Stipend & Incentives for Rural Practice
Goal of the Residency Stipend Program
The primary goal of the residency stipend is to place primary care physicians in rural and urban underserved practice sites (primary care is defined as: family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, internal medicine/pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, and psychiatry).
- The residency stipend is an incentive option for practicing in rural Tennessee (in addition to National Health Service Corps and Tennessee State Loan Repayment Program).
- It is the only one of these options that provides funding while the clinician is still in training.
- Its purpose is to assist individuals who want to practice in rural Tennessee and is not limited to those practicing in a health professional shortage areas.
Site Selection Process
TRP will provide stipend recipients profiles of practice sites that meet their criteria and will refer them to the site at the recipient’s request. If the recipient find his/her own practice site, the site must be approved by TRP as eligible and must be entered into the TRP jobs database before any contract/agreement is signed by the recipient.
Review Cycle, Ranking System, Agreement
Medical residents must still be in their residency program on November 1 of this year in order to apply. Applications may be submitted at any time during the year, up to the deadline of November 1.
The Stipend Review Committee will meet in early December to review applications.
The tool used by the review committee to rank the applications gives more weight to applicants who are willing to practice in any available rural or urban underserved areas of need. The ranking tool also ranks the importance of the practitioner to the specific community (if known).
The TRP Residency Stipend Contract Agreement, which the recipients must sign, clarifies expectations of both parties.
See more details on the Medical Residents’ tab.
Tennessee Rural Partnership Rural Residents’ Stipend Program
Medical Resident Guidelines for Applications
Applications Reviewed Annually ~ Applications accepted until November 1
Medical residents must still be in their residency program on November 1 of this year in order to apply.
Application Deadline and Award Notification
TRP encourages applicants to submit applications throughout the year, but no later than November 1. Applications are reviewed annually. The application with supplementary materials must be received by the annual deadline to be considered. Note to third-year or fourth-year residents, you must apply no later than November 1 of your final year.
Applications and all supporting documents must be received by November 1 in order for them to be presented to the TRP Stipend Review Committee in early December. The Committee uses a ranking tool that gives more weight to those who want to practice in rural or urban underserved areas (high TennCare population) and are willing to go wherever there is a need. Applicants will be notified of their selection by December 31.
The number of stipends awarded will vary each year depending upon available funding and the number of applicants.
No incomplete applications will be considered. Any extenuating circumstances that delay an application must be approved by the TRP Board of Directors.
The personal statement portion of the application must be detailed. This portion allows the applicant to reinforce their connection to Tennessee and their commitment to working with rural/underserved in the state. In a competitive environment the committee’s assessment of the candidate’s commitment will be the primary factor in their selection. Personal experiences and examples of the applicant’s commitment to rural/underserved practice should be included. Since the stipend is designed to help increase the primary care workforce in Tennessee’s neediest communities, please let your statement reflect your willingness to practice in areas identified by TRP as those of greatest need.
- Physicians training in Tennessee residency programs.
- Physicians training in other states that have a Tennessee affiliation or other circumstances that connect you to a Tennessee practice site. Criteria accepted as affiliations/connections: born in Tennessee, attended a Tennessee medical school but matched to an out-of-state residency program, have family living in Tennessee, spouse’s family lives in Tennessee, relationship to a Tennessee practice site.
- Willingness to practice in areas of greatest need in Tennessee.
Primary care disciplines are defined as: family practice, internal medicine, internal medicine/pediatrics, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, and psychiatry. The committee will consider these disciplines as the priority when awarding stipends.
Due to the varying needs of communities throughout the state, the committee agrees to accept applications of candidates in non- primary care disciplines and review them on a case-by-case basis. Consideration will be given to the needs of that particular situation, but in the case of competing applications priority will be given to the primary care disciplines of family practice, internal medicine, internal medicine/pediatrics, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology and psychiatry candidates.
