NHSC Scholarship

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by SMW, Feb 11, 2002.

  1. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Messages:
    3,760
    Likes Received:
    1
    Anyone know anything about this? What's the application procedure, and how competitive is it?
     
  2. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. bebe2

    bebe2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    1
    Check out this website.

    <a href="http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/nhsc/Pages/toc.htm" target="_blank">http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/nhsc/Pages/toc.htm</a>
     
  4. eagle26

    eagle26 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2001
    Messages:
    619
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Hey, I'm filling out my NHSC scholarship now. From what I've heard, it's quite competetive. They give first preference to students who have qualified for extreme financial need (EFN), second to those who demonstrate the ability to stay in a health-professional shortage area (HPSA) after the service committment is finished. The scholarship is very easy and strait-forward to apply. No essay is required, but you need to answer multiple choice questions such as: A-if you lead a camping trip for 10 days and it rained for the first 3 or 4, I would turn around and try to make new plans or B-I would keep on going. Things like that. They pay for tuition and expenses, plus a $1,028 (pre-tax) stipend a month. You have to serve between 2 and 4 years. For every year of support, you are required to provide a year of service in one of their HPSA area. You have to go into a primary health care field (general peds, IM, family practice, pyschiatry, OBGYN). No other residencies will be considered. Only apply if you are serious, because breach of contract is severe. If you breach, you are required to pay all expenses within 3 years...so apply only if you're serious and are going into one of these fields. Hope this helps.

    Joe
     
  5. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
    Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2001
    Messages:
    3,398
    Likes Received:
    15
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Actually you have to payback triple the amount that they pay you if you breach the contract.
    Alaska-WWAMI students are not eligible for NHSC since you could not fufill the obligations of both programs.
     
  6. bebe2

    bebe2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    1
    Great info Joseph. Also remember SMW if you are unsure, you could wait and apply for the loan repayment program.
     
  7. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Messages:
    3,760
    Likes Received:
    1
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by mpp:
    <strong>Alaska-WWAMI students are not eligible for NHSC since you could not fufill the obligations of both programs.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Why couldn't you, mpp? Alaska certainly has lots of medically underserved areas.
     
  8. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
    Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2001
    Messages:
    3,398
    Likes Received:
    15
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Of course with the loan repayment program you miss out on the $12,000 per year stipend (a minimum of $50,000 if you go for the four-year program).
     
  9. WMN

    WMN Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2001
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    mpp I do not believe you are correct since I know of a few sites in Alaska that have qualified for HPSA status. I was in Kotzebue when they qualified and that is where I hope to practice. If this happens, then I will fulfill both requirements.
     
  10. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Messages:
    3,760
    Likes Received:
    1
    WMN, I'm surmising that you have to go where the gov sends you, and it might not be Alaska. Is that it, mpp? I just went to their site and checked the sites that currently qualify in AK. Kotzebue, Healy, Metlakatla, Talkeetna, Bethel, Anchorage ( <img border="0" alt="[Wowie]" title="" src="graemlins/wowie.gif" /> ), and Fairbanks(I'd agree that's a hardship post!! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> ).
     
  11. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
    Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2001
    Messages:
    3,398
    Likes Received:
    15
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Actually the Fairbanks site does not allow NHSC Scholars, only those in the loan repayment program.

    And although it is true that NHSC has positions in Alaska (The Maniilaq Health Center in Kotz being the location ranked with highest need in the program), they cannot guarantee you a position and Alaska and so Alaska-WWAMI won't accept NHSC as a means of financial payment and you cannot accept a WWAMI position and then decline WWAMI status. At least this was the case last year. Check with the WWAMI office and see if they would accept payment for NHSC.
     
  12. eagle26

    eagle26 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2001
    Messages:
    619
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    From my understanding, the program generates a list of potential sites you can practice. You can apply/try to get into one of these locations if you desire it, but I'm sure there are others who are doing the same thing. If you can't match up to a site within 6 (or 9?) months, then they will assign you. Yes, Alaskan residents can apply ONLY if they have no other service obligations, such as WICHE. That applies to any WICHE students. Service areas are rural or urban in the U.S., U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, Micronesia, Palau. Also, some positions can be goverment, meaning you must qualify as a PHS Commissioned Officer.

    I'm still not sure where I would like to practice, rural or urban, but since I'm going into psychiatry I think inner city/urban would be the best locale.
     
  13. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Messages:
    3,760
    Likes Received:
    1
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by mpp:
    <strong>Actually the Fairbanks site does not allow NHSC Scholars, only those in the loan repayment program. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Right you are, mpp, as always! :D I had the two lists mixed up. Of all the places on the list, Fairbanks is the place I'd least like to go!! (no offense :p )

    Well, I guess I can apply, and if I don't get into WWAMI, then I'm still in the ballgame if I end up at some super expensive private school.

