What, you mean school loans really do force bad career choices?

Loan effort lures recruits to health centers – White Coat Notes – Boston.com

Launched last year with a $5 million grant from Bank of America, the program has placed 35 physicians and 12 nurse practitioners at 23 health centers. Most were new hires, but six were current staffers who agreed to stay either two or three more years.

I never expected them to be able to recruit 47 clinicians,” Dr. JudyAnn Bigby , secretary of health and human services and also a primary care physician, said last week. “Some community health centers spend years trying to recruit new physicians. Being able to offer loan repayment has had an incredible impact.”

The program pays up to $25,000 a year for three years in loan repayments, about 60 percent of the average burden of $130,000 graduates carry when they leave medical school. Recipients agree to work in primary care at a community health center for at least two years.

I’m betting that programs like this do better at getting people into community health centers than just raising salaries would, because this just makes the loan issues go away. Which is much better than ostensibly having the money and having to budget it and worry about it and write the checks on top of all the fun things a new doctor does.

And once somebody gets into a job like that, they might just stay rather than competing with a bunch of other highly-paid doctors to treat rich people…


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