(a) Consideration of individual characteristics of members in making assignments
In making an assignment of a Corps member to an entity that has had an application approved under section
254f of this title, the Secretary shall, subject to making the assignment in accordance with section
254f–1 of this title, seek to assign to the entity a Corps member who has (and whose spouse, if any, has) characteristics that increase the probability that the member will remain in the health professional shortage area involved after the completion of the period of service in the Corps.
(b) Counseling on service in Corps
(1) In general
The Secretary shall, subject to paragraph (3), offer appropriate counseling on service in the Corps to individuals during the period of membership in the Corps, particularly during the initial period of each assignment.
(2) Career advisor regarding obligated service
(A)In the case of individuals who have entered into contracts for obligated service under the Scholarship or Loan Repayment Program, counseling under paragraph (1) shall include appropriate counseling on matters particular to such obligated service. The Secretary shall ensure that career advisors for providing such counseling are available to such individuals throughout the period of participation in the Scholarship or Loan Repayment Program.
(B)With respect to the Scholarship Program, counseling under paragraph (1) shall include counseling individuals during the period in which the individuals are pursuing an educational degree in the health profession involved, including counseling to prepare the individual for service in the Corps.
(3) Extent of counseling services
With respect to individuals who have entered into contracts for obligated service under the Scholarship or Loan Repayment Program, this subsection shall be carried out regarding such individuals throughout the period of obligated service (and, additionally, throughout the period specified in paragraph (2)(B), in the case of the Scholarship Program). With respect to Corps members generally, this subsection shall be carried out to the extent practicable.
(c) Grants regarding preparation of students for practice
With respect to individuals who have entered into contracts for obligated service under the Scholarship or Loan Repayment Program, the Secretary may make grants to, and enter into contracts with, public and nonprofit private entities (including health professions schools) for the conduct of programs designed to prepare such individuals for the effective provision of primary health services in the health professional shortage areas to which the individuals are assigned.
(d) Professional development and training
(1) In general
The Secretary shall assist Corps members in establishing and maintaining professional relationships and development opportunities, including by—
(A)establishing appropriate professional relationships between the Corps member involved and the health professions community of the geographic area with respect to which the member is assigned;
(B)establishing professional development, training, and mentorship linkages between the Corps member involved and the larger health professions community, including through distance learning, direct mentorship, and development and implementation of training modules designed to meet the educational needs of offsite Corps members;
(C)establishing professional networks among Corps members; or
(D)engaging in other professional development, mentorship, and training activities for Corps members, at the discretion of the Secretary.
(2) Assistance in establishing professional relationships
In providing such assistance under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall focus on establishing relationships with hospitals, with academic medical centers and health professions schools, with area health education centers under section
294a of this title, with health education and training centers under section
294b of this title, and with border health education and training centers under such section
294b of this title. Such assistance shall include assistance in obtaining faculty appointments at health professions schools.
(3) Supplement not supplant
Such efforts under this subsection shall supplement, not supplant, non-government efforts by professional health provider societies to establish and maintain professional relationships and development opportunities.
(e) Temporary relief from Corps duties
(1) In general
The Secretary shall, subject to paragraph (4), provide assistance to Corps members in establishing arrangements through which Corps members may, as appropriate, be provided temporary relief from duties in the Corps in order to pursue continuing education in the health professions, to participate in exchange programs with teaching centers, to attend professional conferences, or to pursue other interests, including vacations.
(2) Assumption of duties of member
(A)Temporary relief under paragraph (1) may be provided only if the duties of the Corps member involved are assumed by another health professional. With respect to such temporary relief, the duties may be assumed by Corps members or by health professionals who are not Corps members, if the Secretary approves the professionals for such purpose. Any health professional so approved by the Secretary shall, during the period of providing such temporary relief, be deemed to be a Corps member for purposes of section
233 of this title (including for purposes of the remedy described in such section), section
254f(f) of this title, and section
254h(e) of this title.
(B)In carrying out paragraph (1), the Secretary shall provide for the formation and continued existence of a group of health professionals to provide temporary relief under such paragraph.
(3) Recruitment from general health professions community
In carrying out paragraph (1), the Secretary shall—
(A)encourage health professionals who are not Corps members to enter into arrangements under which the health professionals temporarily assume the duties of Corps members for purposes of paragraph (1); and
(B)with respect to the entities to which Corps members have been assigned under section
254f of this title, encourage the entities to facilitate the development of arrangements described in subparagraph (A).
In carrying out paragraph (1), the Secretary may not, except as provided in paragraph (5), obligate any amounts (other than for incidental expenses) for the purpose of—
(A)compensating a health professional who is not a Corps member for assuming the duties of a Corps member; or
(B)paying the costs of a vacation, or other interests that a Corps member may pursue during the period of temporary relief under such paragraph.
(5) Sole providers of health services
In the case of any Corps member who is the sole provider of health services in the geographic area involved, the Secretary may, from amounts appropriated under section
254k of this title, obligate on behalf of the member such sums as the Secretary determines to be necessary for purposes of providing temporary relief under paragraph (1).
(f) Determinations regarding effective service
In carrying out subsection (a) of this section and sections
254l–1(d) of this title, the Secretary shall carry out activities to determine—
(1)the characteristics of physicians, dentists, and other health professionals who are more likely to remain in practice in health professional shortage areas after the completion of the period of service in the Corps;
(2)the characteristics of health manpower shortage areas, and of entities seeking assignments of Corps members, that are more likely to retain Corps members after the members have completed the period of service in the Corps; and
(3)the appropriate conditions for the assignment and utilization in health manpower shortage areas of certified nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and physician assistants.
294b of this title, referred to in subsec. (d)(2), was repealed and a new section
294b enacted by Pub. L. 111–148, title V, § 5403(b),Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 648, and, as so enacted, no longer relates to health education and training centers.
A prior section 336 of act July 1, 1944, was renumbered section
336A by Pub. L. 97–35, § 2706(a), and is classified to section
254i of this title.
2008—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 110–355amended subsec. (d) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “The Secretary shall assist Corps members in establishing appropriate professional relationships between the Corps member involved and the health professions community of the geographic area with respect to which the member is assigned, including such relationships with hospitals, with health professions schools, with area health education centers under section
295g–1 of this title, with health education and training centers under such section, and with border health education and training centers under such section. Such assistance shall include assistance in obtaining faculty appointments at health professions schools.”
2002—Subsecs. (c), (f)(1). Pub. L. 107–251substituted “health professional shortage areas” for “health manpower shortage areas”.
1990—Pub. L. 101–597, § 107, amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section read as follows:
“(a) The Secretary may make grants to and enter into contracts with public and private nonprofit entities for the conduct of programs which are designed to prepare individuals subject to a service obligation under the National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program or Loan Repayment Program to effectively provide health services in the health manpower shortage area to which they are assigned.
“(b) No grant may be made or contract entered into under subsection (a) of this section unless an application therefor is submitted to and approved by the Secretary. Such an application shall be in such form, submitted in such manner, and contain such information, as the Secretary shall by regulation prescribe.”
Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 101–597, § 401(b)[(a)], substituted “health professional shortage area” for “health manpower shortage area”.
1987—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 100–177substituted “Scholarship Program or Loan Repayment Program” for “scholarship program”.
The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.
The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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