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There are many options for physicians to reduce student debt through physician loan repayment programs available on a state and federal level. Many of these public service programs require employment within Health Profession Shortage Areas (HPSA) or a Medically Underserved Area or Population defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

For medical doctors (osteopathic or allopathic) this usually requires practice as a primary care physician serving Family Practice, General Practice, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine (outpatient based), Obstetrics/Gynecology and Geriatrics.

The programs below have been broken down by state and provide a brief description of the state or federal program. For more information, please click on the program title to learn more and how to apply.

Updated: 12/15/2014

State

Program

Description

Federal NIH Loan Repayment Programs

The NIH offers three internal loan repayment programs to scientist holding medical degrees. General research requires three years of service, while AIDS research and clinical research for disadvantaged backgrounds are only two years. There are also five external repayment programs funded by the NIH distributed across a variety of research topics. An NIH grant is not required to participate and recipients will receive $35,000 per year in repayment benefits.

Federal Navy – Health Professions Loan Repayment Program

Offered to current active duty medical personnel as well as to those interested in repayment through military service. The maximum yearly loan repayment is $40,000, mine ~25% federal income taxes, which are taken out prior to lender repayment. Applicants must be current health professionals or student in their final year at an approved medical residency program. Must serve on active duty for a minimum of 2 years for one year of loan repayment.

Federal The National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program (NHSC)

Program provides full-time and part-time commitment options for primary care providers to serve within a Health Profession Shortage Area (HPSA) at a NHSC approved site. Depending up the HPSA score, recipients can receive up to $50,000 in loan repayment in exchange for at least a two-year service commitment. Additional repayment can be extended for a third year and the program usually requires a minimum 32-hour weeks commitment. Part time workers can receive up to $25,000 depending on the service site.

Federal Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

Eligible candidates must be employed by a public service organization defined by the PSLF conditions and be a full-time employee (30+ hours per week). Loans under the Direct Loan Program are eligible for forgiveness under the PSLF program after 10 years of repayment. The repayment timeline began in 2007 so only payments made after this date will contribute towards the 120 payments needed to ensure forgiveness.

Alabama Alabama State Loan Repayment Program

Program requires primary care physicians to commit to employment in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). Qualified candidates can be awarded up to $50,000 per year for a two-year term. Awards will be paid by the Alabama Department of Public Heath and the employing public or nonprofit agency (50:50) and repayment amounts will depend on site HPSA score.

Alaska Supporting Healthcare Access through Loan Repayment

Offers loan repayment assistance in exchange for a minimum of two years in a Health Professional Shortage Area in Alaska for primary care physicians. Up to $47,000 per year is awarded and the recipient can be licensed in any state. New guidelines require a 25% employer match to participate.

Arizona The Primary Care Provider Loan Repayment Program

The aim of the program is to promote work by healthcare professionals in underserved areas. The program requires service in a site that is public or private, non-profit and located in a federally designated HPSA region. For primary care, these areas of practice include: Family Practice, General Practice, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine (outpatient based) and Obstetrics/Gynecology. Depending on the sites priority rank, different loan amounts will be awarded (between $40,000 – $32,000) for the initial two-year award.

Arizona Rural Private Primary Care Provider Loan Repayment Program

The program is designed to promote healthcare professionals working in underserved areas. The program requires service at a private practice service site located in a rural area as defined within an Arizona Medically Underserved Area (AzMUA). Depending on the sites priority rank, different loan amounts will be awarded (between $40,000 – $32,000) for the initial two-year award.

Arkansas Community Match Rural Physician Recruitment Program

Eligible to physicians in residency or two years out, who agree to practice primary care in a medically underserved rural community within the state. The four-year commitment will be sponsored on a state and community level for a combined loan repayment of $80,000 for the service agreement.

California California State Loan Repayment Program

Provides repayment to health professionals who commit to practice in approved medically underserved areas, within public or non-profit sectors for a minimum commitment of two years. The maximum award is $60,000 and can be renewed for a third and forth year with forgiveness amounts of $40,000 and $30,000 respectively.

California Steven M. Thompson Physician Corps Loan Repayment

Eligible to allopathic or osteopathic physicians who are currently employed or have accepted employment in a health profession shortage area and are willing to commit to a three-year service. The program grants up to $105,000 in educational loan repayment in exchange for direct care service over the three years.

