Nov. 17, 2021 — Five first-year students and one second-year student in the University of Florida College of Medicine’s School of Physician Assistant Studies have been awarded prestigious federal scholarships that will cover the entire cost of their education in exchange for a commitment to provide care in underserved communities experiencing health professional shortages following graduation.
The National Health Service Corps provides scholarships and has a loan repayment program for medical, physician assistant, dental, nurse practitioner and nurse midwife students and graduates. Corps members agree to provide two years of health care at an approved site for every year of schooling covered. Additional school expenses like books and a monthly stipend are also provided for scholars.
The six UF College of Medicine PA students awarded scholarships by the program this year are first-year students Alejandra Delgado, Morgan Dopp, Jonathan Ooten, Brooke Schroeder and Phil Thiranop and second-year student Alex Martocci.
Nina Multak, Ph.D., MPAS, DFFAAPA, associate dean and Randolph B. Mahoney Director of the UF School of Physician Assistant Studies, said this is the first time in more than three years that a student in the school has been awarded the scholarship, and this year represents the largest number of UF physician assistant studies recipients thus far.
“Supporting students from the UF School of PA Studies ensures that their future patients will be cared for by dedicated health professionals who will provide patient-centered care and work effectively as future health care team members, especially having the exceptional training provided at UF Health,” she said. “These students’ dedication to primary care will help meet the needs of the growing uninsured and Medicaid populations.”
Seventeen million people receive care from more than 16,000 clinicians serving at NHSC-approved sites in urban, rural and tribal communities. Since the NHSC began in the 1970s, more than 63,000 primary care medical, dental and mental and behavioral health professionals have served.