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Physician Manpower Training Commission

Placing Doctors in Rural & Underserved Communities – Partnering with Physicians Manpower Training Commission

TSET is committed to improving the health of all Oklahomans and recognizes the critical need for physicians in rural and medically underserved communities. Oklahomans in these communities often delay seeking medical treatment until it is too late and often don’t seek preventative treatment. To improve access to medical services in rural Oklahoma, TSET partners with the Physician Manpower Training Commission (PMTC) to support the Medical Loan Repayment Program (MLRP).

The burden of medical school debt can prevent physicians from practicing in rural or underserved areas. The MLRP combats the physician shortage in rural Oklahoma by addressing a physician’s medical school debt so physicians can practice in rural and underserved communities.  Physicians graduating from medical school have an average of nearly $200,000 in debt according to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges. PMTC loan repayment participants often have  loan amounts in the $300,000 range.

Through an agreement with the PMTC, TSET has committed to funding 42 slots and provides 40% of the total funding for each TSET sponsored physician, making it one of the largest contributors to this public/private collaborative partnership. TSET funds are matched by both public and private entities to ensure that physicians are placed in communities with the most need. Public and private partners include hospitals, cities, insurance providers, medical associations, and banks.

“The Oklahoma Physician Loan Repayment program brings public and private entities together to support rural and medically underserved parts of our state. The program adds to the state’s rural health infrastructure and supports Oklahomans in making healthier choices and managing their health.”


Julie Bisbee, TSET Executive Director

HEALTH IMPACT

Through the Medical Loan Repayment Program, 37 physicians are currently practicing in Oklahoma’s rural and underserved areas. Since inception,  56% have chosen to continue practicing medicine in rural or underserved community across the state.

Since the program begain in 2013, doctors have provided nearly 465,000 patient visits.  

Through Fiscal Year 2021,  physicians participating in the loan repayment program have served  more than 123,000 SoonerCare patient visitsand and have referred more than 14,000 patients to free cessation coaching and services through the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, a program also funded by TSET.

“The Oklahoma Physician Loan Repayment program brings public and private entities together to support rural and medically underserved parts of our state. The program adds to the state’s rural health infrastructure and supports Oklahomans in making healthier choices and managing their health.”


Janie Thompson, PMTC Executive Director

ECONOMIC IMPACT

According to the American Medical Association, a physician in Oklahoma supports 11.7 jobs on average and $1.9 million in annual economic activity in his or her community.

UNDERSTANDING THE NEED

PHYSICIAN COMMITMENTS

With participation in the MLRP, doctors must live in the surrounding community  placement for four years, develop a practice, see SoonerCare patients, accept Medicare billing, be trained on best practices to talk to a patient about quitting tobacco use and referr patients to the  Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline.

Participating physicians include:

  • Family Medicine
  • Geriatrics
  • General Internal Medicine
  • General Pediatrics
  • Obstetrics
  • Gynecology
  • Emergency Medicine

Last Modified on May 03, 2022
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