Colorado Colorado Health Service Corps

Doctors of osteopathic or allopathic medicine may be eligible to receive repayment of qualified student loans if practicing in a Health Professional Shortage Area or delivering primary health cares services in a public or nonprofit clinic. The program awards recipient up to $90,000 for a 3-year term at an approved site.

Delaware Delaware State Loan Repayment Program

Program is designed to increase the availability of primary care doctors in underserved areas. Doctors must commit to full-time (40 hours per week) employment at an eligible site over a two-year term. Mid-level practitioners are eligible to receive up to $70,000 for the two years and advanced practitioners up to $100,000. A limited number of loan repayment contracts will be awarded each year.

Georgia
The Physicians for Rural Areas Assistance Program

Assistance program pays medical education student loan debt for physicians who agree to practice medicine full time in a rural county in Georgia. Applicants must commit to a minimum of 40 clinical hours per week in a rural county with a population below 35,000. Only requires a one-year commitment in exchange for up to $25,000 per year for a four-year max repayment of $100,000.

Hawaii Hawaii State Loan Repayment Program

Program awards health professionals including physicians (allopathic/osteopathic) who agree to a commitment of service at an eligible site defined as having shortages of primary care medicine. The two-year agreement will be exchanged with a maximum of $30,000 a year in total loan repayment support for eligible physicians.

Idaho Idaho State Loan Repayment Program

The state-based program provides practitioners working in federally designated HPSAs that are part of a non-profit or government entity repayment assistance. Repayment is provided in a 1:1 matching with the practitioner’s employer with awards between $20,000 and $25,000 per year for a two-year commitment. Funds will depend on practice discipline and employer match.

Illinois Illinois National Health Service Corps State Loan Repayment Program

Goal is to provide assistance to health profession shortage areas across a range of medical/physician professions. Full-time and half time commitments are available with a minimum commitment of 20 hours per week with 16 of those hours in outpatient clinical services. The program will provide up to $12,500/year in loan repayment for the first two years and recipients are eligible to complete an additional two years with up to $20,000 in forgiveness.

Iowa The Iowa Loan Repayment Program

Offers two-year grants to primary care physicians for use in repayment of educational loans provided by The Primary Care Recruitment and Retention Endeavor (PRIMECARRE). Requires a two-year practice commitment in a public or non-profit site located in a health professional shortage area (HPSA). The program will provide up to $50,000/ for full-time and $25,000 per year for part-time physicians. Approximately 5-8 applicants will receive the funds.

Kansas The Kansas State Loan Repayment Program

Federally supported program that provides loan repayment assistance to health care providers with qualifying educational loans. Repayment assistance is awarded in exchange for a minimum two-year commitment to provide primary care services at an eligible practice site in a federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area. Program awards allopathic and osteopathic physicians up to $25,000 per year in repayment support.

Kentucky Kentucky State Loan Repayment Program

Federally backed program that provides 1:1 matching (federal and state) for qualified educational loans for allopathic and osteopathic physicians. As repayment service, recipient must agree to a two-year commitment to practice full-time at an eligible sponsoring organization in a federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area. Repayment maximum can be up to $35,000 a year for two years for a total of $70,000 (this includes the federal and health organization’s matching amounts).

Louisiana Louisiana State Loan Repayment Program

Program’s mission is to encourage primary care practitioners/physicians to serve in Health Professional Shortage Areas to overcome the disproportionate distribution of primary care health professionals in rural and inner city areas. Physicians can be awarded up to $30,000 annually for a three-year initial commitment to aid in loan forgiveness. To be eligible, you must be licensed in the state of Louisiana, work full-time, and have no other health service obligation. Commitment may be extended for an additional 2 years ($24,000).

Maryland Maryland Loan Assistance Repayment Program for Physicians

Primary care physicians who commit to practice at a designated HPSA site within the state are eligible to $25,000 per year for an initial 2-year obligation. Areas of practice include internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics and obstetrics/gynecology. Service commitment can be extended for an additional two years and recipient must begin service within three months of the contractual agreement.

