Arizona faces alarming physician shortages (PDF), especially in primary care professions, and particularly in its rural and urban underserved areas. Arizona’s current shortage of primary care physicians (PCPs) is estimated to nearly 600 statewide, and workforce projections by the Robert Graham Center indicate that Arizona will need nearly 2,000 additional PCPs by 2030.
The University of Arizona Primary Care Scholarship Program was established by the Arizona Legislature in 2019 to help address this urgent need for physicians within the state by covering the tuition associated with medical education for those willing, in exchange, to practice primary care in a rural or urban underserved community in Arizona.
Regions or specific populations within those areas that lack adequate health care resources have received at least one federal designation by the Health Resources and Services Administration:
- Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA).
- Medically Underserved Area (MUA).
- Medically Underserved Population (MUP).
The Primary Care Scholarship Program application is currently open and will be awarded to students beginning January 2020. Fully implemented, the program will cover tuition costs for approximately 100 medical students. Eligible applicants must be Arizona residents that have been accepted to the College of Medicine – Phoenix for the coming year or are already enrolled as full-time, in-state medical students at the college.
The application process is competitive and will culminate in the selection of recipients who demonstrate a clear and strong interest in practicing a primary care specialty* in a rural or underserved regions of Arizona.
*These specialties include:
- Family medicine.
- General internal medicine.
- Geriatric medicine.
- General pediatrics.
- Obstetrics and gynecology.