I'm considering doing a 2 year commitment to the Indian Health Service once I graduate (May 2018) to get some help paying back my loans. Does anyone have any experience as a PA with the IHS or what it's like working on a reservation? I've heard mixed reviews but it seems like a great way to help an underserved population while getting help paying back my pile of student loan debt.
I'm graduating in August and am planning to take the PANCE in mid September and start work at an ED on a Native American reservation in the fall. I'm interested in finding out if/how EM providers manage to take advantage of IHS loan repayment programs. It seems to me that the work requirements by the loan repayment program (LRP) are quite restrictive and wouldn't work very well for clustered blocks of shifts like I plan to do (I plan to commute for my shifts from my home 3 hours away and stay on the rez while I'm working).
If anyone has any experience making their EM shifts work within the requirements of the IHS LRP, I'd love to know how you do that. Or, if there's some other, less restrictive, loan repayment options available, please let me know.
Curious about NHSC Loan Repayment or the NHSC Scholarship? In this blog posting, I've included the former as well as many other loan repayment options and scholarship options you might not know about. Take advantage of this information! You might be a current PA student, a practicing PA, or a pre-PA student considering repayment options for your loans. Make sure you know other resources out there before you make a decision! This information is just to get you started and is by no means all inclusive. I realize there may be many more options out there, but I did the best I could to get your mind thinking. Good luck fellow PA-S and PA-C!