The NHSC builds healthy communities by supporting qualified health care providers dedicated to working in areas of the United States with limited access to care.
We connect primary health care clinicians to people in the United States with limited access to healthcare.
Strengthening and growing our primary care workforce—through the National Health Service Corps (NHSC)—began in 1972.
What drives our work?
We want everyone to be healthy.
To do our part:
- We support skilled health care workers.
- We require health care workers to serve in high-need areas. We call these Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs).
How great is our impact?
NHSC members providing care to 17 million
of NHSC members serve at 8,400-plus community health centers
NHSC scholars in residency or school preparing to serve
Find out how NHSC Builds Healthy Communities (PDF - 621 KB). We have a strong network of current providers and pipeline residents and students. 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, more than 63,000 primary care medical, dental, and mental and behavioral health professionals have served.
How does our work serve the public?
There aren't enough primary health care workers. That means some people can't get the health care they need. We work to change that.
We focus on:
- Caring for everyone, even if they can't pay.
- Preventing disease and illness.
Why should I apply to the NHSC?
You can help those in need. And—you can be free of school debt.
How do I become an NHSC member?
How do I become an NHSC-approved site?
NHSC-approved sites provide outpatient, primary health services in HPSAs.
What is the history of the NHSC?
We created the NHSC because of the health care crisis in the 1950s and 1960s.
Older physicians retired and young doctors stopped choosing general practice. This meant areas of the country would have no access to primary care.
So we stepped in to support health centers in rural, urban, and tribal communities. Our efforts addressed a growing primary health care shortage.
- NHSC creation
- Awarded first scholarships
- Grew from 181 providers to over 1,800
- Budget 10x larger by decade’s end
- Launch of Loan Repayment Program (LRP)
- Predicted more physicians than needed—budget reduced
- 1989: Field strength reaches 1,500
- The early 90s: only 1,000 providers serve
- Loan Repayment Program adds mental health discipline
- End of the decade: Over 2,500 providers serve
- Unprecedented growth in field strength due to increased funding
- Added new primary care disciplines
- 2008 – 2011: Number of NHSC members doubled
- Behavioral health becomes top discipline among NHSC clinicians
- Students to Service (S2S) adds dentistry discipline
- Telehealth increases rural healthcare access
How many people have served in the NHSC?
NHSC alumni include 63,000 primary care medical, dental, and mental and behavioral health providers.