The world of primary care is hurting these days and we need to see some stronger initiatives motivate more physicians to pursue primary care. The future of our public health depends on it. Wouldn't it be a novel concept if medical school could be free for those students who choose to devote their career in primary care?
Well, in some ways, this is already happening. Many of the loan forgiveness programs in this country are offered to medical school graduates who devote a certain number of years to work in an underserved area and offer primary care services. Several of these sites are known as AHECs (Area Health Education Centers). There are other government-sponsored loan forgiveness programs for students who choose primary care in certain settings.
You still have to get through medical school on student loans, but then you can have those loans forgiven. So it's free, but it's retrospective.
To learn more about AHECs, visit the NAO.
The National Area Health Education Center Organization - (NAO) is the national organization that supports and advances the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) network in improving the health of individuals and communities by transforming health care through education.http://www.nationalahec.org