Frequently Asked Questions
Can the Board help me get into a residency training program?
Neither the Board nor its staff can help someone with acceptance into a residency training program. All interested individuals must enter the National Resident Matching Program for entry into graduate medical education programs. See information regarding the match on the NRMP website (click HERE).
What locations qualify for the Physicians for Rural Areas Assistance loan repayment programs?
Currently, there are 119 rural underserved counties in the state. “Rural underserved area” means a GBHCW-approved rural county in Georgia with a population of less than 50,000 according to the most recent U.S. Census. Also eligible are practice locations in nonrural counties for any hospital or facility operated by or under the jurisdiction of the following Georgia Agencies: departments of Public Health, Corrections, Juvenile Justice, or Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. Facilities falling under the jurisdiction of the aforementioned state agencies must include physician employment by an approved agency or, in the case of contracted employment, the physician must be treating patients of the approved agency with equal provisions given to that agency's missions. For other loan repayment programs, see Board’s website for information.
Is there an eligibility map to determine qualifying locations?
Yes, the maps used to identify qualifying counties for all loan repayment programs can be found by clicking HERE.
For loan repayments, if I work in a county that is not rural and underserved, do I still qualify for loan repayments?
If you desire to practice in a county that is not Board-approved, you may petition the Board through a Rules waiver. More information about that process can be found here.
Is there a fee to apply for loan repayments?
Currently, there is NO fee to apply for any Board loan repayment program.
When is the deadline for applications for loan repayment programs?
All materials and application forms for loan repayment programs must be postmarked by November 1st. The Board will review all applications during its January meeting and vote on which applicants will receive the awards. More info can be found on the loan repayment webpage.
What happens if I can’t meet my obligation after accepting the Physician, APRN, PA, or Dentist loan repayment?
The default process is explicitly stated in each contract. The contract includes a penalty of double the principal award amount received for:
(1) Failure to begin or complete the full twelve-month service commitment in the location named in the contract;
(2) Failure to meet the 40 clinical hours per week full-time practice commitment; or
(3) Failure to provide Board staff with access records and other information necessary to document compliance with contract terms.
If part of the service obligation is completed, the penalty may be prorated on a monthly basis respecting the actual service and total service obligation. The cost of attorney fees and other expenses associated with collection are assessed in addition to the double default penalty.
For the Georgia Physician Rural Loan Repayment Program see below:
A participant who breaches GPLRP obligation will be subjected to paying an amount equal to the sum of the following:
- the total of the amount paid by the GPLRP to, or on behalf of, the participant for loan repayments for any period of obligated service not served; and
- an amount equal to the number of months of obligated service not completed multiplied by $7,500; and
- interest on the above amounts at the maximum legal prevailing rate, as determined by the treasurer of the United States, from the date of breach, except that the amount to recover will not be less than $31,000; and
- the total amount owed is due within one year of the breach
Please contact the Board to discuss options if you cannot fulfill the obligations of your contract.
How does the Board determine who will receive the loan repayment?
Once the application is complete and all supporting documents have been received, the Board uses a weighted scale to rank all applicants. Some of the items considered in the scale are the health outcomes of the county, the county where the applicant practices, the practice type, the salary/debt of the applicant, and the medical specialty.
Can the practice of telemedicine count toward the practice required by loan repayment programs?
No, the practitioner must practice “full-time” at the Board-approved location specified in the contract. "Full-time" refers to the minimum number of hours of work required per week to fulfill services obligation (40+ hours per week). Full-time is considered at least 32 clinical hours, providing direct patient care during normal clinic hours at the approved practice site. Remaining hours must be spent providing inpatient care to patients and/or in practice-related administrative activities. On-call hours are not considered part of the full time requirement.
Where does the Board obtain the data for its reports?
The data for Board reports is obtained from the Georgia Composite Medical Board (GCMB), who collects the information as received from its licensees during the license renewal process. We typically examine data from a complete license renewal cycle, which is two years for licenses issued by the GCMB, before drafting a workforce demographics report.
Can you tell me how to get on the Workforce Board?
All 15 of our Board members are appointed by the Governor of Georgia. If you are interested in serving on our Board, then please contact the Office of the Governor.
What is a practice opportunity fair?
Practice opportunity fairs are annual events held in conjunction with different graduate medical education programs where resident physicians can interact with recruiters and human resource representatives from various hospitals and clinics around the state regarding employment opportunities. More information on practice opportunity fairs can be found by clicking HERE.
What specialties does the Board consider as part of its "primary care/core specialties"?
Family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, emergency medicine, general surgery, and psychiatry.
Does the Board help physicians with finding a job?
Possibly! Board staff have contacts with hospitals and clinics across the state and can help introduce physicians to hiring managers of those practices. To request help with finding a place to practice, click HERE to get the process started.