NYC Health + Hospitals announced that 26 city physicians will receive student loan forgiveness grants totaling approximately $3 million for their commitment to NYC Health + Hospital services.
The 26 physicians – specializing in fields ranging from pediatrics, psychiatry and emergency medicine – will receive up to $40,000 per year for up to three years to cover their individual loans for medical school.
The grants were provided by the state’s Doctors Across New York Physician Loan Repayment program, which will result in over 75 years of combined service and commitment to NYC Health + Hospitals, providing high quality and accessible care to New Yorkers.
“Medical school debt drives too many early-career physicians away from the public hospital system and the community we serve,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD during the announcement June 6. “Loan forgiveness programs like Doctors Across New York change the equation and help attract talented young clinicians to a career in public service with NYC Health + Hospitals.”
Before the pandemic, the average debt accrued by medical students was about $200,000 per student, making medical school an unattainable goal for many prospective doctors and healthcare workers.
“The United States has some of the highest medical school costs in the world, and that places an extraordinary burden on early career physicians,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Machelle Allen, MD. “Loan forgiveness programs like Doctors Across New York alleviate that burden and allows young doctors to focus where it matters most – on their patients.”
Many of the recipients expressed gratitude for the grants, saying this opportunity would allow them to focus more on their work, without the worry of financial instability.
“Having been born and raised in New York, it is both an honor and privilege for me to be one of the Doctors Across New York awardees,” said Rebecca Pollack, MD, a neonatologist at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln. “I am deeply grateful and appreciative to Doctors Across New York for this award, which strengthens my commitment to serve the NYC community with dedication and to provide optimal neonatal medical care at NYC Health + Hospitals / Lincoln.”
Other recipients praised Doctors Across New York, saying the grant was an incentive for more people to begin careers in healthcare.
“New York is my home; it is where I met my spouse and am raising a family, and it has been a wonderful place to pursue my career as a physician,” said Gregory Hoge, MD, PhD, an internal medicine physician at NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx. “Initiatives like Doctors Across New York ease the financial burden of medical training, and I am very fortunate to receive this award from NY state so I can continue caring for New Yorkers.”