    It's weird that UWSOM won't accept NHSC payment -- what do they care where the money comes from? And Alaska would be happy not to have to pay out the money -- seems like a win-win situation. But I guess someone could then decide not to come back and practice in Alaska. But they can do that now, can't they? :confused:
     
  14. squeek

    squeek Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Messages:
    224
    Likes Received:
    1
    Another thing to consider is joining the IHS (Indian Health Service) AFTER you graduate. I, too, have considered NHSC (as I am at one of those unfortunately "super-expensive" schools), but the contract is very limiting and doesn't give you very much flexibility (as other posters have noted).

    You can join IHS after residency, and they pay about $20K per year towards your loans, plus paying you for working as a physician. If you want to go back to Alaska (as I do), there are plenty of options, including those listed in other posts (including the Alaska Native Hospital in Anchorage).

    This way, if you're not sure what you want to do (as most 1st and 2nd year students don't), you still have options without entering into a strict obligation. if you still want to do primary care, you can get your loans repaid. And if you end up an orthopedic surgeon, you won't have to worry about either service commitments or loans.

    If you aren't REALLY sure of what you want to do, don't do NHSC--I, for one, have changed my mind about my specialty about 15 times in the past 2 years. :)

    A funny aside--last year, when talking to the financial aid advisor here in NYC about NHSC, she really tried to discourage me from applying. "You never know where you'll end up," she said. "You could even be sent to some god-forsaken place in ALASKA!" I had to laugh, and then reminded her that I was born and raised Alaskan, right down to my "Alaska Grown" Palmer State Fair sweatshirt! :)
     
  15. Dr. Kermit

    Dr. Kermit Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2001
    Messages:
    652
    Likes Received:
    1
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Joseph Reses:
    <strong>From my understanding, the program generates a list of potential sites you can practice. You can apply/try to get into one of these locations if you desire it, but I'm sure there are others who are doing the same thing. If you can't match up to a site within 6 (or 9?) months, then they will assign you. Yes, Alaskan residents can apply ONLY if they have no other service obligations, such as WICHE. That applies to any WICHE students. Service areas are rural or urban in the U.S., U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, Micronesia, Palau. Also, some positions can be goverment, meaning you must qualify as a PHS Commissioned Officer.

    I'm still not sure where I would like to practice, rural or urban, but since I'm going into psychiatry I think inner city/urban would be the best locale.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I'm not sure of the web address since I read it a while ago, but I was interested in this program last year. I told my mom about it and she sent me an article about the horrors of this program. Apparently, there are only 2-3 full NHSC scholarships a year. This scholarship is the one that is given to a student with the stipend. When you are done with your residency, they tell you that you have a choice of where you will be placed and can rank them, but really you don't. One lady who was involved in the program wanted an urban location and didn't mind relocating her family. Her husband was in business and they said he could work out of their home. But in the end, she was placed in rural Idaho and they couldn't even get an internet connection for her husband and she ended up having to breach her contract at 4x the amount!

    Another doctor applied for the loan repayment program. And unfortunately, NHSC has lost a lot of its funding, but doesn't really tell people. They waited until she had already relocated to tell her that her funding wasn't approved, so now she is stuck where she has moved because the funding "could be approved at any time!"

    I'll try to find the links to the articles. They are really sad. I was interested in both programs because ideally I would like to practice in urban underserved areas, but I'm not about to sacrifice my future family and would rather pay off the debt on my own <img border="0" title="" alt="[Frown]" src="frown.gif" />
     
  16. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  17. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Messages:
    3,760
    Likes Received:
    1
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Dr. Kermit:
    <strong> Apparently, there are only 2-3 full NHSC scholarships a year.

    Another doctor applied for the loan repayment program. And unfortunately, NHSC has lost a lot of its funding, but doesn't really tell people. They waited until she had already relocated to tell her that her funding wasn't approved, so now she is stuck where she has moved because the funding "could be approved at any time!"

    I'll try to find the links to the articles. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I would be very interested in the articles.

    According to their website, 284 new scholarships and 32 continuation scholarships were awarded in FY 2000, with funding to remain about the same for FY 2001 (2002 is not mentioned).

    For the loan repayment program, they say, "Due to an increase in funding fo fiscal year 2002, the NHSC Loan Repayment Program hopes to fund 550 new loan repayment awards this year, an increase of over 175 compared to fiscal year 2001."
     
  18. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Messages:
    3,760
    Likes Received:
    1
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by mpp:
    <strong>Actually you have to payback triple the amount that they pay you if you breach the contract.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Is it actually triple, or does it just seem that way because you have to pay it back in 3 years?
     
  19. scottie

    scottie Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2001
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, it is triple the amount (plus, interest I believe!)

    My advisor told me that about 2000 people apply for 200 spots. About 400 people get phone interviews.
     
  20. eagle26

    eagle26 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2001
    Messages:
    619
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Good point. I'd also like to see a link to that article. It may make me think twice before going into it cavalier-style.

    Joe
     
  21. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Messages:
    3,760
    Likes Received:
    1
    A bit more new information. The application and a letter of acceptance must be filed by 3/29.
    You can change the school up until 7/1 and get more funding if the school you change to is more expensive than your first school. After 7/1 you can still change but the funding would remain the same. All assuming you're awarded one of the 284 scholarships in the first place, of course.

