PDA Supports Pennsylvania’s Health Practitioner Loan Forgiveness
PDA supports legislative efforts to increase funding in the Department of
Health’s health practitioner loan forgiveness program. The state forgives up to
$64,000 of a dentist’s student debt in exchange for a certain amount of time
practicing in a health professional shortage area. But because most graduating
dentists accumulate an average of $165,000 in debt, PDA believes more funding in
the program will incentivize dentists to practice in underserved areas.
Currently, only general dentists may apply for the program. Recognizing the
need to provide more access to children, PDA would also like the program’s
eligibility requirements to include pediatric dentists.
PDA believes additional funding and changes to eligibility requirements will
attract more dentists to the state, and improve access to care in underserved
areas by placing dentists in the communities themselves, rather that have
patients seek care far from their homes.