Massachusetts The Massachusetts Community Health Center Primary Care Provider Loan Repayment Program

Program is designed to support primary care within the state of Massachusetts and expand to new community health center organizations. Awards are given as a forgivable loan with an award maximum for physicians of $50,000 for a 2-year commitment at a health center. The program is open to primary care physicians who have completed their training and have been hired to work in a MA health center for less than three years.

Massachusetts The Massachusetts Loan Repayment Program

Repayment program provides educational loan repayment as an incentive for health professionals to practice in communities where significant shortages of health care providers and barriers to access have been identified. Applicants must be licensed to practice in Massachusetts and commit to practice two years full-time or the equivalent extended commitment part time (e.g. a 20-hour practice per week will mean a 4-year contract) providing services in an eligible facility or setting. Physicians (M.D. & D.O.) are eligible for a total award of $50,000 over the 2 years.

Michigan Michigan State Loan Repayment Program

Requires two-year service obligations, which will begin October 1st following each application period at an approved underserved area site. Applicants must have eligible debt sufficient to warrant an initial two-year, $25,000 loan repayment agreement to participate. Award amount is dependent on the level of education debt with a maximum of $50,000 over the two-year agreement for physicians. The program can be extended at the same repayment rate to help pay off additional qualifying debt.

Minnesota Minnesota Rural Physician Loan Forgiveness Program

Program was designed to recruit and retain health care professionals to needed areas and facilities within the state. Offered to primary care medical residents in various areas of practice in their final year of medical residency. Participants must practice for at least 30 hours per week, for a minimum of three years in a designated rural area. Annual payments will be paid in the amount of $25,000 per year for up to $100,000 for four years of service.

Minnesota Minnesota Urban Physician Loan Forgiveness Program

Program was designed to recruit and retain health care professionals to needed areas and facilities within underserved urban communities. Offered to primary care medical residents in various areas of practice in their final year of medical residency. Participants must practice for at least 30 hours per week, for a minimum of three years in an underserved urban area. Annual payments will be paid in the amount of $25,000 per year for up to $100,000 for four years of service.

Minnesota Minnesota State Loan Repayment Program

Program aids to improve access to primary care by assisting underserved communities within the state. Loan repayment of qualifying educational loans will be made up to $20,000 annually for full-time primary care providers and up to $10,000 for half-time providers. Applicants are required to commit to service a HPSA for at least two years.

Missouri Missouri Health Professional State Loan Repayment Program

Eligible to primary care physicians (internal medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN, family medicine), who service a HPSA in exchange for qualifying loan repayment. Licensed health professionals may apply for up to $50,000 in financial assistance to reduce educational debt in exchange for a two-year commitment.

Missouri The Primary Care Resource Initiative for Missouri

This competitive state program awards forgivable loans to students pursing heath care training leading to Missouri licensure. The amount of funding depends on medical discipline and education status. Forgiveness is based on the number of loans received. One loan will equate on year of qualifying employment service. The program caps at 5 years even if recipient has more than 5 loans.

Montana State Loan Repayment Program

Provides repayment funds in exchange for work within a health profession shortage area. Physicians who commit to a two-year service agreement can receive up to $15,000 per year for full-time employment.

Montana Montana Rural Physician Incentive Program

Program is used to promote primary care physicians to practice in medically underserved areas of rural Montana. Specialists may be considered if they play an integral part within the underserved community. Over the course of a five-year period, up to $100,000 in repayment can be rewards. Awards will be dispersed in six-month increments.

Nebraska The Nebraska Loan Repayment Program

Program is a local-state matching fund program to assist local entities serving shortage areas to recruit and retain health professionals. Requires a 3-year service agreement including service to Medicaid patients for a maximum benefit of $40,000 per year of loan repayment. Physicians agree to practice one year in a state-designated shortage area for each year a loan is received.

Nevada
The Nevada Health Service Corps

Open to physicians (M.D,D.O) who engage in clinical practice in an assigned community by the NHSC. Typical length of commitment is two years of full-time service and candidates must agree to provide services to all patients regardless of their ability to pay. Funding is based on what is available during that application cycle and all funds apportioned must be used to pay back educational loans.

New Hampshire The New Hampshire State Loan Repayment Program

Provides funds to health care professionals working in areas of the State designated as being medically underserved defined as HPSAs. Recipient must agree to a three-year service obligation or a minimum obligation at 2 years part-time. Program will grant up to $75,000 over the three-year term or up to $27,500 for part-time work. Program may be extended for an additional two years of loan repayment.

