Cost of Living Stipend

for economically-disadvantaged residents

Pilot Program Extended

July 2024

We understand that living in the greater Boston area is expensive. Cambridge Health Alliance wants to provide financial assistance to residents with significant financial challenges who might not otherwise be able to train here.

  • Cash stipends (in addition to standard PGY-level salary) will be provided to physicians-in-training who match to our residency programs in 2025 and were approved for the AAMC's "Fee Assistance Program (FAP)" as an AMCAS applicant, with their confirmation of continuing financial need.
  • The total stipend amount of $30,000 will be distributed in 3 installments of $10,000 at the beginning of each academic year for the first 3 years of the residency program. See details below.
Stipend Details:
  • Applies to physicians that match in 2025 to enter residency programs that are at least two years in duration, sponsored by Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA). (See examples below illustrating eligibility.)
  • After matching to one of our residency programs, eligible incoming residents must provide:
    • The AAMC's email indicating approval for their Fee Assistance Program (FAP). (We recognize this will be 4+ years old.) 
    • Applicants can confirm that they were approved for FAP and obtain a copy of the documentation by email.
    • Stipends will be provided by CHA without involvement of individual residency programs or departments. The program/department staff will not know who receives the stipend. (Please note that stipends are considered taxable income.) 
    Eligible Residency Programs:
    • CHA Adult Psychiatry Residency
    • CHA Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship
    • CHA Internal Medicine Residency
    • Tufts Family Medicine Residency at CHA
    Learn More:

    Please see our FAQ and examples below.

    For other questions, please contact the CHA Human Resources Benefits Department at benefits@challiance.org.

    • Frequently Asked Questions about the Stipend Program
      Q: How can I know as an applicant whether I would receive the stipend if I match at CHA?

      If you meet the simple eligibility criteria you can count on getting the stipend:

      You must provide documentation of having been approved by AAMC for their Fee Assistance Program as an AMCAS applicant. If you cannot find the confirmation email that AAMC sent to you, you can obtain a copy by contacting them at: FAP@AAMC.org.

      You send us the registration form confirming that you continue to experience financially challenging circumstances. We ask this because the FAP eligibility was determined some years ago, and significant financial changes may have occurred.

      We leave this for you to judge because circumstances may be complex. For example, your partner may earn a salary that is comparable to yours, or higher, but financial obligations beyond routine living expenses (e.g. large loan repayment, support of dependents, etc.) might more than offset this. Therefore, for purposes of this program, your continued economic disadvantage is self-determined and self-reported.

      Q: What if I would have qualified for AAMC’s Fee Assistance Program but was not aware of it when I applied to medical school?

      Unfortunately, you are not eligible for the stipend.

      Q: How do I activate the stipend if I match to CHA?

      If you meet the stated eligibility requirements, you should email your AAMC FAP confirmation and this form. Receipt will be acknowledged and information provided about when to expect the initial $10K.

      Q: Will the first stipend be available in time to support moving expenses?

      Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide the stipend until the first week of Orientation.

      Q: I see this program is described as a “pilot”—might it be cancelled before I receive the three annual stipends?

      The commitment to provide $30K via three, annual $10K payments, is not subject to cancellation for recipients recruited in the 2025 match who are continuing in our residencies. This stipend program is considered a pilot in that we want to learn from early experience and be flexible about changing it to make improvements. While it is possible that the program will be discontinued at some point that would happen by not offering this in future recruitment cycles— existing commitments will be honored.

    • Eligibility Examples
      Examples:
      1. A student has matched to the Tufts Family Medicine Residency at CHA in 2025 and is due to start in June 2025. Upon receipt of the documentation outlined above, CHA will send the first stipend on or shortly after the first week of Orientation.
      2. A resident has matched to the CHA Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship in 2025 and is due to start in July 2025. The Fellow is eligible to receive the stipend in July 2025 and assuming reappointment for the 2nd year of Fellowship, in July 2026.
      3. A student has matched to the CHA Adult Psychiatry Residency in 2025 and is due to start in June 2025. The student is eligible to receive the stipend in June 2025 and assuming reappointment in subsequent years, for the 2nd year of residency in July 2026 and the 3rd year of residency in July 2027. The resident is not eligible for the stipend during their 4th year of training beginning in July 2028 because the stipend is for a maximum of 3 years.
      4. Two students, married to each other (or domestic partners), were individually included in the FAP program as ERAS applicants and have now matched at CHA in Internal Medicine and Family Medicine. Both students will receive the stipend, as their marriage/partnership doesn't negate their individual eligibility. (This would be the case even if they were in the same residency at CHA.)
      5. A student matched to the CHA Neurology program in 2024 to start in 2025, and will be coming to Boston for a Medicine internship at another hospital (not involved in this pilot) in June 2025. The student will be eligible to receive the stipend as a Neurology resident, with distributions in July of 2025, 2026, and 2027 – but not during the prelim year at a different institution.
      6. A student matching in March 2025 for one year of Transitional Year training at CHA (prior to Anesthesia residency out of state) is not eligible because the one-year CHA program does not meet the duration requirements of a residency of two years or longer.
      7. An individual matches to the CHA Internal Medicine program after initially beginning residency in another specialty at another institution. They can utilize the stipend since they have matched to an eligible residency program and were approved for FAP as a student; the prior training does not disqualify them.
      8. A student who was approved for AAMC's Fee Assistance Program at the time of their ERAS applications, has since experienced a very positive change in financial circumstance. As an incoming intern they determine that they cannot attest to ongoing financial need and thus do not utilize the stipend.
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