Resident & Student Finance

Lighten student loan debt with scholarship

The cost of medical education may be high, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be crushed by debt. Get the financial assistance you need from the AMA Foundation Physicians of Tomorrow Award, which helps exceptional medical students facing spiraling medical school debt. The nomination deadline is May 29.

The $10,000 scholarships are awarded to students approaching their final year of medical school. There are six different scholarship categories, ranging from special interests in women’s and children’s health to regional awards available to students attending school in New York, Ohio and Oklahoma.  However, each medical school can only nominate a limited number of people in each scholarship category, so be sure to review the award eligibility requirements and apply for the category that best fits you.

Selection for the award is based on academic excellence, community service and financial need for medical students across the United States.

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Konstantin Grigoryan, a fourth-year student at University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, won an award last year. Beyond alleviating a large portion of his medical school debt, Grigoryan said the award has given him the chance to further excel in his studies and pursue a dream that once seemed so far from his reality.

“I was a refugee with my family and fled ethnic cleansing from Azerbaijan in the early 1990s,” he said. “It was unimaginable that I would have the opportunities that I do. It is amazing that no matter where you come from, the United States as a country and AMA as an organization provide unlimited opportunities for what you can achieve through hard work and following your passions.”

Since receiving his scholarship, Grigoryan said he feels compelled to “live up to the ideals that the award strives to inspire in people” and plans to research innovations in dermatology after he graduates from medical school.

“I want to explore the way technology and electronics benefit dermatology, and make it more accessible to people who would otherwise not have access to it,” he said.

This goal coincides with Grigoryan’s passion for helping others, which motivated him to enter medical school after working as an engineer for several years.

“I felt that I needed to work more directly with people and to feel like I’m doing something positive in their lives,” he said of his career change. “To me, medicine was the perfect combination. I could use my problem solving abilities while having a direct impact on people.”

Now in his final year of school, Grigoryan said he plans to use his scholarship money to offset the cost of traveling to fellowship and residency interviews.

To this year’s award applicants, he sums up his best advice in the 10 words that continually guide him through medicine: “Be unique in your own way and follow your passions,” he advised.

Contact your medical school if you are interested in being nominated for the Physicians of Tomorrow Awards.  For more on how to apply, also visit the Physicians of Tomorrow Award website and download the 2015 Physician of Tomorrow Award info sheet.