UConn School of Medicine students are very thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the Primary Care Incentive and Scholarship Program.
A decade ago UConn’s medical school established a very low one percent interest loan program as an incentive to attract more and more of their medical students to careers in primary care over specialty medicine. The low-interest loan program helps ameliorate the financial concerns that limit students’ pursuit of primary care careers by decreasing indebtedness for those entering the primary care fields of medicine, general internal medicine, geriatrics, family medicine or pediatrics.
Second-year medical student Julia Levin applied and was excited to be accepted to the program this year that will allow her to achieve her primary care physician career dreams.
“I grew up wanting to become a primary care physician, and this program makes achieving that goal more financially attainable,” says Levin of the SOM Class of 2026. “This program allows me to pursue a career in primary care without having to worry about taking out higher interest loans from other sources.”
Levin simply wants to give back to the Connecticut community that she feels has given her so much. In 2021 she graduated from UConn Storrs with a B.S. in Physiology and Neurobiology and is part of the 8-year Special Program in Medicine to also earn her medical degree at UConn too. She is on the Urban Service Track and is an AHEC Scholar.
“When I moved to Connecticut to start my undergraduate career at UConn, I very quickly began to consider the new community my home. I was even more excited and honored to have the opportunity to stay within the state to complete my undergraduate medical education,” says Levin. “I hope to remain surrounded by these people not only during my current educational level, but also my residency and ultimate clinical practice. My experiences in Connecticut have been formative and have made me into the strong-willed, hardworking and empathetic individual I am today.”
Soon-to-be physician Todd Costello is a fourth-year UConn medical student wishing to pursue a career in the primary care field of family medicine. He is also grateful for the program.
“I’m very excited to be pursuing a career in family medicine following graduation, and I’m deeply grateful to the Primary Care Scholarship program for supporting me in this endeavor. I am especially appreciative of the mentorship and guidance that I have received through this program.”
Costello says, “I would encourage interested students to apply!”
Successful double-husky Dr. Roberta Delvy, UConn CLAS ’14 and SOM ’23, is from Derby, Conn. and is already underway with her first year of primary care residency training at Yale.
“I am grateful for this program,” says Delvy who entered UConn’s medical school interested in the field of primary care. “It helped incentivize my decision to purse primary care. I knew it would be such a financial help. The application process was easy and I was so happy to be chosen as a recipient.”
Delvy adds: “Now that I’m in residency I am able to live more comfortably without having to make payments during training or worrying about accruing massive amounts of interest. Right now, I am planning to pursue additional training in geriatrics in order to practice primary care for older adults, and will likely stay in Connecticut.”
UConn School of Medicine is working to expand its successful program which also helps the state keep its talented trainees as part of its health care workforce.
“This program is vitally important to help with the primary care physician shortage in Connecticut which is a very abysmal situation,” says School of Medicine Associate Dean for Primary Care Dr. Anton M. Alerte. “Connecticut has the oldest physician population in the country. We need a lot of new doctors entering primary care to make our state’s health care system work.”
UConn medical students who apply and are accepted into the program receive one percent medical education loans if they enter and remain in the primary care field. Plus, they receive primary care mentorship too. As part of the program each student is assigned a primary care faculty member as an advisor.
“I am grateful this program exists,” stresses Alerte. “UConn cares about our state and producing as many primary care physicians as possible to take care of our state’s citizens. Our medical students and residency program trainees also rely on our state’s citizens for their clinical care training experiences to become the best new doctors.”
Alerte concludes: “This program is the ultimate way for UConn and our medical trainees to give back to Connecticut by staying here to care for the people of our state.”
The program is open to Connecticut state residents. Students accepted into the program receive a scholarship of both $10,000 and an annual loan of $40,000 at a flat interest rate of one percent for up to four years for their medical school training. As long as the medical student remains in Connecticut to practice primary care, the low-interest rate holds with a repayment schedule of 10 years. Upon graduation from medical school participants are expected to enter and complete residency training in one of the primary care disciplines. No matter where their residency is completed, program participants are required to give one year of service practicing fulltime as a primary care physician in Connecticut in exchange for each year of their loan support.