» Medical Grants

Medical Grants

No matter how you look at it, medical school is an expensive proposition. Due both to the sheer length of the training process – it often involves eight years of class and clinical study along with as much as 12 years of residency and fellowship work – and the intensiveness of the field itself, studying medicine is one of the more costly educational options. It often results in students owing 100k or more for loans they have taken out by the time they are all finished with their actual schooling and have begun to work in the field.

All this being the case, any and all monies that don’t have to be paid back are a bonus and a welcome sight. Every little bit helps, and so grant money is something that medical students seek avidly.

Medical grants, in the general sense, are not only for medical students however. They can also be awarded to patients to pay for medical care. In the overall sense a medical grant is simply money donated to pay for medical work – either a procedure, research, or a combination of both. As such they are awarded to researchers, medical departments of colleges, students, and patients alike, because all of these parties are involved in the practice of medicine.

Let’s take a look at the various types of medical grants and what goes into the process of applying for them. We’ll look at some of the criteria for being eligible for these various types of grants, what they are awarded for, and the types of organizations that offer them. Having an overview of the whole process is a good idea before apply for these grants, whether you are a medical student, a patient, or someone involved somewhere in medical education or administration.

Grants for Medical Students

If a student is in the undergraduate phase of their study of medicine, ordinary grants such as the Pell grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity (FSEOG) grant apply to them as much as it does for anyone else in undergraduate secondary education. So these can in sense be thought of as medical grants in that they help pay for the basic expenses of medical school such as tuition, books, and medical equipment and supplies. In order to apply for these types of grants, a student must fill out the Federal Application for Student Aid form and submit it. This form is available both online and in paper form at universities, libraries, legal offices, and the like.

Above and beyond this however, what a medical student that is past the undergraduate stage is really after is either a research grant or a fellowship of some kind, or scholarships from foundations to help pay for their continued education. A research grant is a grant that is given by the government or some other organization or foundation to pay for medical research. More advanced medical students are able to initiate research projects for which they can obtain grants while also fulfilling various requirements and furthering their education. There are also simply grants given to medical students that meet various criteria, whether or not they are doing research.

Here are some of the foundations that a student can consider when applying for medical grants to help pay for school. The web addresses for these organizations will be given at the bottom in the helpful links section:

The American Medical Association (AMA)

The largest association of doctors and medical students in the U.S., the AMA was founded in 1847. Students can apply to this organization for medical research grants. Specifically check out their SEED grant research program, which awards $2,500 grants to encourage students to enter the medical research field.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH)

This organization is the research arm of the Unites States Department of Health and Human Services. As such it awards grant money for all kinds of medical research, so it is a primary funding source for medical students at the research stages of their academic careers.

The New York Academy of Medicine

Based in New York City and established in 1847, the New York Academy of Medicine is a non-profit organization devoted to furthering the health of urban populations across the United States. As such it awards grants for research it considers worthwhile, and medical students can apply to it for grants.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is a large non-profit research institute in Chevy Chase Maryland that has one of the largest educational endowment funds in the country (around $14 billion). Students undertaking various research projects can apply to the institute for grants.

The American Medical Student Association

This student run association was formed in the 1950s, and strives to help medical students in a variety of ways to become ethical and well trained professionals in the field. They have managed over $75 million in grant and contract funds since they were founded. They work with a variety of individual foundations to raise funds for a number of educational purposes.

Association of American Medical Colleges

The AAMC is based in Washington, D.C. and was founded in 1876. It is an accrediting body for M.D. granting institutions and can also be applied to for medical grants. Like the others, it is a non-profit organization.

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In addition to these large funding sources, a simple search on the internet for “medical school grant foundations” or a similar set of terms will bring up all kinds of private foundations and groups that assist medical students in paying for their education. Sometimes they have certain criteria such as being from a specific minority group, living in a certain region, or entering a specific branch of medicine. Simply create a list of all these grant sources, from large governmental ones to private sources, for which you fit the criteria and apply to them. It doesn’t hurt to apply to quite a few – the worst that can happen is that you won’t get the grant. The more grants you apply for, the greater your chances, so think volume.

Grants to pay for Medical Care

Though the basic principle of getting free money to pay for medicine is the same, grants to pay for medical care are something of a different ballgame. Nevertheless, there are a number of ways that someone in need of medical care can apply for grants to cover the expenses incurred. Here are a few:

Ask an organization that helps people with a specific illness for a grant.

