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New Program Will Help Doctors Pay Off Med School

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Alex DeMetrick 370x278 Alex DeMetrick
Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
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CBS Baltimore (con't)

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — To pay back soaring medical school loans, many new doctors are taking up specialties that pay more than primary care, but primary care is what most people need.  Alex DeMetrick reports on one solution to that dilemma.

From fillings to flu, total health care in Baltimore meets the primary care needs of the underinsured. 

“I seen how they took it personal and that makes you feel good,” said patient Joseph Barksdale.

Much of the care these patients receive is provided by members of the National Health Service Corps.

“And you tell them where you want to work and that you commit yourself to serving that community and working in a community health center,” said Dr. Sherell Mason.

Overseeing that corps is the US Secretary of Health and Human Services, who came to Baltimore to unveil an expansion of that program.

“I’m pleased to announce that we’re opening loan applications for repayment grants that will bring 3,000 new primary care providers to the National Health Services Corps,” said Dr. Kathleen Sebelius.

In return for a two-year commitment, the government will repay $60,000 of medical school loans.  Five years of service will up that payment to $170,000.

Working off medical school bills through public service is being expanded because it is part of the new federal health care law.

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