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NY Accepting Applications For New Doctors Across NY Program

Governor David A. Paterson today announced that New York State is now accepting applications for its Doctors Across New York program, a new education loan repayment and practice support program totaling $6.9 million in financial incentives for doctors to practice in designated physician shortage areas across New York. Governor Paterson is urging physicians, prospective medical school graduates, and other health care providers to apply in return for a commitment to practice in underserved rural and urban areas of New York State.

“Whether they live in one of the State’s many rural areas or an inner city, all New Yorkers deserve access to high-quality health care,” said Governor Paterson. “Doctors Across New York will target the areas of the State with the biggest shortages of doctors, providing residents in those communities with a much needed increase in access to health care. This program will greatly improve the overall health of New Yorkers while reducing the cost of health care in the long run.”

Approximately one in four New Yorkers – over five million people – live in health professional shortage areas, defined by the federal government as areas with less than one physician for every 3,500 residents. Of New York’s 62 counties, 49 have areas with physician shortages. The biggest shortages are seen in rural and inner city areas.

To help address these shortages, Governor Paterson and the State Legislature enacted the Doctors Across New York initiative, which provides two incentive programs included in this year’s Executive Budget:

– The Physician Loan Repayment Program provides up to $150,000 in repayment of educational debt for a five-year service obligation in an underserved area.
– The Physician Practice Support Program provides up to $100,000 in practice support funding over two years for providing medical services in an underserved area. Funds are available for salary enhancements, sign-on bonuses, or other direct payments to physicians.

Physicians can apply through applications being accepted by the New York State Department of Health (DOH), which issued Request for Applications (RFAs). Physicians may apply independently, through group practices, or with a health care provider. Hospitals and other health care organizations may also apply to fill needed positions in their facility or community.

Preference will be given to physicians who propose to spend a majority of their time providing primary care services; general obstetric/gynecological services; general surgical services; care for children and the elderly; emergency medicine services; or mental health services, including child and adolescent mental health care.

A physician applicant must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident licensed to practice in New York State and be a graduate of a medical school in New York State; or a graduate of an undergraduate program in New York State; or a graduate of a residency program in New York State; or a graduate of a high school in the State.

The adjusted 2008-2009 budget provides funding of $1.96 million for the first year of the five-year Physician Loan Repayment Program and $4.9 million for the Physician Practice Support Program. DOH expects to make approximately 100 loan repayment awards and more than 100 practice support awards in early 2009.

DOH is sponsoring a conference for applicants from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Friday, October 24, in Meeting Room 1 in the Empire State Plaza Concourse in Albany. Audio links for the conference will be available in New York City, East Syracuse, Buffalo, Jamestown and Saranac Lake. Details on audio links and registration are on the DOH website at

For more information on the Doctors Across New York Program, refer to the RFAs on DOH’s website at

(YWN Desk – NYC)

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