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Publisher Description

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges' Center for Workforce Studies, the next decade will see a shortage of 45,000 primary care physicians. One reason for this deficiency is that primary care clinicians earn less than half of what the top two earning specialties make. Medical students may elect to enter the higher-paying specialties rather than primary care when faced with paying off their school loans. Seventy-nine percent of U.S. medical students graduate with a total of $100,000 or more of loan debt. In 2009, medical students who graduated from public institutions left with an average debt of $148,101; their private school counterparts left with an average of $170,012 of loan debt. The burden of student loan debt makes working in wealthier areas and specialties more attractive, leaving people in many communities with limited access to health care. About 21 percent of Americans live in primary care shortage areas, meaning these people go without necessary health services or must travel long distances to see a primary health care practitioner. In order to address the primary health care shortage, the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) was founded in 1972 to enable health centers in rural and urban communities to compete with private medical practices. But NHSC has found a way to kill two birds with one stone, providing health services to communities that need it while offering financial incentives to appeal to primary care practitioners who want to serve these areas.

Health, Mind & Body
April 1
American Dental Hygienists' Association
The Gale Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation and an affiliate of Cengage Learning, Inc.

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