Find answers to the most frequently asked questions

Scholarship FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions

General Application Questions

I can’t fit all of my research/activities/etc. in the space provided, what should I do?

We do not accept additional documentation of any kind, and space limitations are the same for everyone. It is up to the judgement of the applicant on what to include, or how to shorten the information appropriately to fit the space provided.

What is organized medicine?

Organized medicine refers to participation/membership in state, specialty, and/or national medical associations or societies, such as the AMA.

I don’t have a Step 1 score/haven’t taken the test yet. What can I submit instead?

If you have not taken the Step 1 test yet, your school can provide a letter on school letterhead stating this, and the expected date the test will be completed. If you have completed the Step 1 test but do not have a score report for some reason, your school can also submit a letter on school letterhead stating your score. Letters from your school in lieu of the Step 1 score report can be uploaded by the applicant directly.

What is required in the personal statement/what should be included?

All personal statements should speak to your personal journey to medical school. If you are applying for a category that requires certain elements discussed in your personal statement, be sure to include those as well. Those requirements can be checked on the first page of the application.

I am having trouble uploading documents/My letter writer is having trouble uploading their recommendation letter. Can we email materials?

No – we do not accept application materials via email, mail, or fax under any circumstances. All materials must be uploaded via the application system. Be sure that you and recommenders attempt document upload well before the deadline, as nothing can be submitted after February 28, 2022 at 11:59pm Central.

Did you receive my completed application?

When you are ready to submit your application, click “save and finalize” on the last page. The system will automatically take you to any incomplete sections (highlighted in red) that must be completed before the application will submit. Once you have completed any sections that the system flagged as incomplete, you will get a “thank you” confirmation screen.

Please note: you can finalize and get this “confirmation” screen and you could still have pending requests for the financial aid form, registrar form, or for a letter.

If there are requests pending – someone still needs to complete a form or upload a letter – your application will be listed on your portal account as “pending letter of recommendation. If you view the pending status, the system generates a list of what is still pending, with an option to re-send the pending request.

The application system says I have a letter of recommendation pending, but both of my letter writers successfully uploaded their letter. What is pending?

It may say ‘letter of recommendation” but what is pending is the financial aid form or the registrar form. This is a quirk of the system – all materials requested through email (including the financial aid form and registrar form) are referred to as “letters of recommendation”. Check the pending status of your application in your account on the portal and it will show you what is still pending.

I am interested in pursuing sleep medicine/psychiatry and want to apply for that scholarship. What do I do?

If you are pursuing sleep medicine there is a subcategory of the General scholarship you can be considered for; there is also a subcategory of the General scholarship for those interested in psychiatry. If either of these specialties are part of your career plans and you wish to be considered for these special subcategories, you should be nominated for and apply to the AMA Foundation Physicians of Tomorrow Scholarship (General), and use that submission code. There are not additional submission codes for these subcategories. After selecting the General category and entering that submission code on the application form, you will be prompted to opt-in to either specialty subcategory. If you are applying for the General scholarship but are not pursuing sleep medicine or psychiatry, you can select “no” when prompted, and your application will be considered in the main General category pool.

Please note for medical school administration: there are only 2 nominees allowed per medical school for the General scholarship category. There are not additional nominees for the subcategories (meaning, you can have two TOTAL nominees in the General category, inclusive of any sleep medicine or psychiatry applicants). If you have additional questions, please email Emily.Demko@ama-assn.org.

Recommendation Requests & Registrar/Financial Aid Request Questions

Can my recommender that must be a faculty member be a faculty member at a different institution other than my medical school?

Absolutely! We just require that the letter writer hold a faculty position at a medical school.

What should recommenders include in their letters of recommendation?

Letters of recommendation should go beyond statements of good academic standing. Recommenders should speak to the student’s involvement in other activities, financial need, and any other pertinent information that speaks to the student’s qualifications for a scholarship. Personal anecdotes are always nice, but if you don’t have a direct relationship with the dean, that’s okay! Consider giving them a copy of your CV and/or personal statement, perhaps provide them some quotes from feedback you have received from your clerkships or research mentors, or anyone else who knows you well. This will help them compose an appropriate letter for you.

Who should the letter of recommendation be addressed to?

Letters of recommendation can be addressed to the scholarship review committee.

Will there be a form for the financial aid office/registrar to complete and how does that work?

The applicant invites the financial aid officer and registrar through the system to complete a form on their behalf. The applicant will enter the staff member’s email address, and the recommender will receive an email through the application system with a link. Clicking the emailed link will take the financial aid officer or registrar directly to the required form – no account/login is needed to complete. Once successfully submitted, a confirmation screen will display, and an automated email will be sent to the student confirming receipt. This request system is the same for anyone writing letters of recommendation. Applications will not be considered if any requested materials are incomplete by the deadline of February 28, 2022 at 11:59pm Central.

A student sent me a recommendation request that should go to someone else. Can you fix this?

The student can withdraw a request and re-send to someone else, if needed

I am having trouble uploading documents/my letter writer is having trouble uploading their recommendation letter. Can we email materials?

No – we do not accept application materials via email, mail, or fax. All materials must be uploaded via the application system. Be sure that you and recommenders attempt document upload well before the deadline, as nothing can be submitted after February 28, 2022 at 11:59pm Central. Applications will not be considered if any requested materials are incomplete by the deadline of February 28, 2022 at 11:59pm Central. When letters/forms are successfully completed, a confirmation screen will be shown and an automated email will be sent to the student confirming receipt.

General Scholarship Program Questions

Can scholarship funds be used for other medical education costs?

No. The AMA Foundation requires that all scholarship funds be used for medical school tuition costs only, with no stipulations on the semester funds are applied towards.

What are the submission/reference codes? Do they change each year?

Each scholarship category has a unique code that applicants must enter on the first page of the application to proceed with the rest of the application. These codes change each year and are only distributed to medical school administration (deans and financial aid offices). Administrators can request codes for nominated students by emailing AMAF Program Manager Emily Demko at emily.demko@ama-assn.org.

What if I am taking a year off for research? Can I apply this year?

If you are taking a year off for research, to pursue an MBA, etc., you are eligible to apply either your third year of medical school, or as you are completing the year off from your home institution and heading back in the fall.

How many scholarships are awarded each year?

The number of scholarships awarded changes every year and is based on availability of funds. Typically, the General and Underrepresented in Medicine categories have 5-10 recipients each; other categories typically have 1-2 recipients each year.

How will we hear if we received a scholarship?

You will hear via email either way, whether or not you were selected for a scholarship, by June 15, 2022.

Who reviews/selects recipients?

All applications are reviewed by volunteers, which include donors, AMAF Board Members, and others. Final decisions are approved by the AMAF Board of Directors prior to notifications being sent.

Can I email materials?

No – we do not accept application materials via email, mail, or fax. All materials must be uploaded via the application system. Be sure that you and recommenders attempt document upload well before the deadline, as nothing can be submitted after February 28, 2022 at 11:59pm Central.

Who can I contact with questions?

For any question not included here, please email AMAF Program Manager Emily Demko at emily.demko@ama-assn.org. You can also view our interested applicant webinar at this link, which covers the application and review process.