Scholarships and Loan Repayment Options for Physicians, Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, Certified Nurse Midwi

Serving the Underserved

The number of medical students going into primary care has been dropping over the past 2 decades. One reason for this move towards specialty medicine is the issue of compensation. Physicians in specialty practice typically make much higher salaries than those in primary care or family medicine. I don't mean to suggest that physicians are greedy, but rather that most have enormous debt to pay off and families to care for. Some physicians that might have otherwise chosen primary care choose to specialize because they don't feel that the salaries are high enough to help them pay off their debt.

One reaction to this decrease in the number of primary care physicians has been the addition of "mid-level" medical professionals, such Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners. Unfortunately, even among these medical professionals specialization is becoming more common.

With a shortage of primary clinicians, the first to suffer are the poor (both urban and rural) and the homeless. These populations become medically underserved with fewer and fewer clinicians to turn to.

For those medical professionals who desire to work in primary care (especially with underserved populations) but fear that they cannot afford to, there are scholarship and loan repayment programs to help!

Source

National Health Service Corps

The National Health Service Corps is a national organization that provides scholarship and loan repayment programs to physicians (MD or DO), dentists, physician assistants, family nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives for serving in medically underserved areas.

The scholarship program accepts applicants each April/May for students beginning school that year or who are already in school. The scholarship pays for all tuition, books, and associated costs (tax-free). It also pays a monthly living stipend (approximately $1200 - taxable). The service obligation is a minimum of 2 years of service (maximum of 4) - with a year of service for every year of school paid for.

The loan repayment program accepts applicants who currently work at an approved site. This program pays up to $50,000 total towards loans for 2 years of service depending on where you serve. This amount is for full-time service, but there is also half-time service loan repayment available for those who wish to work part-time (up to $25,000 for 2 years of half-time service).

Feel free to browse more information on their website.

State Loan Repayment/Forgiveness and Scholarship Programs

Many states also have health loan repayment/forgiveness or scholarship programs for medical professionals willing to work in medically underserved areas. If rural health or urban health interests you, see if your state has a program for you.

The following programs are for physicians, dentists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives:

Arizona Loan Repayment Program

  • $10,000 - $40,000 for 2 years of service depending on clinician type with possible continued loan repayment beyond 2 years at higher rate for continued service

Arizona Rural Private Primary Care Provider Loan Repayment Program

  • $10,000 - $40,000 for 2 years of service depending on clinician type with possible continued loan repayment beyond 2 years at higher rate for continued service

California State Loan Repayment Program

  • up to $50,000 for initial 2 years of full-time service with possible extension at higher rate
  • up to $25,000 for initial 2 years of part-time service with possible extension at higher rate

California Health Professions Loan Repayment Program

  • up to $50,000 for 2 years of service

Delaware Student Loan Repayment Program

  • up to $100,000 for 2 years of service depending on clinician type

Iowa Loan Repayment Program

  • up to $50,000 per year

Kansas State Loan Repayment Program

  • Up to $25,000 per year depending on clinician type

Kentucky State Loan Repayment Program

  • up to $35,000 per year

Louisiana State Loan Repayment Program

  • up to $30,000 per year depending on clinician type and length of service commitment (min 3 year service requirement)

Massachusetts State Loan Repayment Program

  • up to $50,000 for 2 year service agreement

Michigan State Loan Repayment Program

  • up to $25,000 per year depending on clinician type

Minnesota State Loan Repayment Program

  • up to $20,000 per year depending on clinician type

Montana State Loan Repayment

  • $15,000 per year

Nebraska State Loan Repayment Program

  • up to $40,000 per year

Nevada Health Service Corps

  • ?

New Jersey Loan Redemption Program

  • A percentage of outstanding loans (up to $33,000 per year) depending on length of service

North Carolina State Loan Repayment Program

  • $60,000-100,000 for 4 years of service

North Dakota Medical Personnel Loan Repayment Program

  • Up to $10,000 per year

Pennsylvania Health Care Loan Repayment Program

  • up to $100,000 for 2 years of service depending on clinician type and length of commitment

Rhode Island Loan Repayment Program

  • $350,000 to be divided among 8-10 clinicians

South Dakota Rural Healh Loan Repayment Program

  • ?

Tennessee Rural Health Loan Forgiveness Program

  • No longer offering rewards after 2012-13 academic year

Vermont Educational Loan Repayment Program for Primary Care Practitioners

  • ?

Virginia Loan Repayment Program

  • up to $50,000 for 2 years of service

Washington Loan Repayment and Scholarship Programs

  • up to $70,000 for 2 years of service

Wisconsin Health Professions Loan Assistance Program

  • up to $100,000

Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program

  • up to $40,000 for 2 years of service


For physicians only:

Arkansas Community Match Rural Physician Recruitment Program

  • up to $80,000 for 4 years of service

Georgia Physicians for Rural Areas Assistance Program

  • $25,000 per year for up to 4 years

Maryland Loan Assistance Repayment Program

  • $25,000 - $30,000 per year depending on length of service commitment

Doctors Across New York

  • max $150,000 over 5 years of service, with up to $100,000 for first 2 years of service

Ohio Physician Loan Repayment Program

  • $25,000 - $35,000 per year depending on length of service

Oklahoma Family Practice Resident Rural Scholarship Program

  • Up to $12,000 per year

Oklahoma Physician/Community Match Program

  • $20,000 - $40,000 depending on length of service

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Comments 1 comment

taylorparker21 4 years ago

This is a great article, with valuable insight about student debt, and a good suggestion of how to work your way through school without obtaining as much debt as one student could. I've had a couple friends go through NHSC and they have enjoyed the benefits and have enjoyed being free of student loans. I'm wondering, if any student who participates in NHSC would be interested in travel nursing?

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