Bringing doctors to the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 01/22/2014

Karolina Buczek

WESTON - Finding doctors to work in rural areas can be difficult.

But Ministry Health Care found a way to get medical students to come to areas where doctors are needed.

Ministry will pay off medical student loans in return for a commitment to work in one of their facilities.

"Most people aren't aware that leaving medical school, you essentially have a mortgage and all you have to show for it is a piece of paper. That can be a very heavy weight," said Jeff Clark, a program participant and 4th year medical student.

The Medical Student Loan Repayment program gives medical students up to 200,000 dollars to pay for medical school.

In return, these medical students have to commit to work at one of Ministry's hospitals or clinics for at least five years.

This program helps bring doctors to the Northwoods.

"It can be just an issue of lifestyle so not everybody is inclined towards living in smaller communities. Some people are more geared toward practicing in an academic center model. There can be a number of reasons why people are drawn to larger metro areas," said Clark.

Students need be enrolled in medical school to participate in the program.

Ministry will pay students' tuition in 50,000 dollar installments over four years.

There are six students enrolled in the program right now.

Medical students can apply to be a part of the program until March 3rd.

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