Amount of Award
$35,000 per year for 3-4 years, depending upon the length of the residency program [maximum $140,000]
J-1 Visa holders are not eligible for the stipend. US citizens graduating from either an international or US medical school must have passed all components of the USMLE or COMLEX and be eligible for Tennessee licensure upon completion of their residency program.
A stipend recipient is required to practice in an approved site one year for each year of the stipend award. The maximum award period is 4 years. Each recipient will sign an agreement outlining the full extent of his/her responsibility. If the recipient defaults on the agreement he/she is liable to the Tennessee Rural Partnership for the full amount paid, plus a 20% penalty payment based on all amounts advanced, as well as any legal fees incurred.
TRP staff will serve as a liaison between the recipient and eligible practice sites. Staff will work with stipend recipients to find a practice site that is suitable for their individual needs and those of the community. Recipients agree to choose a practice location acceptable to TRP either from those available through TRP’s database or through a connection made by the applicant and approved by TRP.
Once in practice, recipients are required to complete a Clinicians’ TennCare Quarterly Report and submit it to TRP for tabulation. The report will document the number of patients the recipient has seen that quarter and indicate how many were classified as TennCare, Medicare, or uninsured.
Stipend payments will be made quarterly, beginning the quarter following receipt of the stipend contract agreement. Payments are made by check.
Payments will be made directly to the recipient at Tennessee Rural Partnership’s direction. The stipend payments are taxable income. Each recipient will receive a Form 1099 no later than January 31st for each year of participation and will be personally responsible for any federal or state taxes due.
Upon receipt of the final payment, the stipend recipient becomes an Alumnus of the TRP Stipend Program. The recipient will complete an evaluation. TRP hopes that as an alumnus the recipient will encourage his/her practice to use TRP when looking for qualified clinicians and also refer clinicians looking for work in rural and underserved communities to TRP’s website for help in their job search.
In addition to the application below, please provide TRP with the following additional documents by the November 1 deadline. Documents received after the deadline will be held until the next review cycle. Send by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to:
Tennessee Rural Partnership
5210 Virginia Way
Brentwood, TN 37027
- A letter from your program director supporting this application and indicating good standing in your residency program, their opinion about your level of clinical competency, and why are you a good fit for rural or underserved practice.
- Final medical school transcript, sent directly by the medical school to the address above.
- Evidence of citizenship (copy of birth certificate, certificate of naturalization, or permanent resident status).
- Evidence of passage of all components of the USMLE or COMPLEX and eligible for Tennessee licensure upon completion of residency program. (Stipend may be awarded pending completion of all steps, but applicant will have to wait until the next annual review cycle for final approval.)
- Completion of TRP Clinician Entry Form. The purpose of this step is so we can begin looking for job opportunities for you. The form will ask for your preferences in terms of geographic location, type of practice, etc. The system matches your responses with job opportunities. You will be assigned a Recruiting Specialist who will work with you personally to find positions that match your interests.
Please complete the Medical Resident’s Application Form below. Answers to all questions are required or your application is incomplete. Applications with supporting documents are accepted throughout the year but must be received by the annual deadline of November 1.
Tennessee Rural Partnership’s Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant Incentive Program
Applicants should be in their first year of clinicals, in order to have time to fulfill the rural rotation part of the requirement. Applicants who are enrolled but have not yet begun their training may be accepted but will be deferred to the review cycle that follows the actual start date of their training.
The purpose of the Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant Incentive is to attract nurse practitioners and physician assistants to practice sites in rural areas of Tennessee. The program will assist in the fulfillment of Tennessee Rural Partnership’s mission to maximize access to primary healthcare in rural and underserved communities in Tennessee. Applicants must be willing to work in a rural community or urban underserved setting that sees a high percentage of TennCare patients.
Who May Apply?
Nurse practitioner students in their first year of clinicals in an accredited Tennessee nursing program who have received their registered nurse (RN) license. Out-of-state nurse practitioner students may be accepted by exception, but must be clear in their application about their place of residence and their commitment to a Tennessee practice.
First-year physician assistant students studying in an accredited Tennessee program with a hub-rotation system (where students are based in one area for their whole rotation cycle).
