Study Finds Small Percentage of Graduating Family Medicine Residents Choose Financial Support for Service Commitments

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The authors, Julie Phillips MD, MPH; Lars E. Peterson MD, PhD; Bo Fang PhD; Iris Kovar-Gough MA, MLIS; Robert L. Phillips Jr. MD, MSPH, used de-identified data from the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) examination registration questionnaire, which is required of all residents applying for board certification. Results showed 4.4% residents had either obtained military support or enrolled in the National Health Service Corps (NHSC).

A majority (82%) of graduating family medicine residents have educational debt – 58% graduating with more than $150,000. Family physicians today have opportunities to avoid accruing debt or have loans paid with a service commitment; however, of the 6,231 residents studied, only 271 (4.4%) had either obtained military support or enrolled in the NHSC. There was only a small percentage difference in men (4.2%) versus women (2.2%) who had enrolled. Despite the low numbers, a 2014 survey found that 62% of medical school graduates in primary care intended to pursue loan repayment through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.

The complete article, How Many Graduating Family Medicine Residents Have Chosen Financial Support for Service Commitments?, may be found at: http://www.stfm.org/FamilyMedicine/Vol49Issue8/Phillips626

Inquiries and correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Julie Phillips, 788 Service Road, Room B114, East Lansing, MI 48824. 616-234-2672. Fax: 616-234-2638. julie.phillips(at)hc(dot)msu(dot)edu

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Jane Ireland

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