There are often groups or foundations, such as the American Cancer Society, that help people with specific illnesses. You can approach these groups and ask them about a grant for a particular procedure related to that illness.

Ask the hospital for a grant

Sometimes hospitals have funds set aside to help patients who can’t pay. So the hospital where you are a getting treatment is an obvious place to ask about grants. They may well have funds in place to help patients in need.


Your employer may be willing to pay for some medical treatment. This is not like asking for a favor. Employers have to make sure of the health and well being of their employees in order to make sure their business remains operating optimally, so they are often willing to pay for medical care to some degree.


Churches are humanitarian organizations and they may be willing to help you pay for some necessary medical care with money you need not pay back. This will depend on the church, and is entirely at the discretion of the church staff, but it is always a possibility so it shouldn’t be overlooked.

Local Government

Your town, city, or state government may have funds to help out people with certain medical conditions. Check with your local and state health departments about grants they may offer.

Regardless of whether you are a physician, student, or patient, medical grants can be a great help. The key is to investigate as many sources as possible and try to find a number of grants to help pay for education, research, or care. Think in terms of finding a large number of potential grant sources to increase the chances of getting a grant.

Medical Grant Resources and Links

The American Medical Association – SEED program

The National Institutes of Health

The New York Academy of Medicine

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute

The American Medical Student Association

Association of American Medical Colleges

The Foundation Center – has large database of grant foundations

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Camilla E. Cassell December 29, 2010 at 6:28 pm

I am searching for grant(s) that will fund medical bills. I am a Cancer patient receiving cancer treatments and I am searching any facility that will help me with my doctor’s bills. If you can send me any information or lead me directly to sources that can help me. Thank you in advance.



Dolores January 7, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Go directly to your county Dept. of Social Services (or equivalent in yourcounty/ state) and request medical grant form/s to help you pay!


lynn harvey January 16, 2011 at 10:17 pm

i am looking for medical help for my husband. he needs a complete knee replacement and also peridontal work before surgery. i am disabled and he has been unemployed for over a year.please help us with information on where to look for help. thank you


katrina February 25, 2011 at 12:20 am

I am trying to find a medical grant to pay for a LLT laser for my local hospital’s OT department. The laser has been found to help many people with lymphedema due to complications from cancer. I suffer from arm lymphedema because of having lymph nodes removed during breast cancer surgery. I have been unable to get my arm under control through manual lymph therapy including bandaging and OT services. It would be wonderful if I could find a grant to pay for the laser so everyone in my area could benefit. The laser costs $4700. Thanks for any information or help.


veronica marrochello March 2, 2011 at 12:52 am

I am looking for rural or urban medical grants for medical or dental education


Erin C. March 17, 2011 at 6:40 pm

I am looking for funding for my father-in-law, who was recently diagnosed with Amyloidosis. He was scheduled to go to Boston to begin treatment on the 19th, however today, his insurance company decided to tell him that they will not cover the treatment he needs so bad. He is a wonderful man, who deserves to live. His health is rapidly deteriorating, and without treatment, doctors give him only 6-12 months. He is a father of 5, 2 of which are under the age of 13. If anyone has any information regarding funding for this disease, PLEASE respond immediately and let me know. Nothing is too little.


Stephanie May 22, 2011 at 2:25 pm

I am looking for a grant to pay for a surgical procedure my insurance company refuses to pay for. The AMA says that Gender confirmation surgery is a medically necessary procedure however my insurance does not. the surgery is approximately $18,000 to $20,000 which is something I can never save enough for even though I work full time, I dont make enough to put anything aside. is there anything out there that I can apply for?
I have tried the Jim collins foundation for the last 3 years only to be passed over by someone else.


