Saint Louis University

Primary Care Information

Primary Care is the term used to describe health care provided in a wide variety of fields that is often a patient's initial contact with the health care system. These dedicated health care professionals provide communities with much needed health care resources, and continue to improve the quality of life for many. While there is no exhaustive list of fields that fall under the primary care name some of the most common are: Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics/Gynecology and Psychologists.

If you are committed to practicing in one of the many primary care fields, there are several programs that could assist you in repaying your student loans. The listings below are programs that offer Loan Repayment Opportunities for primary care physicians.

National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program- The NHSC is a competitive program that recruits fully trained and licensed health professionals to provide primary health services in NHSC community sites in selected Health Professional Shortage Areas.

National Institute of Health (NIH) Loan Repayment Program - The NIH offers loan repayment in exchange for a commitment to research careers in clinical pediatric, health disparities, or contraception and infertility.

Indian Health Service (IHS) Loan Repayment Program - The IHS offers loan forgiveness in exchange for a commitment working in health facilities serving American Indians and Alaska Natives

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) - PSLF offers loan forgiveness for individuals who are committed to working in the public service arena.

Each organization will have a different definition of primary care, and may require a contractual commitment. There are several things you should consider when you are researching these opportunities:

  • Am I committed to Primary care?
  • What fields do they consider Primary care?
  • What is the dollar amount of the Loan Repayment program I am considering?
  • Is there a service commitment and for how long?
  • Are there penalties if I do not fulfill my contractual obligation?
  • Is there a restriction on what or where I can practice?
  • Do I want to serve an under-served area/population?
  • Is my current/future employer a non-profit company?
  • What are the tax consequences of participating in one of these programs?
  • Which program(s) best fits my needs?


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