National Health Service Corps

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The National Health Service Corps is part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, division of Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Clinician Recruitment and Service.

Members are health professionals providing primary health care services in underserved communities since 1972. In exchange, the providers are given either loan repayment or scholarship throughout their medical education (not to exceed four years).

The Scholarship program provides for students' reasonable educational expenses (tuition, books and other required services like health insurance) and a monthly stipend for room and board. After school (and residency for medical, osteopathic and dental students) the student must apply for pre-approved positions in underserved areas.[1] The student must apply just like any job applicant. If the applicant chooses a specialty other than primary care, or otherwise does not fulfill the service requirement, he/she must repay the government 3 times the investment with interest.

The loan repayment program works similarly; however, the students apply for the program after school and the NHSC repays up to $60,000 every two years. There is also the option to work in an NHSC approved location for 5 years, which entitles the student to potentially receive $170,000 in loan repayment. Also, there are a greater number of available positions because the criteria are less stringent.

The legislative battle to establish the NHSC was the subject of the book, "The Dance of Legislation" by Eric Redman.

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