MarketWatch recently posted a lengthy article on the “10 things medical schools won’t tell you.” You can cringe just by reading section titles like “Offshoring is not just for factories anymore…” and “You’re not getting in here without some people skills.”
But among the most pertinent to physicians, hospitals and health professional shortage areas is the section titled, “Indebtedness isn’t an illness among doctors — it’s a plague.”
It boils down to this: after at least four years of undergraduate school, at least four years of medical school and at least three years of residency, full-fledged doctors are well into their 30s before they can get out and start living on money they earn instead of loans. This means that many, if not most, American physicians graduate with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, not to mention the stress of keeping patients alive and well.
That’s where HPSAs come in. Loan repayment programs for doctors are available in most states and nationally through the Federal government, but almost all of the programs require physicians to practice in a designated shortage area. In exchange for a few more years of service in primary care, governments are willing to wipe away doctors’ debt — nothing to sneeze at these days. For more information on the programs available, visit HPSA Acumen’s loan repayment page.