South Carolina Medical License Holders Are In High Demand
On a per capita basis, the number of primary care physicians currently working in South Carolina is below the U.S. average, according to a report by The Robert Graham Center. In 2018, South Carolina had around 58 primary care physicians per 100,000 persons (1). This is much below the national average of about 76 per 100,000 persons. South Carolina also struggles to keep physicians with a South Caroline medical license working in more rural and under-served areas of the state. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, about 34% of the residents of South Carolina live in under-served counties with over 2,000 persons per primary care physician (1).
Why There Is A Demand For Those Who Have A South Carolina Medical License?
Evidence shows that a physician is more likely to hold a physician license in South Carolina and practice in the state if they completed their residency in-state. The American Academy of Family Physicians states that between 2011 and 2017, 464 family physicians finished their residency in South Carolina, and only 41% of them stayed in-state and each now holds a South Carolina medical license (1).
Current Solutions To Entice More Doctors To Get A Physician License in South Carolina
There are a few steps that the state is taking to entice more doctors to hold a physician license in South Carolina. At the time this is written, there are eight family medicine residency programs in the state, according to the South Carolina Academy of Family Physicians (3). In order to increase the number of physicians working with a South Caroline medical license, the state must focus on supporting residency programs as well as retention of physicians after they finish their residencies.
The South Carolina Area Health Consortium states that South Carolina is also focusing it’s retention efforts into Rural Incentive Grants and Loan Repayment Incentives. The South Carolina Legislature initiated the Rural Physician Program to incentivize physicians to work in rural and underserved areas of the state. As of today, the South Carolina Rural Physician Program grants $15,000 per year to qualified physicians who carry a South Carolina Medical License and work in rural areas or federally qualified health centers in urban areas (3).
The South Carolina Area Health Consortium uses funds from the Marlboro County General Hospital Foundation to provide loan repayment incentives to medical practitioners who hold a physician license in South Carolina and practice in Marlboro County, South Carolina. The current policy of the Students to Service Loan Repayment Program is that physicians will be paid up to $25,000 for every year that they serve Marlboro County, South Carolina (4). Loan repayment begins during residency and with continued work in Marlboro County, eligible practitioners may be able to fully pay off student loans (5).
There are a few steps that the state is taking to entice more doctors to hold a physician license in South Carolina
How Can You Apply for Your South Carolina Medical License?
South Carolina is struggling to find qualified doctors to fill open positions within the state. If you have selected to move and work in South Carolina, you will need to fill out the paperwork for your South Carolina medical license. Where do you begin when you need to fill out all of the required paperwork? Unfortunately, the vast amount of steps to take to apply and receive your physician license in South Carolina can be daunting. Luckily, there are additional resources that can help simplify the application process if you need your South Carolina medical license. Joining the physician workforce in South Carolina will help the state overcome more of it’s healthcare challenges, providing those who are under-served proper healthcare. If you are interested in living and working in South Carolina, read up on our six tips and tricks for applying for a South Carolina medical license here.