Rural practices sites are focused on primary care, including behavioral health care, which means that this incentive is aimed at practitioners of family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology and those with a concentration in psychiatric care.
An incentive recipient is eligible to receive a maximum of $17,500 for two years of rural practice, plus approved rural rotation expenses. Those interested must complete the online application form below. They must be approved by the TRP Stipend Review Committee before the process begins. The incentive will be paid in increments, based on the recipient’s fulfillment of each successive step below:
The recipient must complete a rural rotation. This step allows the recipient to see what rural or urban underserved practice requires and what living in a rural community is like. Upon completion of their rotation the recipient will decide whether or not to pursue a rural practice. If they choose not to practice in a rural or urban underserved area, their obligation ends after step 2.
Step 1 requires:
(a) application approval by the committee and (b) submission of a letter of intent to complete a rural or urban underserved rotation signed by the recipient [letter-of-intent-nurse-practitioners ~ letter-of-intent-physician-assistants], with letters of recommendation from their program director and another professional preceptor. The recipient will receive reimbursement with documented travel, lodging and food expenses incurred during their rural rotation. TRP will pay for one eligible rotation of up to 30-days.
The recipient will enter their profile in the TRP database using the Clinician Entry Form on the TRP website.
Step 2 is completion of a rural rotation.
The recipient may find her/his own rotation site or work with TRP to find a site. The length of the rotation will depend upon training program requirements, but must be a minimum of two weeks and a maximum four weeks. The program will pay for one eligible rotation of up to 30 days.
The recipient may complete their rotation at their place of employment if (1) that facility is located in a rural or urban underserved area of Tennessee and (2) the facility accepts TennCare patients and/or uninsured patients.
Upon completion of the rotation the recipient decides whether or not to pursue a rural or urban underserved practice. If the decision is not to practice in either of these settings, their requirement ends after Step 2. A survey will be conducted among those deciding not to pursue a rural practice opportunity to determine the factors that influenced their decision.
Before receipt of funding for Step 3, recipient must provide TRP with:
PAs: Evidence of passing the national certifying exam [PANCE administered by the NCCPA] and be licensed to practice in Tennessee.
NPs: Evidence of unrestricted Tennessee advanced practice nursing license.
Both disciplines: Final transcript (sent directly from the nurse practitioner or physician assistant school to Tennessee Rural Partnership, 5201 Virginia Way, Nashville, TN 37027).
An agreement contract between the recipient and Tennessee Rural Partnership will be signed before beginning this step. The step begins when recipient agrees to practice in a TRP-approved practice site. The site will either be selected from opportunities offered through TRP’s job database or a site found by the recipient that meets TRP’s criteria of rural or urban underserved community and accepts TennCare patients. If the site selected by the recipient is not currently in the TRP database, the site must complete a site profile in TRP’s database before recipient signs an employment contract. Recipient will receive an additional $7,500 at the end of their first year of clinical practice at the approved site.
Concludes when the recipient completes their second year of practice at the approved site and submits a survey evaluating their experience. At that point the recipient receives an additional $10,000.
The NP/PA incentive program in a nutshell:
If the recipient does not complete their rotation, they must refund to TRP all money received for that step.
- Approved recipient’s commitment begins with a rural or urban underserved rotation. Documented mileage and/or housing expenses may be reimbursed as directed by TRP. Upon completion of the rotation the recipient will decide whether or not to pursue a rural practice. If they choose not to practice in a rural area their obligation ends at this point. They will be sent a survey to identify the factors that influenced their decision.
- If the recipient is hired by a TRP-approved practice site and remains at that practice site for one year they will receive $7,500 at the end of that first year.
- If the recipient remains at that site for a second year, she/he will receive $10,000 at the end of that year.
Applications will be reviewed by the committee twice a year. Applications and all supporting documents must be received by the following dates:
June 1 – Award notification by June 30
November 1 – Award notification by December 31
The number of incentives awarded will vary each year depending upon available funding and the number of applicants.
