Arizona faces alarming physician shortages (PDF), especially in primary care professions, and particularly in its rural and urban underserved areas and populations. Arizona’s current shortage of primary care physicians (PCPs) is estimated to be nearly 600 statewide, and workforce projections by the Robert Graham Center indicate that Arizona will need nearly 2,000 additional PCPs by 2030.
The University of Arizona’s Primary Care Physician Scholarship Program was established in 2019 to help address this urgent need for physicians within the state by covering the tuition associated with medical education for those willing, in exchange, to practice primary care in a rural or urban underserved community in Arizona.
Regions or specific populations within those areas that lack adequate health care resources have received at least one federal designation by the Health Resources and Services Administration:
- Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA)
- Medically Underserved Area (MUA)
- Medically Underserved Population (MUP)
The Primary Care Physician Scholarship Program application is currently open and will be awarded to incoming medical students beginning April 24, 2020 and for continuing students no later than June 8, 2020. Fully implemented, the program will cover tuition costs for approximately 100 medical students. Eligible applicants must be enrolled as full-time medical student at the College of Medicine – Tucson.
The application process is competitive, culminating in selecting recipients who demonstrate a clear and strong interest in practicing a primary care specialty in a rural or underserved regions of Arizona. You must commit to a minimum of 2 years of service with a maximum of 4 years. For more details, review the FAQs.
Definitions for primary care can vary. For the purposes of this scholarship, a “primary care practitioner” is someone who has successfully completed medical school at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, and completed residency training in one of the following specialties: family medicine, general internal medicine, geriatric medicine, general pediatrics, psychiatry and obstetrics and gynecology.
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