The Scholarship Fund began with $14,000, monies unexpectedly realized when the Worcester District Medical Society organized a massive poliomyelitis immunization program in 1963 by purchasing and administering live oral polio virus vaccine to Worcester residents. The charge per dose for participants was twenty-five cents (an amount chosen for the convenience of making change). Thousands of people came to the clinics that were held on Sundays in schools and manned by WDMS physicians and their spouses (members of the Auxiliary). The young, the not so young, the not so old and the old came for their doses on three successive weekends. When the program was completed, there was a surplus of $14,000. Since the program was never intended to make a profit, the leaders of the Society felt that the surplus money should be put to good use for the community, and in that spirit, they established the Scholarship Fund. The purpose of the Scholarship Fund is to recognize diverse medical students in financial need who are residents of Central Massachusetts and who demonstrate commitment to community service.
Since the program was not intended for profit, the Society returned the money to the community by establishing a Scholarship Fund.
Our Scholarship Committee meets annually to award financial scholarships to medical students each year. The number and amounts offered vary each year based on the monies available through donations and fund raising.
Thanks to our member and sponsor contributions, we awarded 16 Scholarship and Book Awards ranging from $1,000 to $3,500, totaling $41,000. These were distributed at the 2022 Fall District Meeting.
Since the inception of the program nearly 1 million dollars has been awarded to 343 Central Massachusetts medical students.
The Committee will accept applications for 2023 from June 1, 2023 through September 1, 2023. The Fall District Meeting will occur in November 2023.
The criteria for scholarship awards will be based on scholastic achievement, financial need and community service. Scholarship awards are limited to one award per academic year and not to exceed 3 awards by the time of graduation.
Mission statement for WDMS Scholarship Program:
To lessen the burden of medical school debt for diverse medical student residents of Central Massachusetts who demonstrate commitment to community service. Consistent with our over-arching mission, please note and provide the following:
- Must be a legal resident of Central Massachusetts* at the time of applying to medical school
- Must be currently enrolled as a 2nd, 3rd or 4th year student, attending an accredited allopathic (MD) or osteopathic (DO) medical school (not on leave or in your gap year, in a degree program such as an MPH or PHD, or in a fellowship year at the time that award is dispersed)
- Must be considered a full-time student, in good academic standing and maintaining satisfactory academic progress.
- Must demonstrate involvement in community service
- Must have a financial need
- Must submit a complete application and include:
- Two letters of recommendation (sent directly to WDMS from author)
- Personal essay describing a career in medicine and why they feel deserving of the award
- Current Curriculum Vitae (CV)
- Medical School Transcript (sent directly to WDMS from student affairs office)
Verification / documentation from the medical school to be provided by the financial aid office:
- Applicant’s good standing and enrollment as a full-time student in the program leading to the MD degree.
- Applicant’s legal residency in Central Massachusetts* at the time of applying to medical school (list below).
- Applicant’s ethnic and/or racial background(s) as documented in their application to medical school.
- Verification of the applicant’s current debt and estimated debt burden upon graduation.
- Any additional relevant information regarding the applicant’s financial need, is welcomed, for instance, first generation college status, etc.
Please submit all supporting documents to MBoucher@wdms.org
* Central Massachusetts Cities and Towns:
*Resources: Worcester District Medical Society Bylaws. Worcester Chamber of Commerce.
What to expect after applying:
All eligible applicants with complete applications will be interviewed either in person or by telephone/Zoom, in the early fall. Candidates should be prepared to discuss their desire to become a physician, involvement with community service/volunteer opportunities, unique attributes, and financial need.
The Scholarship Committee will review all applications and select recipients based on the criteria above and all recipients will be notified by mid-October and our Fall District meeting will occur in mid-November. If in person, you will be invited to attend along with guests to accept the award. If via Zoom, we will have a virtual presentation.
For questions call or email Melissa Boucher at 508-753-1579 or MBoucher@wdms.org
To apply, please fill out the form below:
"*" indicates required fields