New Jersey Primary Care Loan Redemption Program of New Jersey

Designed to increase and improve the provision of primary care services by encouraging providers to serve in state-designated underserved areas and HPSA throughout New Jersey. Physician with an designated accredited residency are required to work a minimum of two years (maximum of four years) on a full-time basis (40 hours per week), providing primary care in an eligible underserved area. A percentage of qualifying loans will be forgiven (between 18-28% of participant’s student debt annually) over the course of service for a maximum allowable amount of $120,000.

New Mexico New Mexico Loan Repayment Assistance Program

The program requires the recipient to make a two-year service commitment to practice full-time in a designated medical shortage area in New Mexico. The maximum allowable award is $25,000 per year or up to $35,000 per year for an HPSA area. Award amounts are determined by outstanding student loan debt on an individual basis. Applicant must be licensed within the state and be employed full-time.

New Mexico Medical Loan For Service Program

Program provides loan assistance to physicians in exchange for service within a designated shortage area within the state of New Mexico. The award is based on financial need of the student with an award maximum of $25,000. An award period is one year but may be renewable for up to four additional years. Applicants are required to be a New Mexico resident for at least 12 months.

New York The Regents Physician Loan Forgiveness Award Program

Designed to bring attention to shortage areas within the state of New York and emphasize primary care. The program will grant 80 physicians, practicing in primary care, $10,000 per year for two-year commitment. Physicians must be licensed within the state and have completed a residency program within the last five years. Priority will be given to applicants who are completing the second year of the service agreement and are reapplying for an additional two-year award.

North Carolina North Carolina Medical Society Foundation Community Practitioner Program

Assists the recruitment of talented, primary care practitioners to rural, economically distressed, and medically underserved areas of the state. The program will provide education loan assistance in exchange for five years of service in a target community. Awards are generally no more than half of the education debt up to a maximum of $70,000.

North Dakota The North Dakota State Community Matching Physician Loan Repayment Program

Program offers up to $90,000 in loan repayment assistance to physicians who agree to practice full-time for two years in an area of need in North Dakota. Preference is given to physicians who will practice in rural underserved areas and who have graduated from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine. However, the program is open to graduates from both osteopathic and allopathic medical schools.

Ohio Ohio Physician Loan Repayment Program

Program designed to recruit or retain primary care physicians for underserved areas. Physicians must commit to a minimum two-year service agreement at an eligible HPSA or Heath Resource Shortage Area in order to obtain loan repayment assistance. Recipients may receive up to $25,000 per year for the first two years and then up to $35,000 for an additional third and fourth year.

Oklahoma Oklahoma Medical Loan Repayment Program

Program aims to provide educational loan assistance to Oklahoma licensed primary care physicians who agree to establish a practice in a community located in Oklahoma approved by the commission. Physicians must work in primary care and be licensed within the state. Up to $160,000 will be awarded over the course of four years based up on the amount of educational loans to be repaid. Must commit to a minimum service commitment of two years.

Oklahoma Physician/Community Match Loan Program

Objective of the program is to provide medical care to citizens of Oklahoma in communities with a population less than 10,000. Eligible physicians must be a part of any other service programs and a graduate of an accredited medical or osteopathic college. Program will award up to $40,000 as a lump sum payment when the physicians begins practice in a matching community. A minimum of two years of practice in the matching community for each $20,000 and a minimum of three years for each $40,000 received (50% State funds and 50% community funds).

Oregon Oregon Partnership State Loan Repayment

Program requires a two-year service obligation in a HPSA designated service site. Sites decide how much they’ll contribute, from $5,000 up to $35,000, and then program funds match the service site’s funds.

Pennsylvania Primary Care Loan Repayment Program

Program provides grant funding for educational loan repayment to primary care practitioners serving medically underserved populations. Provides physicians up to $100,000 of educational loan repayment for a full-time service commitment or up to $50,000 for a partial commitment. Applicants must be licensed within the state and commit to the two-year program that requires employment in a primary care employment site serving the underserved.

