(a) Student selection
(1) In general
Medical, dental, physician assistant, pharmacy, behavioral and mental health, public health, and nursing students at the Track shall be selected under procedures prescribed by the Surgeon General. In so prescribing, the Surgeon General shall consider the recommendations of the National Health Care Workforce Commission.
In developing admissions procedures under paragraph (1), the Surgeon General shall ensure that such procedures give priority to applicant medical, dental, physician assistant, pharmacy, behavioral and mental health, public health, and nursing students from rural communities and underrepresented minorities.
(b) Contract and service obligation
Upon being admitted to the Track, a medical, dental, physician assistant, pharmacy, behavioral and mental health, public health, or nursing student shall enter into a written contract with the Surgeon General that shall contain--
(A) an agreement under which--
(i) subject to subparagraph (B), the Surgeon General agrees to provide the student with tuition (or tuition remission) and a student stipend (described in paragraph (2)) in each school year for a period of years (not to exceed 4 school years) determined by the student, during which period the student is enrolled in the Track at an affiliated or other participating health professions institution pursuant to an agreement between the Track and such institution; and
(ii) subject to subparagraph (B), the student agrees--
(I) to accept the provision of such tuition and student stipend to the student;
(II) to maintain enrollment at the Track until the student completes the course of study involved;
(III) while enrolled in such course of study, to maintain an acceptable level of academic standing (as determined by the Surgeon General);
(IV) if pursuing a degree from a school of medicine or osteopathic medicine, dental, public health, or nursing school or a physician assistant, pharmacy, or behavioral and mental health professional program, to complete a residency or internship in a specialty that the Surgeon General determines is appropriate; and
(V) to serve for a period of time (referred to in this part as the “period of obligated service”) within the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service equal to 2 years for each school year during which such individual was enrolled at the College, reduced as provided for in paragraph (3);
(B) a provision that any financial obligation of the United States arising out of a contract entered into under this part and any obligation of the student which is conditioned thereon, is contingent upon funds being appropriated to carry out this part;
(C) a statement of the damages to which the United States is entitled for the student's breach of the contract; and
(D) such other statements of the rights and liabilities of the Secretary and of the individual, not inconsistent with the provisions of this part.
(2) Tuition and student stipend
(A) Tuition remission rates
The Surgeon General, based on the recommendations of the National Health Care Workforce Commission, shall establish Federal tuition remission rates to be used by the Track to provide reimbursement to affiliated and other participating health professions institutions for the cost of educational services provided by such institutions to Track students. The agreement entered into by such participating institutions under paragraph (1)(A)(i) shall contain an agreement to accept as payment in full the established remission rate under this subparagraph.
The Surgeon General, based on the recommendations of the National Health Care Workforce Commission, shall establish and update Federal stipend rates for payment to students under this part.
(3) Reductions in the period of obligated service
The period of obligated service under paragraph (1)(A)(ii)(V) shall be reduced--
(A) in the case of a student who elects to participate in a high-needs speciality residency (as determined by the National Health Care Workforce Commission), by 3 months for each year of such participation (not to exceed a total of 12 months); and
(B) in the case of a student who, upon completion of their residency, elects to practice in a Federal medical facility (as defined in section 781(e) 1) that is located in a health professional shortage area (as defined in section 254e of this title), by 3 months for year 2 of full-time practice in such a facility (not to exceed a total of 12 months).
(c) Second 2 years of service
During the third and fourth years in which a medical, dental, physician assistant, pharmacy, behavioral and mental health, public health, or nursing student is enrolled in the Track, training should be designed to prioritize clinical rotations in Federal medical facilities in health professional shortage areas, and emphasize a balance of hospital and community-based experiences, and training within interdisciplinary teams.
(d) Dentist, physician assistant, pharmacist, behavioral and mental health professional, public health professional, and nurse training
The Surgeon General shall establish provisions applicable with respect to dental, physician assistant, pharmacy, behavioral and mental health, public health, and nursing students that are comparable to those for medical students under this section, including service obligations, tuition support, and stipend support. The Surgeon General shall give priority to health professions training institutions that train medical, dental, physician assistant, pharmacy, behavioral and mental health, public health, and nursing students for some significant period of time together, but at a minimum have a discrete and shared core curriculum.
(e) Elite Federal disaster teams
The Surgeon General, in consultation with the Secretary, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other appropriate military and Federal government agencies, shall develop criteria for the appointment of highly qualified Track faculty, medical, dental, physician assistant, pharmacy, behavioral and mental health, public health, and nursing students, and graduates to elite Federal disaster preparedness teams to train and to respond to public health emergencies, natural disasters, bioterrorism events, and other emergencies.
(f) Student dropped from Track in affiliate school
A medical, dental, physician assistant, pharmacy, behavioral and mental health, public health, or nursing student who, under regulations prescribed by the Surgeon General, is dropped from the Track in an affiliated school for deficiency in conduct or studies, or for other reasons, shall be liable to the United States for all tuition and stipend support provided to the student.
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