PT and Loan Repayment
We recently had a representative from the APTA speak to our class about the structure of the organization, as well as some current legislative topics that are on the radar within physical therapy. What sparked my interest most was the prospect of PT being added to the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) list of eligible professionals to benefit from loan repayment. The APTA and its members have been monitoring the legislation and pushing for our profession to be included, but I think they may be facing some resistance.
I checked out the program to see who is currently eligible, and I can't understand why PT is not yet involved. The list of disciplines includes physicians, dentists, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, social workers and counselors, among many others. I imagine part of the reason behind excluding physical therapy has to do with finances. By adding another discipline, less money will be available to those currently included. However, the benefit of PT has been well documented, so I'm not sure that finances are an acceptable reason for exclusion.
It would be hard to pass up an opportunity to have $60,000 in loans forgiven for two years of service. I am also drawn to the prospect of working with underserved populations. It would be a great professional experience, and an amazing opportunity to move somewhere in the country you might otherwise never travel to.
For more information about the NHSC loan repayment program, go to this website.