38 CFR § 17.527 - Eligibility.
(a) General. An individual must meet the following requirements to be eligible to participate in the SELRP:
(1) Will be eligible for appointment under 38 U.S.C. 7401 to work as a physician in a medical specialty for which VA determines that recruitment or retention of qualified personnel is difficult. In determining staffing needs, VA will consider the anticipated needs of VA for a period of two to six years in the future. VA will publish these vacancies in a notice in the Federal Register on a yearly basis until vacancies are filled.
(2) Owes any amount of principal or interest for an educational loan where the proceeds were used by or on behalf of the individual to pay costs relating to a course of medical education or training that leads to employment as a physician and;
(i) Recently graduated from an accredited medical or osteopathic school and matched to an accredited residency program in a medical specialty designated by VA; or
(ii) A physician in training with more than 2 years remaining in such training.
(b) Applicants without a residency match. An applicant may apply for the SELRP before receiving a residency match during the applicant's senior year of medical or osteopathic school. Once the applicant is matched with a residency specialty stated in § 17.525 and upon selection of the SELRP, VA must offer the applicant participation in the SELRP no later than 28 days after:
(1) The applicant is matched with the residency; and
(c) Preferences. VA will give preference to eligible participants who:
(1) Are, or will be, participating in residency programs in health care facilities that are:
(i) Located in rural areas;
(ii) Operated by Indian tribes, tribal organizations, or the Indian Health Services; or
(iii) Are affiliated with underserved health care facilities of VA; or