Scholarships & Awards

Alabama Residents Encouraged to Apply for Board of Medical Scholarship Awards 

In a time where the demand for health care significantly outweighs the supply of medical professionals, innovative strategies to encourage young physicians to serve in underserved areas are more crucial than ever. The Alabama Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) is urging Residents to apply for the Board of Medical Scholarship Award (BMSA).

The BMSA was conceived with the dual purpose of addressing the acute shortage of primary care physicians in rural Alabama and incentivizing medical students to commit to serving in these areas. Recognizing the pivotal role of primary care in the health care continuum, the BMSA specifically targets residents specializing in family practice, internal medicine, and pediatrics - the cornerstones of primary care.

By offering financial assistance in the form of a loan repayable by service, the BMSA aims to alleviate the financial burden of medical education. In return, scholarship recipients are required to practice primary care medicine in a pre-approved, medically underserved community in Alabama. This reciprocal arrangement not only facilitates the aspiring physicians' educational journey but also ensures that the most vulnerable communities receive much-needed medical services.

Eligibility for the BMSA is extended to residents at Alabama's state medical schools, with a marked preference for those demonstrating economic need. Once medical school and primary care residency are completed, award recipients must serve in a designated medically underserved community. The duration of this service is calculated based on the community's population size, ensuring that the loan repayment is both fair and impactful.

Repayment terms are as follows…

  • A community that has a population of 5,000 or less will be a 4-year service commitment
  • A community that has a population between 5,000 and 15,000 will be a 5-year service commitment
  • A community that has a population between 15,000 and 50,000 will have a 6-year service commitment

The contractual agreement between the loan recipient and the Board should not be taken lightly. It underscores a commitment to not only repay the financial aid received but to also contribute to the well-being of underserved communities through dedicated medical practice.

Should a recipient fail to continue their medical education for any reason, the board may require immediate loan repayment with a simple interest of eight percent annually from the date of his or her departure from medical school.

Moreover, defaulting on this agreement or terminating the loan triggers significant penalties ranging from 20% to 200% of the total principal, commensurate with the duration of the scholarship received and the stage at which the default occurs.

If a loan recipient fails to perform their contractual agreement with BMSA or fails to pay the amount they are liable for under this program, these actions can trigger the most severe of professional repercussions—the revocation of their medical license.

By fostering a generation of dedicated doctors ready to serve where they are most needed, the BMSA is not just filling a gap in the health care workforce but is also contributing to the larger goal of ensuring that communities, irrespective of their geographical and economic status, have access to quality primary care.

For more information or to apply for this loan please contact:

Kelly Parker, Executive Director
Board of Medical Scholarship Awards
P.O. Box 115
Montgomery, Alabama 36101
Phone: (334) 353-4800
Fax: (334) 353-4877