national health service loan repayment

I posted this earlier and didn’t get much feedback, so I thought I’d do it again. With reference to the high cost of medical education, does anyone have any experience/comments about the national health service loan repayment program. I just glanced athe website and it looks like for 2 years of service, they repay 50k of student loans with the option of increasing years of service. It looks like they have areas of high need everywhere in the US (rural and urban underserved areas). Does anyone out there have any thoughts on this? I am trying to put my plans for medical education together and was wondering if this was a good option.

My thought is that $25K is a decent chunk of change, but probably represents no more than about 20% of a physician’s likely annual salary. If you can get a higher salary and/or more paycheck or career mobility elsewhere, the smart money is with that job. Of course, if repayment security or working in underserved areas is your priority, that changes things.…

i posted a little about this here. I had a loan repayment. At first the government required that I pay taxes on the money they gave me PLUS it can raise your tax bracket as well, and you are not allowed to save any of the money they give you to pay back the taxes, it all has to go to the loans and they periodically check up on that. For me they did change the Tax repayment so after the first 2 months I didn’t have to pay the taxes BUT they automatically took them out of the money before I received it, so before i was getttin $1500/month, after I only got $1000/month. So essentially the government paid themselves back 10k of the money that was awarded me.

There are lots of stipulations, only 7 weeks off per year including any pregnancy leave, vaca, holidays, sick etc… If you end up not liking the job etc, it is a big deal to change you have to get it approved in writing first.

You have to mail in quarterly statements proving that you are working the minimum hours, and how much time off…

I had it for 2 years and did not extend due to all the stipulations and not wanting to be “owned” by the government anymore.

I’d rather just be “owned” by Sallie Mae alone that’s enough… that being said they did pay back 24k over 2 years for me. I had the NELRP scholarship so its a little different but same group of programs.

All I can say is READ all the fine print, if you break the contract FOR any reason except for death/disablement, you owe them ALL the money plus like 30% interest calculated from the 1st payment date. So you must be 100% sure you can fulfill this contract. Otherwise it could mess you up for future loans/credit score etc big time!

I look at this just like the military scholarships. It makes financial sense if this is the type of work you want to do. In other words, it makes serving in the military or serving in extremely underserved areas a realistic option for people who want to do it anyway. However, it is definitely not the most financially sound way to finance your medical education. As others have pointed out, you would earn far more as a doctor in private or group practice and be able to pay back loans faster on your own, even more so if you went into a higher paying specialty.

thanks for all the great insight. As usual, you’ve all given me something to think about.

I had the NHSC loan repayment program as a NP. Tax free, 50G in exchange for 2 years in a medically underserved area. It is a great deal. You can ammend, at up to 25 G a year if the money is still in the pot.

For MDs, you must be either family, general intern, ob/gyn, geriatrics, psychiatry or pediatrics. No specialists.



Thanks for the input. It didn’t look like a bad deal from the info on the website. Out of curiosity, I noticed a couple of replies were from NP 's thinking about medical school, could you tell me why the switch? About a year ago I thought about going for the NP degree and still will if med school doesn’t happen ( haven’t started prereq’s yet), but I have an odd feeling it may be somewhat limiting. The affordability of the education,salary and employment outlook look very good for NP. Could anyone tell me why they were not satisfied as an NP?…

Here is a post I started about my background. I’ve always wanted to be a Doctor. Originally I was going to go to Med School in Germany, and I did get accepted. At the time the only job I could get at a US Base was at Taco Bell, and I just couldn’t do that for 7 years trying to support myself and it may have even taken longer b/c I would have to work, and even though I speak fluent German it is much more difficult then in English.

After that I just decided I wanted to get into the health care field as fast as possible and I thought I could do everything I wanted to do as a NP.

I am actually very satisfied as a NP, and truthfully financially it does not make a lot of sense to go to Med school because I can make close to 100k working FT with no call, no weekends, and good benefits. And there are no shortage of jobs.

I currently do locums (traveling work).

I am currently working in a rural ER in NM. They triage in 3 levels, 1 highest priority, 3 lowest priority, colds, drug seekers, sprains, etc.

I basically see all the level 3 patients. The Docs see all the 1s and 2s. If its busy I can see some of the 2’s but usually I don’t know automatically what the treatment and/or plan should be. I either have to look it up in a book, internet, or ask a Doc.

That is a big reason I want to go to Med school. I want to know what to do, I want to see the 1s and 2s and trauma, etc…

yeah I could go do Acute CAre NP, but why go to school another 3 years, when i could go 4 and be a Doc?

I do get to learn a lot. A Doc taught and let me re-set a shoulder the other day, and also taught me how to do a rib block. So I can learn a lot of things Doctors do if they show me and I feel comfortable.

If I don’t get in, then I am already living my back-up plan. I am happy and at least I know I tried and I won’t have any regrets for having never even tried to get in.