Below is an overview of your service commitment requirements while in postgraduate training. We expect you to review the complete, detailed information in the following:
Students who attend postgraduate training programs prior to serving in the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Students to Service Loan Repayment Program (S2S LRP), must meet a set of requirements.
While we require postgraduate training for physicians, it is optional for dentists.
How to submit a postgraduate training request
You must submit postgraduate training requests via the Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) Customer Service Portal by May 1.
Physicians: Failing to submit a timely and complete postgraduate training request may result in a breach of your NHSC contract.
Other health professionals: Though postgraduate training is optional, failure to submit a timely and complete postgraduate training request may result in NHSC assigning you to service immediately.
When must you start postgraduate training?
If eligible to pursue postgraduate training, we expect you to start after graduation on or around July 1.
How to defer your service commitment
To defer your service commitment, you must:
- Pursue an approved medical or dental specialty;
- Not incur a conflicting service commitment;
- Complete and return the Postgraduate Training Verification (PGTV) form by June 15 each year;
- Notify us of any changes to your personal (e.g., name, address, phone, or email) or financial information; and
- Notify us immediately of any changes that affect your training status, i.e.:
- Leave of absence or other delay in completion date.
- Transfer to another postgraduate training program.
- Dropping out or termination from your postgraduate training program.
How do you defer your service commitment to complete a fellowship or residency?
We may approve, on a case-by-case basis, requests to complete one of the following (in your last year of postgraduate training):
- A 1-year Obstetrics/Gynecology Fellowship, which follows the completion of postgraduate training in Family Practice;
- A 2-year Child Psychiatry Fellowship, which follows the completion of postgraduate training in General Psychiatry;
- A 1-year Geriatrics Fellowship, which follows the completion of postgraduate training in Family Practice or General Internal Medicine; or
- A 1-year Chief Residency.
Submit requests for additional deferment of your service into the BHW Customer Service Portal by February 1 of the final year of your residency program.
How to verify your postgraduate training
You must submit Postgraduate Training Verifications (PGTVs) no later than June 15 each year. You do this via the BHW Customer Service Portal.
The postgraduate training program director (or other supervisor) must verify the PGTVs.
Note: Time spent in postgraduate training, even if at an NHSC-approved site, will not count toward your service commitment.
How we repay loans during postgraduate training
We issue annual loan repayment installments during your postgraduate training. However, you must:
- Continue to pursue your postgraduate training (including residency, chief residency, or fellowship) in an NHSC-approved specialty (evidenced by timely submission of the PGTV no later than June 15 of each year).
- Apply all NHSC S2S LRP award funds to your qualifying educational loans.
- We will list loans approved for payment on the Payment Authorization Worksheet (PAW), which we include in the NHSC S2S LRP award letter.
- Submit a detailed payment history from the lender of each qualified loan by June 15 of each year. The payment history must be an official document from the lender that includes:
- the lender’s name;
- account holder’s (your) name;
- account number;
- payment date; and
- payment amount.
- Submit your most recent loan account statement, no later than June 15 of each year. This shows us that you put all loan repayment funds from the previous year towards reducing the balance of your qualifying educational loan debt.
Doctors of Medicine (M.D.) and Doctors of Osteopathic (D.O.): In addition to the above requirements, you must provide documentation of a passing score for Step 3/Level 3 of the USMLE or COMLEX prior to the completion of your second year of postgraduate training.
Note: If you meet all of the above, submit required documents via the BHW Customer Service Portal—by June 15 each year. We will then deposit your loan repayment funds in annual installments on or about August 1 of each year.
What happens after your service begins
If you received all four installments of the S2S LRP funds during postgraduate training, you will not receive any funds during your period of service.
Note: If you are a dental participant not pursuing postgraduate training, you will receive the first annual installment once beginning your service at an NHSC-approved site.
If you did not receive all of your loan repayment installments prior to beginning service, you will receive the remaining annual installments once you meet the following requirements:
- You submit an Employment Verification Form confirming that you have begun your service obligation at an NHSC-approved site;
- You provide proof of licensure; and
- You continue to comply with the terms of your S2S LRP contract and all NHSC policies.