National Health Service Corps Initiative Repays Med Students' Loans

The National Health Service Corps has awarded more than $10 million to 87 medical students to repay their loans; in return, the students will serve as primary care physicians in underserved communities.

The National Health Service Corps' Students to Service Loan Repayment Program, which was made possible by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, provides financial support to fourth-year primary care medical students. The students then must provide three years of full-time service, or six years of half-time service, in designated rural and urban areas. The end goal is to expand patient access to primary care across the country.

"The average medical school debt is often more than $200,000," said Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, administrator of Health Resources and Services Administration. "The Students to Service program help[s] relieve a tremendous debt burden, allowing them to follow their passion for primary care."

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