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JETPAC

NHSC 2019

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Hi everyone,

I figured I would start a new thread for the upcoming application process for the National Health Service Corps  

I'm interested in applying for this coming school year 2019. 

Does anyone know when the application officially opens?

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On 9/4/2018 at 6:40 PM, JETPAC said:

Hi everyone,

I figured I would start a new thread for the upcoming application process for the National Health Service Corps  

I'm interested in applying for this coming school year 2019. 

Does anyone know when the application officially opens?

Hey, it usually opens in March, as it did this year.

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Question

I am african american, not from a disadvantaged background, never worked in an underserved area, I HAVE completed about ~200 hours of volunteer with the underserved and ~120 hours of volunteer with at risk teens... I have the desire to want to continue to work with the underserved

 

Would i even be considered for the scholarship. Is it worth trying for? I see people who get it are from an underserved area and have worked there for ~4years...

Do I even have a shot? my gpa is 3.5

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21 hours ago, BrittanyJ95 said:

Question

I am african american, not from a disadvantaged background, never worked in an underserved area, I HAVE completed about ~200 hours of volunteer with the underserved and ~120 hours of volunteer with at risk teens... I have the desire to want to continue to work with the underserved

 

Would i even be considered for the scholarship. Is it worth trying for? I see people who get it are from an underserved area and have worked there for ~4years...

Do I even have a shot? my gpa is 3.5

It doesn't cost anything to apply, nor is the application very complicated, so it's worth a shot, particularly if you know you want to do primary care. That said, be realistic about the odds. They get thousands of applications for ~150 scholarships, so even with great stats the odds are slim. I had a 3.98 and 6 years of full-time experience working with underserved populations (Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and The Carter Center), yet wasn't a finalist. I don't say that to discourage you from applying, just to point out how competitive it is. 

Best of luck to all of next years applicants!

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Does anybody know how the scholarship works if your program starts before the decide on who gets the scholarship? I'm definitely going to be applying for the NHSC scholarship as it is my dream to work as a PA in a Community Health Center/FQHC/look-a-like! I am prepared to take out loans but if say you do take out loans and then you get the approval/countersignature after you have taken out loans then what happens?

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Hey everyone!

Thinking of applying for this scholarship as I'm about to begin PA school. However, even after extensive digging, it's still murky on EXACTLY how many sites we have to choose from once we graduate and, even more importantly, are there going to be any sites AT ALL in the area where I want to stay...?!

I found this link https://data.hrsa.gov/tools/shortage-area/hpsa-find but a lot of the data on here for specific clinics hasn't been updated for years. I refuse to move out of state. Plain and simple as that. I also refuse to move north within my state. Should I just call? Can someone tell me if I get this super difficult scholarship (which will take many hours to apply to and require references and so forth) am I going to get screwed? Is there even a point to do this when I can graduate, get a job in an approved clinic/site and then just apply for the loan repayment? 

This seems so risky, like doing a military contract. Once your school is up, you're pretty much REQUIRED to begin working at a site they approve of or you will default and they'll charge you up to 3x the amount of the loan you owed/they paid. That's SUPER scary. For people who got this/know people who got this, how do you sleep at night? I watched all videos they have and see most members are in super remote/rural areas in states I have zero interest in living. I have friends who did AirForce after MD school and were pretty much guaranteed to work in bases they specifically chose before beginning their contract. I'm leaning towards military because, frankly, it sounds much more transparent and logical than these "hidden" "magical" sites which we cannot 100% know of until we've signed our lives away...

Any advice is appreciated.. sorry for the rant, lol. 

Edited by MishaShisha

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Hey @MishaShisha!

From my understanding of the scholarship program, there is kind of an assumed flexibility with the applicants. There is no guarantee that there will be a job in a specific area. You can look on the Health Workforce Connector website and it will show you an idea of what some of the areas will look like based off of the HPSA score. I think in recent past years the score has ranged from 17 or 18 up but they say in the guidelines that these scores are always subject to change.

From what I’ve read it is very similar to a military contract in the sense that you are trading part of your freedom to choose wherever you want to live for the peace of mind of not having to take out loans and the financial freedom that gives you.

 If like you said you really will not move after you graduate then this scholarship might not be the best idea for you because once you get to graduation and you don’t have an HPSA approved sites in your area then you are going to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. The loan forgiveness program might be a better opportunity for you that way you have more of say in where you are living after school.

The reason I’m applying for the scholarship is I have worked the past four years in a free clinic and have generally enjoyed that. I want to continue to work with underserved communities like mine, but I like that if I get this scholarship it gives me the ability to not take out any loans for school at all! My wife and I have talked about it and we are okay moving to wherever but have certain parts of the country that we would prefer to live. 

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Hey @JohnnyLAX9!

Thanks for the reply! I also think loan repayment might be a better option. I definitely agree that the scholarship is really nice and I’d love to have it. I think my frustration stems from the fact that the program seems to focus a lot of effort and funding on rural areas and I don’t see how if I spend 4 years in a such area, how I can transfer to hospital/ER/UC/surgery afterwords. It’s also frustrating for me because I live in SoCal and I assumed there are plenty of clinics in LA/Santa Ana etc. but everything seems to be in NorCal. 

