Arizona needs more doctors to help take care of our residents’ various health issues but we are challenged with recruiting enough especially in the rural communities. The National Health Service Corps has a program called the Student to Service Loan Repayment Program which is designed to attract newly trained physicians to work in rural, underserved areas. The program allows 4th year medical students pursuing a primary care residency to get annual loan repayment while still in medical school or residency if they commit to serve in underserved communities.
In exchange for service in a high need Health Professional Shortage Area a medical student may receive tax-free loan repayment of up to $30,000 annually or up to $120,000 for three years of full-time service or for six years of part-time service. Medical students can benefit by reducing their medical student loan debt by more than half.
This 2015 “Students to Service” application cycle is open until November 13, 2014. If you know an interested medical student, encourage them to review the Students to Service Application and Program Guidance for additional instructions. Click here to start an application. For more information contact Ana Roscetti, Workforce Programs Section Manager.
This is a timely measure as student debt, since about 2008, has reached unprecedented proportions and still continues to rise. However, as a long-term measure this may be insufficient. As polls in e.g. Europe show, one of the reasons medical doctors as well as other academics tend to gravitate towards cities is that this is “where academics go”. They fear their children may not have the same chances as they as parents have if they go to school in rural areas etc. And of course there’s things like the opera etc. etc. that, again, are used more by academics than other people. While I don’t like the idea myself, given the underlying fear of inadequate schooling etc. I have a suspicion that if you concentrate less on the generation you try to attract but their children, you might make more headway. This could e.g. be done by guaranteeing the rural doctors’ children equal entrance into prestigious colleges (in which ever way such ting can be done and I can of course hear political outcries here) or offer boarding schools that offer what these people think rural schools lack etc. One way or another, with the population aging, you will have to face the true predilections of those “urban” professionals if you want to “deurbanize” them successfully.