    Also, talked to the WWAMI office and got kind of an "if it's all right with NHSC, it's all right with us" sort of answer. But then talked to NHSC and it appears it wouldn't really work.

    I've searched a bit for the articles, but haven't found anything. Dr. Kermit, (or anyone else) if you know of links to articles or discussions about peoples' experiences with this program, I'd really appreciate your posting them.
     
  22. eagle26

    eagle26 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2001
    Messages:
    619
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Here's one:

    National Health Service Corps Funding Squeezes Providers
    By Stephen Lewis, CSRHA

    When the New York Times recently ran an article about reduced funding in the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program, it resonated strongly throughout rural California. California's safety net hospitals and clinics, particularly those in rural communities, rely heavily on the NHSC as a source for the physicians, dentists, and other health professionals who provide their health care services. As of March 2000, 45 rural California facilities employed 65 clinicians under scholarships or education loan repayment funded through NHSC. For most of these facilities it is difficult, if not impossible, to recruit clinical personnel without the incentive of NHSC loan repayment or scholarships. The threat of continued limited funding for these programs is a direct threat to the viability of such facilities and the health of the communities they serve.

    The Times report (July 30) described the experiences of recent medical school graduates who had committed to work in safety-net facilities, in anticipation of having their education loans repaid by NHSC. These sites are often in locations that are generally considered unappealing, like inner-city neighborhoods or isolated rural communities. More importantly, safety net facilities often cannot pay as much as the clinician could earn in other practice settings. When the loan repayment funding did not come through, these young physicians found themselves without loan repayment assistance, in a practice setting where their incomes were unlikely to meet repayment schedules. While many of these clinicians may feel a commitment to treat medically underserved populations, the economic reality may be that they cannot afford to do so. The implications for the recruitment and retention efforts of rural facilities are potentially serious.

    Precisely because this is a serious issue, it is important not to read more into the Times article than is actually there. The physicians quoted in the article give the impression they had a commitment from NHSC to repay their education loans if they agreed to work in eligible safety-net facilities. However, as Sonia M. Leon Reig, spokesperson for the program, points out, their applications do not guarantee payment. With flat funding and increased demand for the program, only about 40% of applicants are accepted, and selection is based on a number of criteria in addition to the work setting. Factors such as passage of relevant board examinations, the individual's compatibility with the work setting (e.g. cultural/language competence), and the likelihood of remaining in that setting at the end of the NHSC obligation are important in choosing program participants.
     
  23. Dr. Kermit

    Dr. Kermit Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2001
    Messages:
    652
    Likes Received:
    1
    SMW-

    I can't find a link, but I have a hardcopy at my house and I can photocopy it for you and mail it you if you want! Sorry :( PM if you want it, I got you last message.

    -DK
     
  24. kd

    kd Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2001
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    0
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Dr. Kermit:
    I told my mom about it and she sent me an article about the horrors of this program. Apparently, there are only 2-3 full NHSC scholarships a year. This scholarship is the one that is given to a student with the stipend. </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Gee, if that's the case, I guess all 3 students go to my school (East Tennessee State)- out of 60 people in our first-year class, 3 have full NHSC scholarships. All of them get all expenses paid, plus a monthly stipend of just over $1000.
     
  25. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Messages:
    3,760
    Likes Received:
    1
    There are quite a few more than 2-3 scholarships available, as I noted earlier on this thread.

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by SMW:
    <strong>According to their website, 284 new scholarships and 32 continuation scholarships were awarded in FY 2000, with funding to remain about the same for FY 2001 (2002 is not mentioned).</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">
     
  26. montessori2md

    montessori2md Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    730
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    www.hrsa.gov/about/budgetjustification08/Clinicianrecruitment.htm - 63k

    According to this proposal, 85 scholarships will be awarded FY2008. Approx. half will go to minorities/underrepresented/disadvantaged students. Their website posts odds at 1:7, I think it's probably more like 1:20 of being awarded a scholarship if you are not a minority or otherwise disadvantaged, as odds are there are a lot more of us competing for that half.

    There are no partial scholarships, it's all or nothing.

    With LRP (loan repay), as I understand, the clinic hiring you has to hire you before they can submit the paperwork to receive the payment for your loans. So that means it's impossible to know whether your loans will be repaid until well after you've signed the contract. If you are serious about loan repayment, I would start job hunting well in advance of completing residency, check the clinc's HPSA score (measures how great the shortage is), and interrogate the clinic's admin about how experienced they are at submitting the paperwork, then checking w/ NHSC prior to signing paperwork that it is likely to go through. You might also ask if they would write the contract to agree to pay you more if they are denied the LRP.

    I'm not a scholar, but my family has some military and federal service experience, and I think you have to understand that the bureaucracy is often more important than your personal situation. My mom has to throw out all sorts of job apps because the format wasn't just so, or the job number changed, or what have you. There's a bizarre attachment to checking boxes that makes AMCAS look like a free-for-all. You Alaskans up there know what I'm talking about, I think:)

    There's a good post over on the govt forum by a PHS IHS doc that I found really interesting.
     

Share This Page