Divya Sharma knew when she went to medical school that she wanted help people in underserved areas. Global health care is her passion. Her National Health Service Corps scholarship paid for two years of her education at University of Virginia, and in return, she practices medicine with compassion and ingenuity on the Island of Saipan in the U.S.territories north of Guam.
She didn't have to go that far from home.
Read more about Sharma's dedication to her patients and the need for health professionals in underserved areas of the country.
The National Health Service Corps has thousands of service sites -- in both cities and rural areas -- where primary care doctors, nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, physician assistants, dentists, dental hygienists and mental health professionals care for people who otherwise might go without.
National Health Service Corps clinicians serve at NHSC sites for a minimum of two years in exchange for having received a scholarship that pays tuition, fees, other educational costs and a living stipend or receiving a $50,000 lump sum student loan repayment. Additional loan repayment funds may be available for clinicians who continue their service after two years.
Clinicians negotiate a regular salary and benefits package with the sites where they work.
Registered nurses have their own scholarship and loan repayment programs, with similar benefits.
Students from disadvantaged backgrounds and Native Hawaiians pursuing health careers also have scholarship programs.
Health professions faculty from disadvantaged backgrounds and nursing faculty have their own loan repayment programs.