Michigan Doctors, or MIDOCs, has placed its first eight residents in underserved areas of the state. The innovative program receives half its $10 million funding from the state of Michigan. The other half comes from the four Michigan medical schools. Under this program, each medical school will send two residents to underserved areas each year. In return for working in the underserved areas, the new graduates will have $75,000 of their student debt forgiven.
We support innovation. Clearly, it’s the only hope for solving problems. (Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?) However, we’re skeptical of these programs’ effectiveness. We want to know how many of these new doctors are from these underserved areas. Because, if so, it would seem to be much more effective to recruit more heavily from underserved areas than to offer loan forgiveness. Additionally, we’re not sure how much $75,000 is going to make when a physician’s lifetime earnings potential is considered.