The Specialty Education Loan Repayment Program provides financial assistance to physicians in the form of a loan repayment to recent graduates of an accredited medical or osteopathic school, and are currently enrolled or matched to a residency identified as a shortage by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The loan repayment is $40,000 a year with a maximum of $160,000. In return the recipient would agree to serve in a clinical practice at a VA facility for a period of 12 months for each $40,000 of loan repayment with a minimum of 24 months of obligated service.
- Family Practice
- Internal Medicine
- Emergency Medicine
- Geriatric Medicine
- Applicants must be citizens of the United States and pass a background investigation.
- Must be appointed in the occupation for which the recipient was trained (physician).
- Must be currently enrolled in or matched to a residency receiving training in an eligible specialty (identified above).
- Have at least 2 years remaining in a residency/fellowship (identified above).
- Agree to obtain a license to practice medicine, and complete training leading to board eligibility or certification within the specialty trained.
- Agree to a service obligation of at least 2 years.
- Must have eligible student debt equal to or more than the amount of the repayment.
Preference will be given to veterans, and individuals who are, or will be, participating in residency programs in health facilities:
- located in rural areas;
- operated by Indian tribes, tribal organizations or the Indian Health Service; or
- affiliated with underserved healthcare facilities of the Department.
- any amount of principle or interest under a loan, the proceeds of which were used by or on behalf of that individual to pay costs relating to a course of education or training which led to a degree that qualified the individual to become a physician.
- costs relating to a course of education or training, including tuition expenses;
- all other reasonable education expenses, including expenses for fees, books, equipment, and laboratory expenses; and
- reasonable living expenses.
Service obligation. Participant must agree in writing before any payment to:
- obtain a license to practice medicine in a state; successfully complete post-graduate training leading to eligibility for board eligibility/certification in a specialty;
- serve as a full-time clinical practice employee of the Veteran Health Administration (VHA) for 12 months for every $40,000 in such benefits that the employee receives, but in no case for fewer than 24 months; and
- begin such service no later than 60 days after completing a residency.
If the participant receives an accredited fellowship in a medical specialty other that identified above, he/she upon written request may delay the term of obligated service until after the completion of the fellowship, but in no case no later than 60 days after the completion of the fellowship.
-- Submitted by Sarah Moore, financial aid counselor