Since May of 1976, the IOKDS Health Careers Scholarship Department has provided scholarships to students in health career fields. Students must be citizens of the United States or Canada and be studying at an accredited institution in the United States or Canada. We believe that contributing to the education of compassionate health care workers assists IOKDS in "caring for all God's children through service In His Name."

Who is eligible?

Medical and dental students (in human medicine) who have completed their first year of an accredited medical/dental school are eligible to apply. Students in pre-med courses are not eligible.

Students studying in a college or university accredited in the fields of pharmacy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech and language therapy, and medical technologies who have completed a minimum of two years of study are eligible to apply. Priority is given to students who are working on their Master's or Doctorate Degrees when those degrees are required for certification.

Students studying to become registered nurses with an Associate's Degree must have completed at least their first year of study at an accredited institution. Those pursuing a Bachelor's or Master's Degree in Nursing must have completed two years of study.

Am I eligible for a scholarship for more than one academic year?

Scholarship recipients are eligible to receive scholarships for a maximum of three academic years. Students must re-apply each year and remain in good academic standing to be considered.

How do I apply?

E-Mail: Please include your name, course of study and college. From November 1 through March 1, application requests may be submitted to: healthcareersdirector.kds@gmail.com.

If you prefer to use snail mail, please write a short description of your course of study, your e-mail address. Because mail is forwarded to the current scholarship director, please submit your request no later than March 1. Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope (regular business envelope) and mail to:

Health Careers Scholarship Director
PO Box 1040
Chautauqua, NY 14722

Completed applications including all required documents (letters of recommendation and official transcripts) must be sent via snail mail and postmarked on or before April 1 to be considered.

How do I make a contribution to the IOKDS Health Careers Scholarship Department?

Your prayerful support and financial gifts are very important to us in continuing our scholarship ministry. For more information regarding making a tax-exempt financial contribution, click here or call (716) 357-4951.


Submitted by Peter Kooch

I had only been in medical school for five months when I wrote this piece. At the time, it felt incredibly premature for me to speak of a truly personal student-patient interaction. Yet I felt compelled to write about Doña Paulina. I ended up recording these experiences for my own reflection and future recollection.

These events occurred prior to my entrance into medical school, during the time I spent volunteering at a clinic in Guatemala. For much of that time, I worked as an aide for an elderly Mayan woman recovering from a sizeable ulcer. My friendship with this octogenarian hermit, Doña Paulina, with whom I share almost no language or cultural background, is among the oddest and most difficult relationships of my life. Yet, for those same reasons, it has been one of the most meaningful.

I first came to Guatemala in 2008. In Santa Cruz la Laguna, a community of indigenous Mayans in the Western highlands, I encountered a pair of physicians that operated a small clinic. After spending a few days around trying to lend a hand, I decided to stay to volunteer for the next seven months. More here.

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