The family medicine specialty is in high demand throughout the country. Communities, hospitals, managed care organizations, and physician groups are all actively recruiting graduates of family medicine residency programs. Recognizing the demand for primary care physicians, the following scholarship and loan repayment programs offer incentives for physicians who choose to practice in underserved areas:
Choose Ohio First Scholarships
Following the successful launch of the 2008 Choose Ohio First scholarship program, the 130th General Assembly established two new components which include both medical and advanced practice nursing students committed to primary care in Ohio. These programs require participating scholars to serve in an Ohio medical practice that accepts Medicaid patients without restriction for not less than three years following completion of their training. Eligible medical students will be selected to receive a scholarship, which provides $30,000 per year of medical school, for a maximum of four years. For more information and a list of medical school contacts, please visit the Choose Ohio First website.
- Loan Repayment Program
Selected participants may earn up to $50,000 toward student loans in exchange for a two-year commitment at an NHSC-approved site through the NHSC Loan Repayment Program (NHSC LRP). The amount received and length of the commitment depends on where you serve (service at sites in higher-need areas yields greater loan repayments) and whether you select the full-time or half-time option. Review the 2018 Application and Program Guide for detailed information.
- Students to Service Loan Repayment Program (S2S LRP)
The S2S LRP provides up to $120,000 to medical students (MD and DO) in their final year of school in return for a commitment to provide primary health care full-time for at least three years or part-time for at least six years at an approved NHSC site in a HIPSA of greatest need. Review the 2018 Application and Program Guide for detailed information.
- Scholarship Program
The scholarship pays tuition, fees, other education costs, and provides a living stipend in return for a commitment to work at least two years at an NHSC-approved site in a medically underserved community. Any student enrolled in an accredited U.S. medical school who is committed to primary care can apply.
State of Ohio Physician Loan Repayment Program
The Ohio Physician Loan Repayment Program (OPLRP) is a program in which American primary care physicians agree to practice primary care medicine full-time (40 hours per week) for a two-year period at an eligible site in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) or Health Resource Shortage Area. They also agree to provide services to all patients, regardless of ability to pay, and are required to accept Medicaid and Medicare patients, provide culturally appropriate care, and post appropriate signage indicating care is available to all. For the first two-year contract, selected applicants can receive up to $25,000 annually for repayment of outstanding health professions training debt. Clinicians who remain at their practice sites may be eligible to receive up to $35,000 annually for the third and fourth years.
The American Academy of Family Physicians offers an online debt management resource to help you develop a plan to finance medical school, identify specific strategies for covering those costs, and creating an annual budget timeline for reassessing those costs. This information will provide you with practical tools to better understand the issues and sources of aid as you apply to medical school.