Repayment Assistance Through Forgiveness, Scholarships, or Service

Interested in a service career, or want to reduce your medical school debt by working in public service or the military? Good news—there are numerous possibilities available.
With each program, financial benefits and requirements vary; however, some of the more common opportunities are highlighted below.

Commissioned Corps

The United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (USPHSCC) is the federal uniformed service of the United States Public Health Service (PHS) consisting of only commissioned officers as one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The PHS Commissioned Corps fill public health leadership and service roles within federal government agencies and programs.

Civil Service Programs

Opportunities exist to serve through the Indian Health Service (IHS), the Centers For Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, the National Health Service Corps, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HRSA), as well as other federal agencies. As a civil servant (public sector employee working for a government department or agency) you may meet the qualifying criteria for a scholarship, loan repayment, or loan forgiveness program to assist you with your medical education loans.

National Health Service Corps: Students to Service (S2S) Program

A program available to current medical students in their final year of medical school. In return for committing to providing primary care health services full-time, for at least three years, at an NHSC-approved site, participants are awarded up to $120,000 for loan repayment.  To learn more about this program review FIRST’s NHSC Students to Service (S2S) Loan Repayment fact sheet.

Military Programs

Some medical professionals may choose to obtain their medical degree by participating in a military scholarship or loan repayment program. The qualifications and commitment for each program vary, so research your options. Visit the Consumer and Federal Financial Aid Resources webpage for program specific information about each branch of the military. You may also want to watch this webinar: What the Military Can Do for You and Your Student Loans.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs highlights various programs on their website. Some of these programs include the Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP) and the Health Professional Scholarship Program (HPSP). Visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website for complete information.

Loan Forgiveness Options

  • See the Public Service Loan Forgiveness fact sheet for additional information on loan forgiveness options.
  • Utilize the AAMC's free, searchable database of state and federal loan repayment and forgiveness programs at
  • The income-driven repayment plans may also provide loan forgiveness. Review this chart to compare the repayment plans.

Financial Information, Resources, Services, and Tools (FIRST)

MedLoans® Organizer and Calculator (MLOC)

young couple calculating budget
The MedLoans® Organizer and Calculator was developed to assist medical students and residents with managing their education debt.


Get practical information on budgeting, money management, credit, debt management, scholarship searches, and more.

Contact FIRST

655 K Street, NW, Suite 100
Washington, DC 20001-2399