The costs of receiving a medical education has increased significantly over the last decade. The medical schools recognize the heavy financial burden that students and graduates face and continue to advocate for loan forgiveness and scholarship programs in order to alleviate some of that burden. Each of the medical schools offer their own scholarship opportunities and more information can be found on their admissions/financial aid websites. Below are a few select government-funded programs that students and graduates may consider:
New York State Education Department (NYSED): Regents Physician Loan Forgiveness Award Program
The purpose of the Regents Physician Loan Forgiveness Award Program is to increase the number of physicians practicing in areas of New York State designated by the New York State Board of Regents as having a shortage of physicians. Emphasis is placed on primary care. Pending the appropriation of State funds during the yearly session of the New York State legislature, at least 80 awards up to $10,000 per year. There is an obligation to work in a HPSA (Health Professional Shortage Area) for every year funds are received, with a minimum two year commitment. Award amount is based on undergraduate and medical school student loan amounts, loan interest expense, and income. Applications and information are available from the Office of K-16 Initiatives and Access Programs, Scholarships and Grants Administration Unit by February of the competition year.
U.S. Department of Education: Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program
In 2007, Congress created the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs. Under this program, borrowers may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on their eligible federal student loans after they have made 120 payments on those loans under certain repayment plans while employed full time by certain public service employers.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: National Health Services Corps (NHSC)
Since 1972, the National Health Services Corps has been building healthy communities by connecting primary health care providers to areas of the United States with limited access to care. The Scholarship Program (SP) awards scholarships each year to students pursuing careers in primary care. In return, students commit to serving for two to four years, upon graduation and completion of training. The Loan Repayment Program (LRP) offers primary care medical, dental, and mental and behavioral health providers the opportunity to have their student loans repaid for serving communities in need.