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Indiana Primary Care Scholarship

The Indiana Primary Care Scholarship supports Indiana residents who commit to practice primary care in an under-served area in Indiana. The scholarship pays the recipient’s in-state IU School of Medicine tuition and fees for four years of medical school.

The Indiana Primary Care Scholarship Program was established by the State of Indiana in 1993 to increase the number of practicing primary care physicians within Indiana’s medically under-served areas. Since its inception, the program has financially assisted more than 230 Indiana residents attending Indiana University School of Medicine in exchange for their commitment to the practice of primary care in an Indiana under-served area.

The Indiana State Department of Health provides information to IU School of Medicine that identifies medically under-served areas using a ratio of one physician for every 2000 county residents: a result greater than 1:2000 puts the county into an under-served status.


Applications for the Primary Care Scholarship Program are due by April 15. Due to funding limitations, late applications may not be considered.



To qualify for the Indiana Primary Care Scholarship, applicants must be accepted or enrolled as a medical student at Indiana University School of Medicine. Applicants must not be already committed to any other program that would require a service commitment in direct conflict with the Indiana Primary Care Scholarship.

Award recipients must maintain good academic standing while in medical school and demonstrate commitment to a primary care specialty (family medicine, general internal medicine, general pediatrics or med/peds). Applicants with prior experience with medically under-served populations are preferred. Scholarship selection also prioritizes applicants based on length of time as an Indiana resident.

Practice Obligation

Students awarded the Indiana Primary Care Scholarship must enter a residency-training program in family medicine, general internal medicine, general pediatrics, or medicine/pediatrics and complete the residency program within four years of graduation from medical school. Following residency, scholarship recipients must practice full-time in primary health care within an Indiana medically under-served area until the scholarship practice obligation is completed. One full year of full-time practice is equivalent to forgiving one year of scholarship received.

The practice may be in any capacity as long as it meets the under-served criteria for the scholarship. Physicians practicing in hospital settings must work full-time in ambulatory patient care through an outpatient clinic.

The scholarship recipient is responsible for securing a practice location that fulfills the scholarship obligation. An Indiana map of physician shortage areas is made available from the Indiana State Department of Health through the Office of MD Admissions and Financial Aid to help the scholar identify qualified under-served areas for employment opportunities.

Examples of Primary Health Care Settings for the Indiana Primary Care Scholarship Program

Primary Health Care Non-Primary Health Care
Clinical Preventive Medicine Cardiology
Geriatrics* Gastroenterology
Adolescent Medicine Obstetrics/Gynecology
Adolescent Pediatrics Surgery
Sports Medicine* Dermatology
Obstetrics* Radiology

*One-year fellowships after Family Medicine Residency

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How should I explore whether the Indiana Primary Care Scholarship Program is right for me?
    Talk to primary health care physicians. Talk to your financial aid officer about eligibility as well as terms and conditions.
  • If I breach the scholarship agreement when does repayment begin and end?
    Repayment begins 60 days after you breach the scholarship agreement or withdraw from medical school. Interest at 10 percent plus the 91-day U.S. Treasury Bill retroactive to the date of issuance is computed on the unfulfilled practice or unpaid principal balance. Scholarship balances are repayable over a period of not less than three years. If this creates an undue hardship on the scholar financially, arrangements can be made at the discretion of the Indiana Primary Care Scholarship Committee.
  • What happens to my Indiana Primary Care Scholarship in the event of death or disability?
    Your obligation to repay the scholarship loan will be canceled upon receipt of the required documentation in the event of your death or permanent and total disability.
  • What if I accept the Indiana Primary Care Scholarship and change my mind about primary health care?
    If you are not firmly committed to the practice of primary health care, you should not apply or accept the Indiana Primary Care Scholarship.
  • What if I do not fulfill the primary care practice obligation?
    At the point you fail to fulfill your practice obligation, the outstanding scholarship balance will be subject to interest penalties computed at a simple interest rate of 10 percent plus the 52-week U.S. Treasury Bill from the date of the scholarship’s issuance. If you terminate your medical school studies and do not plan on completing medical school, the outstanding scholarship balance will be computed at a simple interest rate of 8 percent plus the 52-week U.S. Treasury Bill from the date of issuance.
  • What if I want additional certification?
    You may obtain additional certification in primary health care prior to fulfilling your practice obligation, as long as you complete your primary health care residency program and additional training within four years after medical school graduation. Allowances can be made for certification training after beginning the scholarship obligation. For example, if your primary care residency is completed in three years after graduation, you may obtain a one-year certification in an area of training to enhance your primary health care practice (i.e., geriatrics, obstetrics or sports medicine), and it will be considered an acceptable activity for fulfillment of your practice obligation. However, you may not do additional training or obtain certification in any non-primary health care sub-specialty.