The personal statement portion of the application must be detailed. It allows the applicant to reinforce their connection to Tennessee and their commitment to working in a rural or urban underserved community. In a competitive environment the committee’s assessment of the candidate’s commitment will be the primary factor in their selection. Personal experiences and examples of the applicant’s commitment to rural or urban underserved practice should be included.
No incomplete applications will be considered. Any extenuating circumstances that delay an application must be approved by the TRP Board of Directors.
Practice Incentive Program for Communities in Rural & Urban Underserved Tennessee
PRACTICE SITE GUIDELINES
- To enable rural and underserved practice sites to offer monetary incentives that will bring established qualified primary care physicians and psychiatric nurse practitioners into areas of need.
- To contribute to the retention of rural and underserved area providers.
- To support the workforce network of rural and urban underserved practice sites in their efforts to build the healthcare workforce in rural Tennessee communities.
This program is open only to practice sites in rural or urban underserved Tennessee communities. Urban underserved sites must have a payor mix that includes at least 30% TennCare or uninsured patients. Eligible sites include: rural and critical access hospitals, federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics, health departments providing primary care, faith-based clinics, or private practices located in rural or urban underserved Tennessee communities.
Amount Available and Frequency of Applications:
Up to $30,000 per site based on need and other determining factors and upon funding availability.
A parent organization may submit applications for as many of its subsidiary practice sites as necessary, but awards will be limited to two (2) per parent company per fiscal year.
Sites may not apply more than once in a two-year period, unless exceptional circumstance can be documented.
- Site must be an established practice site that has entered their job opportunity into TRP’s job database, AND
- Site must have been working to recruit a physician or psychiatric nurse practitioner for two years or more OR demonstrates an immediate need because of a retirement, death, etc.
- Rural sites must currently take TennCare patients; urban underserved sites must have a payor mix that includes at least 30% TennCare or uninsured patients; the provider hired must accept TennCare patients
Provider Eligibility: Site must be hiring a physician, either MD or DO, or psychiatric nurse practitioner who is:
- A primary care board-certified physician or board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner who has been practicing for 12 months or longer.
- Working full time (32 hours or more per week) seeing primary care patients.
- Agrees to remain at the participating practice site a minimum of two years.
- Has a current permanent unrestricted Tennessee medical or nursing license or has applied for license.
- Primary care disciplines eligible are: family practice, internal medicine, internal medicine/pediatrics, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, hospitalists and psychiatry. Due to the difficulty in recruiting psychiatrists, sites may also use the incentive to hire a psychiatric nurse practitioner. No other sub-specialty of nurse practitioners will be considered. Some physician specialists may be considered if they can be proved to be essential to the delivery of primary care continuity in rural or underserved areas. Examples might be: general surgery, etc. depending upon the needs of the site/community.
Approved Use of Funds:
Must use for either 1, 2 or both:
- Sign-on bonus for provider AND/OR
- Enhancement of benefits (insurance, relocation expenses, provision of locum tenens to provide coverage for vacation coverage or mission trips coverage, etc.)
OTHER POTENTIAL USES (not required, but may be considered):
- Acquisition of equipment necessary for improved provision of care
- Other (site may specify other ways they would use the funds to attract/retain a physician or psychiatric nurse practitioner)
Practice sites must complete the online application form below. Applications will be reviewed quarterly by the TRP Community Incentive Committee, based on the criteria listed above. Applications are reviewed quarterly. Deadlines for 2017 reviews are March 20, June 20, September 20 and December 20.
The practice administrator for the approved site must provide statistics for a quarterly report that shows the number of TennCare, uninsured, Medicare, and other patients served by the provider hired.
The site will be given up to 120 days to hire a provider. The site administrator will sign a contract that includes details about the distribution of the funds and reporting requirements. Payment will be sent to the practice site in one lump sum within one month of when the hiring agreement is received by TRP. Entire payment must be used as specified and any remaining funds must be returned. A verification of funds form, which indicates how the funds will be distributed, is required.
Please complete this application form: