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  • House Bill Would Add PTs to NHSC Loan Repayment Program

    Last night, Reps Jo Ann Emerson (MO-R) and Mike Ross (AR-D) introduced the Physical Therapist Student Loan Repayment Eligibility Act (HR 1426), legislation that would authorize PTs to participate in the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program. The federal program provides up to $30,000 in loan forgiveness per year for 2 years of service in an underserved area.

    The US Senate is expected to introduce companion legislation to HR 1426 soon.

    Read APTA's press release at this link.


    • this would be amazing!! i would totally do it....how about Haiti?!!!!

      Posted by Lorinda Unruh on 4/8/2011 6:35 PM

    • Will PTA's be included in this also?

      Posted by Tina Smith on 4/8/2011 7:49 PM

    • Will PTAs be eligible as well??

      Posted by Nick on 4/8/2011 8:12 PM

    • As a 2nd year PT student with over 100 thousand in student loan debt, I appreciate the efforts of legislatures to allow PT's to participate in student loan forgiveness. As I choose a career in the next year, this would definetely influence my employment decisions.

      Posted by Kandice Lytton on 4/8/2011 10:12 PM

    • As a PTA who is getting ready to finish my DPT, I am very excited that this legislation has been introduced. I live in a rural area and it would be great to have the option to take a position to offer loan repayment in undreserved areas. It not only would help my financial stress, but it also shows that our profession is recognized as an important need in these communities as well.

      Posted by Joanna Tennill SPT, PTA on 4/9/2011 9:24 AM

    • I am a first year PT student with six years worth of loans ahead of me... I would LOVE to participate in this program! Not only because of the loan forgiveness, but because of what it could help me do for those who need it most. I know tons of others feel the same way I do, and I think this could really make huge differences in the lives of both students and needy patients. Please do all you can to pass this, and I will be in the first group to sign up! Thank you for giving me hope!

      Posted by Julianne Pelger on 4/9/2011 9:48 AM

    • Just wondering if this bill includes PTA's as well?

      Posted by Robin on 4/9/2011 10:23 AM

    • I fully support this legislation as someone 10 years out of school and still owes a lot in student loans.I would definitely be willing to move to an underserved area to help relieve some student loan debt!

      Posted by Kimberly K. Sefton, PT on 4/9/2011 9:00 PM

    • I am a recent graduate and am more than 80k in debt, working in a rural area now. This would help me considerably pay off even a portion of my debt. Thank you all for your efforts to have this passed!

      Posted by Haley on 4/9/2011 10:34 PM

    • Best news I have heard all year!!!!

      Posted by Ashley on 4/10/2011 10:11 AM

    • My son is a doctor who participated in this program. He was still in residency, working unreasonble, against-the-law long hours; so when I finished work at my clinic I would go home and work on getting the requested paperwork together. Be ready for copies, copies and more copies during the app. process. His file was four inches thick and took 5 months to track down all the info. they requested! After his first two years, he switched over to a state run loan repayment program that paid more!

      Posted by Edie on 4/10/2011 10:11 PM

    • Looks like it is only PT's who are eligible for this reason: PT's are less likely to choose a career in a rural area due to their large loan amounts. The loan repayment is being used to encourage PT's to take jobs in areas that have a shortage.

      Posted by Rachel on 4/11/2011 8:11 AM

    • If this legislation comes to fruition, those current PT students should look toward those organizations whose primary mission is serving the underserved. One such organization is the US Public Health Service. As commmissioned officers, we serve communities that traditionally do not received the same access to quality care. Examples of our patient population would include indian reservations, federal prisons, and immigration detention centers to name a few. More information can be obtained at www.usphs.gov.

      Posted by CAPT Eric Payne, US Public Health Service on 4/11/2011 8:12 AM

    • Is this forgiveness for 'public' loans only or does it include 'private' loans which most PTs have??

      Posted by Jason Kral on 4/11/2011 8:53 AM

    • Where would I be able to find out where in the US is considered an under served area by physical therapists?

      Posted by Dustin on 4/11/2011 9:07 PM

    • finally! my 90K in loans can use this, and so can those in underserved areas. and no, I don't believe most PT students have private loans unless you go to private school, or out of state

      Posted by John on 4/12/2011 12:35 AM

    • Definitely interested! I have been working in one of the designated eligible areas for at least 7 yrs and I am still paying off a hefty Federal student loan. I am not getting any younger and this would be a tremendous help! APTA thanks for keeping us informed! Even my husband slept better last night knowing this might come to fruition!

      Posted by CWarrick on 4/12/2011 9:40 AM

    • As a PT who has practiced in rural and underserved areas, I see this as a wonderful opportunity for the therapist to gain experience in the profession and encourage PT's to serve these areas. a win-win situation!

      Posted by Laura on 4/12/2011 11:41 AM

    • Unfortunately, this has been on the docket every year for the past 10 years or so and it still hasn't gone through. Adding insult to injury - Dental hygenists qualify for the program and they have an associates degree, usually only work 4 days per week and their student loans are usually 1/10th of what ours are. Every PT, even those without loans should contact their Senators about this. It's incredibly valuable and I think it's key to continuing to bring strong therapists into the field. The current student loan to salary ratio, especially for new grads is worsening all the time and these types of progams are critical!

      Posted by Scott on 4/12/2011 3:00 PM

    • seriously, CWarrick, you are thanking the APTA for keeping you informed? If the APTA hadn't pushed for entry-level master's, then doctoral degrees, you all wouldn't have such huge loans - and how many of you are using those doctorate degrees working in an ECF, or acute care? As an older therapist with only a BS, I know I'm obsolete, but at least I'm debt-free - and no degree makes up for experience.

      Posted by Melanie on 4/12/2011 4:23 PM

    • Melanie- obviously you do not see the reasoning behind APTAs push for advanced degrees. As a profession we are trying to get direct access, bc our entire profession is not doctorate level, lay people and legislatures do not feel it is appropriate. This has been the whole reason for the push by APTA. And for "no degree makes up for experience" I have only been out 2yrs and many of the older PTs I work with who have BS or master's have asked me about things they did not get in school i.e. reading radiographs, performing manipulations, pharmacology, diff diagnosis.I have definetly learned things from them also that I did not learn in school, but I think this goes hand in hand we should all help each other. I work in acute care and I defintely use my DPT. I don't understand and take great offense to you thinking that PTs working in ECF or acute care don't use their masters or doctorate degrees. No wonder often times PTs in these areas get a bad rep for being less skilled. shame on you.

      Posted by allison on 4/12/2011 5:04 PM

    • Melanie and Allison, your responses have been honest and clear. There is nothing like experience and those with a BS degree are not obsolete! I know several PTs with a BS degree who are excellent! At first, I did not understand why our profession was pushing for a higer level of education and believe me, I did not want to have more debt. But,working in the everchanging healthcare environment and seeing how Legislation can make or break a profession, I began to see why the APTA pushed for the MS and DPT. I believe that the APTA has been our profession's watchdog, so-to-speak, to keep us currrent with the healthcare system. My choice to continue my education for the DPT was difficult because of time and money, however, I am glad that I made the choice because it has broadened my scope in old and new skills. The DPT has changed my approach in thinking, preparing me for the possibility of being in the position of the patient's primary care provider (direct access). The DPT has influenced my collaboration with the healthcare team in the acute care setting, by being able to discuss in more details,i.e.,in areas pharmacology and radiology that affects our interaction with the patient. The DPT has been a worthwhile, good investment for me. And, I am thankful that there is a group of individuals who can handle Legislative bodies to look out for those of us who prefer to work in the field as clinicians (to be capped or not,CMS). Now with that said, this forum is to support for loan forgiveness for our profession regardless of the degree level and supporting this move would help all of us. BS/MS/DPT, non-APTA members and APTA members.

      Posted by CWarrick on 4/16/2011 10:00 AM

    • sign me up. If this legislation gets passed I will be the first on on the list to move to a rural, under-served area to assist with the 87K I still have left, 3 years out of school.

      Posted by Nick Nilest on 6/13/2011 9:02 PM

    • As a practicing therapist going back for a tDPT, this would be very helpful to me and my family. Has it been passed yet?

      Posted by Marques Julius on 12/11/2011 4:34 PM

    • this needs to get done. not only for DPT but many other paramedical professions: ie. physician assistants, higher level RN's, Registered Respiratory Therapists, etc etc. it would be a boon to the obama care act and in general bring excellent medical care to deserving peoples in rural areas. many would be willing to serve their country in this way. student loans are absolutely ridiculous these days. relief is necessary. its a win win situation. alas our government is soooooo slow. gerald.

      Posted by g. millione on 8/23/2013 12:16 AM

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