Does anyone know any PAs practicing in SoCal after their scholarship? Would I have a better chance with the loan repayment if I wanted to stay here?

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@MishaShisha  What @JohnnyLax9 said above is true.  There is no guarantee you will be able to stay anywhere near your current home or school.   That's part of the adventure and excitement of this scholarship.  It's a pretty HUGE thing to not only have tuition paid for but living expenses as well.  It's a sacrifice you need to be willing and ready to make. The entire purpose of this scholarship is provide service for rural areas so I don't see how you can be "frustrated."   If you don't have a passion to work with rural, underserved population then this definitely is NOT the opportunity for you. 

BUT----As far as transferring to a hospital after working in rural care-- my understanding is that is would be very easy because your experience will make you a very desirable candidate.  In rural areas your SP can be many miles away and you are the only practitioner in the clinic.  You will have amazing opportunities to be a provider and learn excellent clinical decision making skills.  In urban med you often really are just a "physician extender."  

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@thatgirlonabike Thanks for your response. I absolutely understand the program’s pledge to serve rural areas. I just assumed they would have much more opportunities in underserved areas such as the ones found all over SoCal since when I look at approved clinics, there are many in my area. I have served with AmeriCorps and there are so many areas here that qualify for government support... not to mention areas our East/desert/etc. 

I completely understand how wonderful the scholarship is and I am appreciative of all it has to offer. I just want to serve the hundreds of thousands of people who need high quality medical care in my region, not in a state I will not stay permanently. I also thought that was another point of this program: attract qualified and passionate candidates, help them through school, and then place them in communities they can see themselves staying even after their commitment has been fulfilled. 

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Do any previous applicants know the essay questions? One of their reps told me it is the same questions every cycle; and that I should begin writing my essays now to be ready, once the cycle opens. She stated it was on their website, but I can't find them. 

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Hi all! I had a quick question. On the website it says you must be accepted or currently enrolled in an accredited program. Does this include programs that are new and under provisional accreditation? I hope it does because I was really hoping to be able to apply for this scholarship and it would be sad to find that I am not eligible due to my school being a new one 😢 thanks so much for your help!

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On 2/25/2019 at 1:55 PM, MishaShisha said:

 I also thought that was another point of this program: attract qualified and passionate candidates, help them through school, and then place them in communities they can see themselves staying even after their commitment has been fulfilled. 

There hope is that you will stay in the place you end up.  But if you think you already know what place you want to be then this obviously isn't the scholarship for you.  It's for folks who are willing to move to a severely under served area, where, generally, people are not clamoring to move to.  Not to say that there aren't under served areas of SoCal.... but it's nothing compared to, say, rural NM or AK.......

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On 2/28/2019 at 12:59 PM, pahopeful46 said:

Thank you! I was worried they wanted continued accreditation versus provisional so that is good to hear. 

Update: after speaking to someone on the phone about accreditation requirements for the scholarship, I was told you can only apply if your school is under accreditation continued and they will not accept provisional or probation accreditation. 

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On 3/1/2019 at 4:32 PM, pahopeful46 said:

Update: after speaking to someone on the phone about accreditation requirements for the scholarship, I was told you can only apply if your school is under accreditation continued and they will not accept provisional or probation accreditation. 

I don't think the info the person on the phone gave is correct.   This comes from the nhsc website.  It just says it needs to be ARC accredited and all the designations of ARC are still considered accredited........

"A school or program of primary care physician assistant education, pursuing a postgraduate degree or postgraduate certificate.

Must be:

  • Accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant.
  • Accredited by a U.S. Department of Education nationally recognized regional or state institutional accrediting agency.

Must lead to national certification by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants."

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On 3/6/2019 at 11:05 AM, thatgirlonabike said:

I don't think the info the person on the phone gave is correct.   This comes from the nhsc website.  It just says it needs to be ARC accredited and all the designations of ARC are still considered accredited........

"A school or program of primary care physician assistant education, pursuing a postgraduate degree or postgraduate certificate.

Must be:

  • Accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant.
  • Accredited by a U.S. Department of Education nationally recognized regional or state institutional accrediting agency.

Must lead to national certification by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants."

I am definitely going to try and call back and ask or maybe speak to someone else if possible because I was thinking the same thing! I will update again once I hear back 

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On 2/26/2019 at 10:28 PM, credmond said:

Do any previous applicants know the essay questions? One of their reps told me it is the same questions every cycle; and that I should begin writing my essays now to be ready, once the cycle opens. She stated it was on their website, but I can't find them. 

This is what is listed in the application guidance document:

Essay 1: How will you contribute to the mission of the National Health Service Corps in providing care to underserved communities? •

Essay 2: What experiences have you had or activities have you participated in that have prepared you to work with underserved populations?

Essay 3: Please discuss your commitment to pursue a career in primary health care.

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Does anyone know for sure whether essays go by the 2500 character limit or 500 word count? It says 500 words in the guidelines but 2500 characters on the application page.

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