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The most important piece of advice we can give about loan repayment?

Loan repayment should not be the only factor job seekers consider when choosing a job (or profession!). Loan

repayment can be an important recruitment asset and is a tangible item unique to rural and underserved health care

facilities, but it should not be included in any contract language as it is not guaranteed.

Terms you need to know

Loan Repayment

An employee already has a job with you.The employee is given a set amount of money toward their student loan

debt in exchange for service. Example: an employee agrees to work three years for a facility and will receive $40,000

a year for each of those years of service.


An employee may or may not have a job. The employee applies for money toward a medical education they are

already accepted to. This may or may not come with a contractual service (or other) obligation.

Health Professional Shortage Areas (HSPAs)

A federal designation of an area (e.g. a county) or facility as having a need or shortage of health professionals.

Primary Care Office (PCO)

The federally designated person/office responsible for many tasks related to improving access to primary care

including HPSAs and loan repayment programs. There is one PCO in every state; you can find a full list of PCOs


Where can you learn more about repayment programs in your state?

3RNet Member -

Rural Health Information Hub –

Primary Care Office -

State Office of Rural Health -

If you’re interested in learning more about a specific program we encourage you to directly contact the program.

Loan Repayment Basics

Loan Repayment Programs