Case study: University of Alabama offers loans to physicians

Here's a straightforward approach to recruiting physicians to academic institutions. Over the past several years, the University of Alabama at Birmingham has been using substantial physician loans to attract top specialists.  The loans start out at interest rates of 4 percent to 8.5 percent, and are repayable over a one to five-year period. What makes them interesting, for physicians, is that if the physicians remain on board for specified periods of time, the debt is gradually erased.

The university hasn't gone hog-wild--it's issued $910,000 in loans over the past decade--but they've been enough to bring in some attractive candidates. The loans have also helped retain residents in training at the school.

To find out more about this program:
- read this Birmingham Business Journal piece

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