How Global Health Can Help With Student Loans

Match Day may have come and gone, with fourth year students having visions of residency dancing through their heads. Unfortunately, no such vision would be complete without the hulking monstrosity that is our loan burden. The Committee on Global and Public Health within the AMA-MSS has put together a piece about ways to address the elephant in the room, but first, credit where credit is due. This article would not have been possible without the work of Van Kenyon, Chethan Rao, Sagar Chawla, Morgan Hardy, Nafeeza Hussain, Josh Eikenberg, Allen Young, Tyson Schwab, Brian Yagi, and Stephen Belmustakov under the leadership of Divya Sharma (Chair), and Jessica Peterson (Vice Chair).


Now let’s dive in: With the ever-increasing interest in global health, students looking to assist international health care efforts may be searching for means to obtain financial support for their work.


Medical Scholars Program from the Infectious Diseases Society of America

The Medical Scholars Program was established in 2002 and has awarded over 500 medical students interested in the sub-specialty of infectious diseases the opportunity to pursue independent clinical or research activities outside their institutional program and explore the field of infectious diseases. It helps attract the best and brightest to the field by giving medical students a first-hand look at the challenges and opportunities of working in infectious disease. Projects should be classified as belonging to one of the following categories: Clinical Infectious Diseases Preceptorship, Clinical Research, Epidemiology, International Health, Laboratory Research, and Prevention. Must have letter of recommendation from IDSA member/fellow serving as mentor/preceptor to apply. Award amount is 2000 USD. Find out more at:


Benjamin H. Kean Travel Fellowship in Tropical Medicine from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

The Fellowship is administered by the Society’s American Committee on Clinical Tropical Medicine and Travelers’ Health (ACCTMTH – Clinical Group) and provides travel expenses for medical students who arrange clinical tropical medicine/tropical medicine research electives in areas afflicted by diseases or illnesses common in the tropics. Students who are arranging global health clinical work or research with at least one month at a site endemic for diseases or illnesses common in the tropics may also be considered. This is open to full-time medical students in accredited schools of medicine in the United States or Canada. Award amount is 1000 USD + airfare. Find out more at: CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=6292


CDC-Hubert Global Health Fellowship from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Program to provide medical and veterinary students with a population health experience in an international setting. Participants learn through hands-on experience working on a priority health problem in a developing country, and are mentored by experienced CDC staff. You must be a medical or veterinary student in your 2nd or 3rd year when you apply, enrolled in an accredited school, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and able to attend the CDC-Hubert Global Health Fellowship Short Course in Atlanta in August. Award amount is 4000 USD. Find out more at:


The GE-NMF Global Health Fellows Program from the National Medical Fellowships

The GE-NMF Global Health Fellows Program provides a two-month mentored clinical experience in the provision of primary healthcare in Ghana and Kenya. This program provides opportunities to learn about the management of acutely ill patients and seeks to improve population health, strengthen local hospital capacity and build a cadre of global health practitioners. Fellows are actively involved in healthcare delivery and institutional assessment relevant to their academic programs. Eligible candidates must be US citizens; underrepresented minority students, and 4th year students enrolled in an accredited US medical school (MD or DO). Award amount is cost of travel and stipend, with a 5000 USD scholarship upon completion of the program. Find out more at:


David E. Rogers Fellowship Program from the New York Academy of Medicine

Rogers Fellowship is meant to enrich the educational experiences of medical and dental students through projects that bear on medicine and dentistry as they contribute to the health of communities, and to address the human needs of underserved or disadvantaged patients or populations. The content of the Fellowship might include clinical investigation, public health/epidemiology, health policy analysis, activities linking biomedicine, the social infrastructure and human or community need. Competition is open to candidates attending medical or dental school in the United States. Students enrolled in combined MD/PhD programs are not eligible for this program. Additionally, eligible candidates are required to be a US citizen, permanent resident of the US, or authorized to work in the US for the period of time covered by this proposed award. Award amount is 4000 USD. Find out more at:

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Josh Lesko, MD

Josh Lesko is a flight surgeon based in San Diego, California, writing about health policy, organized medicine, and whatever else comes across his news desk.