PHS vs. NHSC scholarships ....pros and cons

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by carpe diem, Mar 8, 2002.

  1. carpe diem

    carpe diem Senior Member
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    Anyone know where I can get good info on Public Health Service Scholarships? ....and any comments on pros and cons of PHS and NHSC scholarships (types of specialties, location, etc.) would be greatly appreciated.........thanks
     
  2. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    I think that the only scholarships offered by the Public Health Service (which is really a brance of the Department of Health and Human Services) are either through the National Health Service Corps or the Indian Health Service (scholarships are for Native Americans only).

    There are loan repayment programs offered by all three of these after you have completed your medical education.

    As far as I can tell, the biggest disadvantge of the NHSC scholarship (and the reason why I did not apply for one) is the requirement to go into primary care. Although I'm fairly certain it is what I want to do, I cannot be positive and do not want to pay the huge penalties for not going into primary care. You would miss out on about $60,000 in stipend for choosing the NHSC loan repayment program after medical school as compared with the Scholarship Program plus interest earned on school loans.

    A tough decision, just be sure that you are absolutely, 100 percent positive that you will go into primary care.
     
  3. carpe diem

    carpe diem Senior Member
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    thanks mpp....... I am interested in underserved populations (rural or urban) but not 100% sold on primary care.....is the NHSC scholarship payback a year for year deal?....would they penalize me if they knew I really eventually wanted to do GI or cardiology??

    also, did you apply for any other scholarships?

    thanks
     
  4. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    Yes, NHSC is a year for a year deal AFTER residency. You could for example, do a residency in internal medicine, then do your NHSC service (I believe the minimum is 2 years), and then go back to and do a fellowship in cardiology.

    I am not certain how easy it is to match to a fellowship after you have been practicing, but it seems like a reasonable thing to want to do.
     
  5. Sugar72

    Sugar72 Senior Member
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    If you are interested in the NHSC scholarship for next year (2002-2003) the deadline is March 29. You need to have the application, contract, and verification of acceptance or good standing in by that date. The verification needs to come from your school. The application is really simple to fill out, it is a fill in the bubble, standardized form.
     
  6. carpe diem

    carpe diem Senior Member
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    ...thanks Sugar for the heads up

    another thought, why does the IHS limit scholarships to those of Alaskan or Native American descent??? This could dissuade many of us who would like to work among these underserved groups.....
     
  7. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    Yes, the IHS scholarships are for Native Americans only. However, the IHS does have a loan repayment program for those interested in practicing in underserved areas.

    <a href="http://www.ihs.gov/JobsCareerDevelop/DHPS/HPRTSC.asp" target="_blank">Here</a> is the link to the IHS scholarship site.
     
  8. Maran

    Maran Member
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    One caveat regarding gov't loan repayment programs. As more than a few physicians learned the hard way, they are not guaranteed. If the federal government has a funding crisis, they may (and have in the past) pull funds.

    However, this should not disuade you from your interest in practicing in underserved areas. A scholarship that locks you in to a service commitment may not even be the best choice for you, even assuming no debt whatsoever.

    Frequently an employer will include loan repayment as a contract incentive to bring a physician with particular skills to their area or facility. And you don't have to be in primary care. For example, at present there is fierce competition for all surgeons (especially general, osteopathic and vascular), OB/GYNs, Neurologists, Urologists, and Radiologists.

    If you'd like to "browse" the job market, I'd like to invite you to visit my company's web site at <a href="http://www.practice.org" target="_blank">www.practice.org</a> We constantly survey medical facilities all across the country to update a publically available listing of typically 9,000 - 10,000 phyisician opportunities. This data base is free to use.

    And when you're ready to enter the job market, we can help you to locate the position you want and negotiate a contract that will address your educational debt.

    I hope this helps. Best wishes in pursuing your goals.
     
  9. Sugar72

    Sugar72 Senior Member
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    Carpe diem,
    I have perused the placement sites for NHSC and they have sites in indian reservations (Including Alaska). I think that the IHS scholarships are intended to not only bring physicians to the area, but also to provide the opportunity for the community to help itself.
    If you are interested in serving in an indian reservation, you can do that through the NHSC program.
     
  10. andrea

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    How possible do you think it is that the government might pull the NHSC scholar $ any time soon? With all these billions of dollars going to the war effort, I wonder how pitiful the funding will be in the near future. Any ideas?
     
  11. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    It could be pulled. The funding must be renewed with the budget each year. It is one of the benefits of the military scholarships (HPSP) over the Health and Human Services scholarships (NHSC and IHS). I think the chances are slim that the NHSC budget will get pulled even with the war effort but there are no guarantees.
     

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