Medical Student Scholarship
the goal of this scholarship program?
The goal of the Medical Student
Scholarship Program is to increase the number of primary care physicians
practicing in areas of Illinois that have an insufficient number of
physicians in the specialties of family practice, general internal
medicine, general pediatrics and obstetrics/gynecology. The program is
authorized by the Family Practice Residency Act (110 ILCS 935.1, et seq.)
What method is used to reach
Scholarships for tuition, mandatory fees and
living expenses are available to a limited number of eligible medical
students. Scholarship recipients repay the awards by completing graduate
training in one of the primary care specialties and by practicing in areas
of Illinois determined by the Illinois Department of Public Health to be
physician shortage areas.
Who is eligible for a
To be eligible for a scholarship, a student
must be an Illinois resident, accepted for or enrolled in an allopathic or
osteopathic medical school located in Illinois. Students waiting for
confirmation of acceptance to medical school may apply. An applicant must
demonstrate financial need. The medical school will be asked to attest to
the applicant’s good academic standing and financial need. Only students
who will pursue one, or a combination of the primary care specialties of
family practice, general internal medicine, general pediatrics or
obstetrics/gynecology will be eligible for scholarship funds.
Selection preference will be given to applicants
who meet the above criteria and who demonstrate 1) a commitment to primary
health care, 2) financial need, and 3) prior experience with populations
whose health care needs are underserved. When all factors are equal,
preference is given to applicants who have resided in Illinois for the
longer period of time.
How does the application and
selection process work?
Applications are provided to the financial aid
offices of Illinois’ allopathic and osteopathic medical schools.
Completed applications must be postmarked no later than May
15. The Department may interview applicants as part of the
selection process. Announcement of students selected for awards is
scheduled for October. The scholarship will pay tuition, fees
(matriculation fees and mandatory insurance) and living expenses of $950 a
month for 12 months per year. Scholarship awards are sent to the medical
schools for disbursement.
What are the details
concerning scholarship repayment?
Each student who receives the scholarship will
enter into a contract with the Illinois Department of Public Health
detailing the terms and conditions of the scholarship. Failure by the
recipient to meet the terms of the contract will require the recipient to
reimburse the state three times the total amount of the scholarship
over the same period of time the financial assistance was provided.
Within 30 days after completing residency
training, the scholarship recipient begins to repay the award by
establishing an office-based practice in an area in Illinois designated by
the Department as having a shortage of primary care providers.
Fellowships in a primary care field, generally one
year in length after residency, are allowable when approved by the
Department. Time spent in residency or fellowship does not repay any part
of the service obligation.
The recipient must practice on a full-time basis,
one year for each year scholarship funds were received. The physicians
(recipients) are considered to be in private practice and are not
employees of the Department. Private practice may be as an individual or
in a group. Physicians working in hospital settings must work full-time in
ambulatory patient care through an outpatient clinic. Both salaried and
fee-for-service practice arrangements are acceptable
For evaluation and approval of practice locations,
a scholarship recipient must contact the Department prior to entering into
a formal agreement with an employer or facility. Practice locations can be
approved up to 18 months prior to initiating the service repayment.
The Department will not assign scholarship
recipients to an area.
What are the details
concerning a practice site location?
Applicants will need to be flexible about practice
location as physician shortage areas in the state change. If an applicant
hopes to practice in a particular city or county, serious consideration
should be given to the importance of this preference before
applying for this scholarship. A current list of physician shortage areas
is available at www.illinoishealthpro.org.
Selecting a suitable location to fulfill the
service obligation is the responsibility of the scholarship recipient. The
Department will consider new geographic locations for designation as
physician shortage areas and recipients, medical schools, hospitals,
physicians or community organizations may submit proposed locations for
review. In all instances, practice must begin within 30 days of
recipient’s licensure or completion of a residency program.
Questions may be
directed to :
Illinois Department of Public
Center for Rural Health
Medical Student Scholarship
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