The federal government has awarded $9.1 million to medical students who are studying to be primary-care doctors, HHS announced.
The National Health Services Corps will disperse the money to students in 30 states and in Washington, D.C., according to an HHS news release
. It's part of the National Health Service Corps' Student to Service Loan Repayment Program, which lawmakers established with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
"This new program is an innovative approach to encouraging more medical students to work as primary-care doctors," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in the release. "This is an important part of the administration's commitment to building the future healthcare workforce."
The program's goal is to give money to fourth-year students who would, in exchange after completing their residencies, serve communities that have limited access to care. Students could be eligible for up to $120,000 in their last years of education. HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration is administering the pilot program.