Miss Prakriti Subedi May 29, 2011 at 7:28 am

Dear Sir
My name is Prakriti Subedi. I am enrolled in MBBS program 2010 at Patan Academy of Health Sciences after successfully passed the comprehensive written and oral examinations of the Academy. I have also passed SLC and +2 in science with distinctions. I have keen interest in becoming a doctor and to serve the rural people of Nepal. However, a significant amount of money is requires for the completion of six years MBBS curriculum and my family economic background is not in position to afford the sum of money required. It seems clear that without the support from the philanthropist like you, I could not be able at all to materialize my dream and cannot fulfill my endeavor of life. Therefore, I am looking forward for your generous understanding and financial support for which I would be grateful and highly be appreciative for my endeavor of life. I have enclosed herewith the recommendation letters from Patan Academy of Health Sciences and the Metropolitan City Kathmandu, Nepal.
Please contact me at the following address or contact directly to VC Dr Arjun Karki or Dean Dr. Rajesh Nath Gangol at of Patan Academy Health Sciences for further clarification. I appreciate partial assistance as well. Please refer the attached letter of the Academy’s recommendation and for the total tuition fee required.
I would highly appreciate your generous understanding and cooperation in this regard. Thank you very much for your cooperation.
Most Sincerely

Prakriti Subedi, MBBS 1st year
PO Box: 5284 Kathmadu
Phones: 9841148974 and 44621745
Minbhawan 34 Kathmandu, Nepal


Karen August 28, 2011 at 9:47 pm

I was born in 1954 in just a few days I will be 58 yrs. old. I contracted polio at the age of 6 weeks. polio and wereing a long leg brace on right leg is all I have ever known. I was raised to be strong willed and full of determination. Many things as a child were just unreachable, but anyway possible I would make it happen. I was told I’d nerver walk I did, told I’d never go to public schools I did, after I married the doctors told me because of deformaities of pelvic bones I’d never have children and I did. I have never until now got to the point that I am going to doctors all the time. This polio is now called Post Polio Syndrome. The virus that causes this gosh awful disease creeps back in after all these years to attack me once again. my muscels are getting weaker and weaker. Now that woman that was once a young woman fighting to live and work and funtion like rest of world is takin a nose dive into a sever physical and mental state of being. from medical bills on hand and medical bills that I am facing in near future is pulling me under. I have fought all my life to keep my home a have gone from taking care of my child to grandchildren. Anymore of these medical bills I WILL LOSE my home. I have already had to file bankruptcy but was able to keep my home. OK here I am about to be 58 and in most cases that is young. I am fighting to keep my home and keep my life in tact. Please help me find places to apply for real medical grants in order to pay medical bills so I can get treatment and keep my home. right now I am facing having to chose. Well when it comes to this post polio I have no choice but with grant funding I can get medical I need as well as keep my home.
Looking for serious help


Mona H. September 7, 2011 at 1:15 am

I wasn’t sure when I opened this article whether this would be to help with medical costs or to help for medical school. I was pleasantly surprised to find out if was both. I’m going to see what I can do tomorrow to start the application process, because I desperately need help with my knee-replacement surgery and I make too much for Medicaid. Thanks for the helpful article, I appreciate it!


Camille October 17, 2011 at 4:27 pm

I’m needing some help with paying for my gender confirmation surgery. I’m currently on Disability because of it, but I can’t get any help from medicare to fix my medical condition so that I might get off of Disability and join the work-world again. If were born in one of the more civilized–medical-wise–countries like Britain, France or even Canada, my much needed surgery would be paid for. . . . So far, I’m cursed with not only having been born in the wrong body, but also with having been born in the UNITED STATES.



Suzanne January 6, 2012 at 3:20 am

I am looking for a grant that will assist with traveling. My husband has a rare lung disease and we need to travel from NC to CA for the surgery. Once we get there, we will need to stay in CA for at least 3 weeks, so in addition to the travel expenses we also need funds for staying there.


Purushottam Dhodary March 8, 2012 at 6:24 pm

I am Nepalese citizen and I am handicapped.I have passed my diploma level in science faculty with good mark.My economic level is very low so I request you to grant me for my further study.We handicapped student are regarded as damaged good by our goverment . so I requested you to grant me for study of medicine. ADDRESS KATHMANDU NEPAL


Judi Schmidt March 10, 2012 at 10:39 pm

I am over 40 and have recently decided to go back to school. I am currently enrolled in a Medical billing and coding degree program . I work in an industry the is detrimental to my health. I am looking for scholarships or grants to help with the cost of school. Can you help please?


Kostyantyn December 15, 2014 at 5:16 pm

I’m Associate Professor and is representing one of the biggest medical University in Ukraine. We are looking the grants for medical researches and medical students. Kindly share this information among potential donors of the funds.


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