Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a Deferred Mission Appointee (DMA)?

A medical or dental student willing to accept a mission appointment in exchange for amortization of student debt over the span of mission service. Other Loma Linda students are referred to the Global Service Award program.

What is the purpose of the program?

To allow medical and dental students committed to overseas mission service to pursue their professional education with financial stability and to give focus and direction to this commitment.

Where do DMAs serve?

Upon completion of dental school or medical residency, deferred mission appointees (DMA) are placed in one of the Seventh-day Adventist Church's many health care organizations world wide.

Which specialties are needed most?

Family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, general surgery, obstetrics/gynecology, and general dentistry are usually in highest demand, although other specialties may be needed under some circumstances.

Who finances the DMA program?

Half of the eligible debt is amortized by the General Conference. The remaining half is covered in a variety of ways, including by the requesting division or institution, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, and private donations.

What about living expenses while in school?

If accepted into the program, DMAs will also be given a Loma Linda University-sponsored stipend to cover room, board, and personal costs, as early as the start of the sophomore year.

How quickly is the debt repaid?

The amount amortized during each year of service is one-tenth of the eligible indebtedness. Thus, if the student borrows the full amount required for tuition and books, the debt will be repaid after approximately ten years of service. If the student is able to borrow less, the balance is paid more quickly.

Who is eligible?

All SDA LLU medical and dental students who are interested may apply for the DMA program. Freshman students must await the completion of the first quarter of medical or dental school in order to apply. Applications are processed at the conclusion of the first quarter. Sophomore, junior, and senior students may apply at any time.