Article 9. California Physician Assistant Loan Assumption Program
(a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) There is a growing shortage of physician assistants and there is a need for qualified physician assistants throughout California.
(2) The physician assistant shortage is most serious in medically underserved areas.
(3) Many medically underserved areas have difficulty recruiting and retaining high-quality physician assistants.
(4) The rising costs of higher education, coupled with a shift in available financial aid from scholarships and grants to loans, make loan repayment options an important consideration in a student's decision to pursue a postsecondary education.
(5) The availability of financial aid and loan repayment assistance are important considerations for many students in making their educational decisions.
(b) It is, therefore, the intent of the Legislature that all of the following occur:
(1) The California Physician Assistant Loan Assumption Program be designed to encourage persons to become licensed physician assistants and work in medically underserved areas.
(2) That the enactment of this article accomplish all of the following:
(A) Provide outstanding postsecondary students with the assurance of financial assistance to encourage them to complete a physician assistant program, obtain a physician assistant license, and seek employment as a physician assistant in a medically underserved area.
(B) Provide persons who agree to become licensed physician assistants with the assurance of financial assistance to encourage them to complete the additional coursework necessary to become a licensed physician assistant.
(C) Identify medically underserved areas.
(3) All persons eligible to enter into agreements for loan assumption pursuant to this article be persons who need to complete training or coursework in order to become a licensed physician assistant, and who agree to work in a medically underserved area.
(4) Funding necessary for the administration of this article be included within the annual budget of the Student Aid Commission in an amount necessary to meet the student loan obligations incurred by the commission.
(Added by Stats. 2008, Ch. 628, Sec. 1.)