The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) provides primary care, dental and mental health professionals with loan repayment funds in return for their service in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). In the 2010 fiscal year, 11,174 health professionals applied to the Loan Repayment Program. A total of 3,734 awards were given to physicians, dentists, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, physician assistants, dental hygienists, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, psychiatric nurse specialists, marriage and family therapists and licensed professional counselors. Physicians (DO and MD) received 835 awards, with 220 awards going to osteopathic physicians. Currently, there are approximately 63,000 fully licensed practicing DOs in the nation, accounting for 7 percent of the physician population. More than 20 percent of new U.S. medical students are training to be osteopathic physicians.
The Loan Repayment program will award participants with $60,000 for two years of service and up to $170,000 for five years of service. For more information, or to apply for the 2011 Program, visit here.