for each of the different scholarship opportunities (2 nominees in total). Each scholarship category takes into consideration academic excellence and financial need.

Each $10,000 scholarship is based on different eligibility requirements.

  • Physicians of Tomorrow Award: Selection is based on academic excellence and financial need.
  • Physicians of Tomorrow Award, supported by the Johnson F. Hammond, MD, Fund: Selection is based on a commitment to a career in medical journalism.

Additionally, there are two regionally-specific scholarship categories:

  • Physicians of Tomorrow Award, supported by the Dr. Lin and Minta Hill Alexander Fund: The recipient of this scholarship must currently attend medical school in that state of Oklahoma. Selection is based on academic excellence and financial need. Medical schools in the state of Oklahoma may submit two additional nominees for this opportunity.
  • Physicians of Tomorrow Award for Chicago-area students: The six Chicago medical schools listed below may each nominate two students for this award category.                                                                      
    1. Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University
    2. Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
    3. Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
    4. Rush Medical College
    5. University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
    6. University of Illinois College of Medicine

Physicians of Tomorrow Award Recipients
Donate Now

A message from Physicians of Tomorrow Scholarship Recipient Nadia Hernandez, MD, to the AMA Foundation and its donors:

Nadi Hernandez

"I want to share a story with you. Sometimes one may not be aware of the impact of their good deeds. I would like you to know that my parents combined income last year was $6,000.  When the Levi-Strauss plant closed in Brownsville, Texas, around the year 2000, the workers who had been there for over 25 years were given the opportunity to get their GED with subsequent job placement. Unfortunately, because my mother could not pass the English part (she speaks Spanish only), she was not able to get her GED. My mother has been working for the AARP part-time since she was laid off from her job. My father is 89 years old and has been retired for quite some time now. When they found out that I had won a scholarship in the amount of $10,000, my mother cried and said she would pray for the people who made this possible."


James L. Milam, MD

"I believe it is important for us to do our part to reduce the financial burden for young people attending medical school. Medicine is evolving and we need to support the changing health care needs of the American people by supporting future physicians."

—James L. Milam, MD


The Physicians of Tomorrow Scholarships are supported by generous individual donations, the AMA Alliance, the Audio-Digest Foundation, the Johnson F. Hammond, MD Fund and the Dr. Lin and Minta Hill Alexander Scholarship Fund.

Support the future of medicine and make a gift to the Physicians of Tomorrow Scholarship program.