Federal Government

Millions of Americans live in rural communities without primary health care. If you are committed to a primary care specialty (general internal medicine, family practice, obstetrics and gynecology, general pediatrics, or psychiatry), consider joining the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). This government agency recruits primary care physicians to serve in medically underserved areas— rural and inner city—where adults and children have the greatest need for primary health services. The NHSC offers competitive scholarships for medical students who are committed to this endeavor. They will pay for all 4 years of medical school tuition, fees, and educational expenses (books, etc.), as well as provide a monthly stipend for personal use. After residency, the NHSC assigns physicians to practice sites in a federally designated area with a shortage of health professionals. You must serve 1 year for every year of financial support (for a 2-year minimum commitment). Breach of contract results in immediate payback of the entire scholarship. You can also sign on with the NHSC after medical school. They offer a range of loan repayment public-service programs (such as the Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program) in exchange for a minimum 2-year commitment.

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