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New health care law helps expand primary care physician workforce

by Rodney Tanaka

February 13, 2012

Read 1 mins

Fourth-year College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific student Eric Schluederberg is featured prominently in a press release from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announcing $9.1 million in funding to medical students in 30 states and the District of Columbia who will serve as primary care doctors and help strengthen the health care workforce.

Schluederberg is an awardee of the National Health Service Corps’ Students to Service Loan Repayment Program, which provides financial support to fourth-year medical students who are committed to a career in primary care in exchange for their service in communities with limited access to care. He was always attracted to the field of primary care, but the story of his fiancé, Nancy, who has Spina Bifida, has helped inspire him to serve in the NHSC and ensure that women get the pre-natal care they need.

"I always knew my calling was primary care," Schluederberg said. "I’m not a social researcher, and I’m not an economist. But it seems that there are a lot of underserved people in this nation, and that providing sound primary care is a good economic investment. For example, ensuring that pregnant women know to take folic acid supplements is one way to prevent the cost of the numerous surgeries required to help someone with Spina Bifida become an independent member of society."

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