Rhode Island Health Professional Loan Repayment Program

Program strives to improve access to care, retain providers who provide healthcare services in underserved communities, and to address health professional shortages that cause disparities in health. Two-year commitment to practice in medically underserved communities as identified as Health Professional Shortage Areas is required. Funds have been allocated to the State of Rhode Island for 8 – 10 awards across several health professions including primary care physicians.

South Dakota Recruitment Assistance Program

Provided the recipient enter into a contract with the South Dakota Department of Health, the current repayment benefit is $172,172 for physicians. To be eligible, applicant must be a licensed physician in South Dakota with completion of an accredited residency program. Physicians agree to a three-year service commitment at an eligible rural community.

Tennessee Tennessee State Loan Repayment Program

TSLRP provides educational loan repayment to qualified primary care practitioners in exchange for practice at an ambulatory public, non-profit or private non-profit primary care site located in a HPSA. The initial two-year service obligation can be for full-time or part-time practice. Recipients are eligible for up to $20,000 per year and can continue the educational support for repayment of the remainder of loans.

Texas The Physician Education Loan Repayment Program

Provides loan repayment to qualifying physicians with preference to those who agree to practice in a health profession shortage area for at least four years. Participating physicians must provide health care services to recipients enrolled in Medicaid and the Texas Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Up to ten physicians per year may qualify by serving patients in a Texas Juvenile Justice Department or Texas Department of Criminal Justice facility. Up to $160,000 will be awarded over a period of four years.

Texas Children’s Medicaid Loan Repayment Program

Provides loan repayment assistance in exchange for service to children on Medicaid. Applicants must hold an unrestricted license from the Texas Medical Board. Requires a four-year service requirement for up to $140,000 in repayment assistance distributed annually.

Vermont Vermont Educational Loan Program for Primary Care Practitioners

Program offers repayment awards in exchange for service commitments by eligible health care professionals. Recipient must have outstanding educational debt acquired in the pursuit of an undergraduate or graduate degree from an accredited college or university that exceeds the amount of the loan repayment award. Program awards up to $10,000 in state funds per year for a minimum average of 20 clinical hours per week in a service shortage area.

Virginia Federal Virginia State Loan Repayment Program

Loans are repaid in return for a minimum of two years of full-time practice of the recipient’s specialty in a federally designated HPSA of Virginia. The repayment program pays up to $25,000 a year toward the qualified educational loans of program participants. The minimum service obligation is 2 years and has a maximum payment of $50,000. Subsequent extensions of the loan repayment contract are entitled to annual loan repayments of up to $35,000. A 40-hour per week service obligation is required.

Washington Health Professional Loan Repayment Program

Program encourages licensed primary care health professionals to serve in critical shortage areas within the state. Applicants agree to provide primary care health care in rural or underserved urban areas with designated shortages. Awards provide up to $35,000 per year in repayment for a minimum two-year ($70,000), full-time service obligation. Each additional one-year extension request amount is based on funds available.

West Virginia West Virginia State Loan Repayment

Program offers repayment of educational loans to practitioners in return for an obligation to practice in rural underserved areas of West Virginia. Applicants must be licensed within the state and practice within a HPSA. Benefits include $40,000 in repayment for a two-year commitment. Contracts may be extended for two additional years at a rate of $25,000 per year.

Wisconsin Health Professions Loan Assistance Program

Program requires three years of service in a federally designated HPSA site or within a rural community. A physician could qualify for either (rural but not HPSA, or HPSA but not rural) for a maximum $50,000 award. If, however the physician qualifies for both programs (practicing in a rural HPSA), their total maximum award is $100,000. Physicians must have completed an approved program and must work full time (40-hour weeks) to complete the commitment.

Wyoming Wyoming State Loan Repayment Program

The federally backed program will fund two primary care physicians up to $60,000 each, in exchange for two years of full-time service at an approved National Health Service Corps site in a designated primary care HPSA. Applicants must practice within adult, family, pediatrics, geriatrics, and women’s health departments.

Wyoming Health Professions Loan Assistance Program

The intent of the program is to enhance the ability of medically underserved Wyoming communities to recruit and retain healthcare professionals. The program repays qualifying applicants for costs of eligible educational loans in return for a commitment to practice in an underserved area in Wyoming for a minimum of three years. Provides physicians up to $30,000 per year for up to $90,000 in repayment forgiveness. Applicant must treat Medicare, Medicaid and Kid Care eligible patients.

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