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Ministry offers loan program for new doctors

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WESTON, Wis (WSAU) -- Medical school students are being offered a special loan program if they commit to practicing medicine in Wisconsin. Ministry Medical Group’s Brant Bergeron says the health care provider has offered the program for a few years, and they are again recruiting potential doctors.

The Medical Student Loan Program started in 2010 as a way to recruit primary care physicians and specialists to work in rural practices all over Wisconsin. Bergeron says it is difficult to attract physicians in rural areas, and programs like this help. “If there were students who were in medical school, who were interested in rural primary care working in internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, or in internal medicine pediatrics specialties, that we could offer them a loan in advance in exchange for a five-year commitment to practice in the Ministry Health Care service area following residency.”

Bergeron says Ministry selected one medical student in 2010, and they’ve had subsequent interviews since then that have recruited six more future doctors. Bergeron says the opportunity is open again right now, but there is a deadline. “We are starting that application process again this year with a March 3rd deadline for medical students to apply, go through the screening, the interview process, and hopefully be selected to receive those funds to help relieve some of the staggering debt that medical students accumulate.”

Medical students usually have at least eight years of college before they practice medicine, and Bergeron says their program is a win-win for both Ministry and the new doctors trying to pay for their training. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to get up to $50,000 a year over four years, and that helps alleviate some of that debt and gives them some flexibility and really, some peace of mind.”

The program invites online applications, and is structured to give special consideration to medical students who have worked for Ministry Health Care or are from one of the communities they have facilities at.  Students preparing to become doctors should go to their website.  A direct link to the application is available here.

Our interview with Brant Bergeron can be heard on our website, here.

Website Directions to Application:  Go to http://ministryhealth.org/  Click on "Careers" tab, then "Student Opportunities" link, then "Clinical/Rotations" link, and you will find the Medical Student Loan Application.

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