For many students who dream of studying medicine, the greatest obstacle to becoming a doctor is the prohibitive cost of medical school. Public universities offer the most affordable medical training available in the United States, but you must be an in-state or resident student in order to qualify for the lowest tuition and fees.

Residents of Texas have a distinct advantage when seeking an affordable medical school; according to the 2010 / 2011 American Association of Medical Colleges annual survey of tuition and student fees, six of the ten most affordable schools in the United States are located in Texas.

East Carolina University

Located in Greenville, North Carolina, the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University is the most affordable medical school in the U.S. Established in 1974, the mission of the school since its inception has been to improve the health care of the citizens of North Carolina by increasing the supply of primary care physicians in the state. Tuition rates and fees at the Brody School of Medicine strongly favor in-state applicants, with non-resident tuition and fees being more than triple those of in-state residents.

University of Texas at Houston

Established in 1969, the University of Texas Medical School at Houston is not only one of the most affordable medical schools in the U.S. for in-state students, but 19 members of the faculty have been ranked among America's top doctors. "Hispanic Business" magazine has consistently rated UT-Houston among the top ten medical schools for Hispanic students, a testament to the school's commitment to recruiting and retaining a diverse staff and student body.

Louisiana State University at Shreveport

Residents of Louisiana have an excellent option for an affordable medical education at the School of Medicine of the Louisiana State University Health Services Center at Shreveport. The city of Shreveport is located in the northwestern region of Louisiana, near the border of Texas and Arkansas. LSU Health Services Center is a large regional health center that encompasses three teaching hospitals: LSU Hospital in Shreveport, E.A. Conway Medical Center in Monroe and Huey P. Long Hospital in Pineville.

University of Texas at Galveston

Located in the picturesque island city of Galveston forty minutes south of Houston, the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch is another option for residents of Texas looking for an affordable medical education. In addition to lower tuition and fees, the school offers students the convenience of a half-day schedule, the opportunity to study abroad and the advantage of interacting with patients during their first year of study.

Other Affordable Medical Schools

With annual tuition and fees under $16,000 for first year in-state students, these schools round out the top ten most affordable medical schools in the U.S., according to the AAMC 2010-2011 survey: the University of North Carolina, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech, Texas Tech-Foster and the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Prospective medical students without good in-state options may want to consider the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine in San Juan. With non-resident tuition and fees of just over $21,000 per year the school is among the most affordable for non-resident students. Other medical schools that offer tuition rates and fees under $30,000 per year for non-resident students include: San Juan Bautista, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech, Texas Tech-Foster and the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Another alternative for those seeking medical training is the Uniformed Services University. In exchange for a seven-year commitment to active duty in the uniformed services, students accepted into the USU School of Medicine pay no tuition or fees for their medical training.