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Office of Mental Health announces loan repayment program to attract psychiatrists to New York psychiatric centers

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Wed, Aug 31st 2016 02:40 pm

Psychiatrists can receive up to $150,000 to repay student loans in exchange for 5-year service commitment to Office of Mental Health

By the New York State Office of Mental Health

The New York State Office of Mental Health today announced applications are being accepted for the Doctors Across New York (DANY) Psychiatrist Loan Repayment Program. This incentive offers up to $150,000 in tax-free reimbursement for psychiatrists with active student loan debt who agree to serve at a New York State Office of Mental Health psychiatric center for at least five years.

"New York state has an obligation to attract and retain high-quality health care professionals, especially mental health professionals," said New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan. "It's projected that, by 2030, New York will face a shortfall of up to 2,650 psychiatrists. We want to do everything in our power to prevent such a critical shortage. As a psychiatrist, I know all too well how overwhelming the cost to educate mental health professionals can be. We believe this loan repayment program is a powerful incentive to attract and retain high-quality psychiatrists throughout New York state."

The DANY program is a state-funded initiative launched by the Department of Health. It was created in 2008 in response to the increasing physician shortage in New York. The Office of Mental Health has received approval for its own segment of the program dedicated to address OMH's psychiatrist recruitment and retention crisis. OMH will provide a total of $1.5 million in funding for this program during the 2016-17 fiscal year and will seek similar funding in future budgets. The OMH Psychiatrist Loan Repayment Program will support psychiatrist recruitment and retention at facilities where the OMH commissioner determines there is a critical need.

"Attracting high-quality psychiatrists to New York's underserved areas has become an important priority that will help us meet the behavioral health needs of all New Yorkers," said New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. "A strong mental health workforce will also help us meet our goal to integrate behavioral health care with physical health care. We hope that psychiatrists who still have student loan debt will consider working in a state psychiatric center as a way to not only pay back their loan, but to gain invaluable experience in the field of behavioral health."

Opportunities exist in OMH psychiatric centers throughout New York, and applications will be accepted electronically on a continual basis. Physicians who are currently in a psychiatric residency program are encouraged to apply.

For more information about the psychiatrist loan repayment program, visit https://www.omh.ny.gov/omhweb/employment/loan-repayment.html.

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