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How to Comply with Students to Service Loan Repayment Program Requirements

National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Students to Service Loan Repayment Program (S2S LRP) awardees must comply with everything in the S2S LRP Application and Program Guidance (PDF - 838 KB).

Awardees serve three years of full-time clinical practice at one or more NHSC-approved sites in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) of greatest need.

Requirements Prior to Your Service Commitment

Requirements Once You Begin Your Service Commitment

How to fulfill your service commitment

Your S2S LRP contract becomes effective on the date the Secretary of Health and Human Services (or their designee) countersigns it.

Your service commitment at an NHSC-approved site begins after you have completed medical or dental school and any approved postgraduate training.

How do you make changes to your service status?

Before making changes to your service status (e.g., transfers, medical suspension, maternity leave, or half-time conversion) you must seek prior approval from the NHSC. Submit requests through the BHW Customer Service Portal.

If you are a dental clinician, and you do not pursue postgraduate training, we expect you to begin service within six months following completion of your Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) or Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (D.M.D.) degree program.

When do you begin receiving credit for your service?

Credit for service toward your service commitment only begins after you do all of the following:

  • Successfully complete an NHSC-approved primary care postgraduate training program (only for Doctors of Medicine (M.D.) and Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.));
  • Obtain a full, permanent, unrestricted license to practice medicine or dentistry.
    • You must have a license in the state where you intend to practice.
    • If you are serving as a federal employee, federal contractor, or employee of a tribal health program, you can be licensed in any state; and
  • Begin full-time or half-time clinical practice at an NHSC-approved site.

Note: Any time you serve at the site prior to the contract going into effect will not count towards your service commitment.

When does your service commitment end?

Your last day of service will occur three years from the date you started.

We may adjust your end date in certain circumstances (e.g. we grant you a waiver for absences beyond the approved seven weeks per service year).

How to complete your service hours

You must work a specified minimum number of hours per week full-time or half-time. That work must be within the profession for which you applied, and we awarded you via the S2S LRP contract, at your NHSC-approved service site(s).

How do we verify your service hours?

If you have completed your training and are practicing at an NHSC-approved site:

  • Every six months, we verify that you fulfilled your service commitment by meeting clinical practice requirements.
  • We do this through the Service Verification (ISV) form. You complete and sign it, then send to your site administrator to sign and submit it through the BHW Customer Service Portal.

Note While we do alert you about the ISV submission, it is your responsibility to ensure that your site administrator submits it on time.

How to fulfill your service commitment during a mandatory furlough or reduction-in-force

We will work with you to fulfill your service commitment if your site faces a mandatory furlough or a reduction-in-force.

While we cannot waive the minimum clinical practice requirements or the maximum allowable absences in these cases, we will work with you to identify solutions.

What happens if you exceed the maximum allowable absences?

We will extend your service end date accordingly.

What if there is a permanent reduction in the number of hours you work?

If you are in full-time clinical practice, you may be eligible to convert to half-time clinical practice and have your remaining service commitment doubled.

Note: Once we convert you to half-time, you must complete the remaining service in half-time; there will not be an opportunity to switch back to full-time.

Are there alternatives to extending your service obligation or converting to half-time?

Yes, there are two alternate solutions to continue to receive credit towards your NHSC service. You may:

  • Find employment at an additional or alternate site to ensure you meet the minimum clinical practice requirements.
  • Request approval from your site to report to work and perform practice-related administrative activities (not to exceed eight hours/week) on scheduled furlough days.

Who should you contact for assistance in these circumstances?

Use the BHW Customer Service Portal to contact us.

How to take temporary and permanent leave

Review our policies around taking temporary leave (e.g. vacation/sick leave or maternity/paternity leave) and permanent leave.

NHSC Empowerment Initiative: Advancing Clinician Wellness and Health Equity

Have you checked out the NHSC Empowerment Initiative

The NHSC Empowerment Initiative is an exclusive curriculum designed for NHSC participants and NHSC-approved sites.

Our webinars feature evidence-based recommendations, case studies, and facilitated group discussions that can equip you with the information you need to succeed as you enter the clinical workforce. With the help of these resources, you’ll be ready to begin caring for patients with complex medical needs and barriers to care. You can check out upcoming webinars and watch recordings of the ones you missed on our Webinar Information page. We also offer publications, such as guides and infographics, to supplement each session throughout the year.

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