Great Seal of the Montana University System

 

 


Program Facts

Since the inception of MRPIP, over 207 doctors have participated; 74% currently practice in MT; 80% are licensed to practice in MT.

MRPIP relies on revenue from WICHE/WWAMI student assessments and eliminated physician tax credit proceeds. 

Participants must have a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree and must be eligible for licensure in the State of Montana.

The Office of Commissioner of Higher Education (OCHE) administers the program.

49 MT Communities Served by MRPIP:

Anaconda
Big Timber
Billings CHC
Butte
Chester
Chinook
Columbia Falls
Columbus
Conrad
Corvallis
Culbertson
Cut Bank
Deer Lodge
Dillon
Ennis
Eureka
Florence
Forsyth
Glasgow
Glendive
Hamilton
Hardin
Harlowton
Havre
Helena

Lewistown
Libby
Lincoln
Livingston
Miles City
Plains
Plentywood
Polson
Red Lodge
Ronan
Roundup
Scobey
Seeley Lake
Shelby
Sheridan
Sidney
St. Ignatius
Stevensville
Superior
Thompson Falls
Townsend
Twin Bridges
White Sulphur
Whitefish

 

Program Summary

In 1991, the Montana Legislature authorized the creation of The Montana Rural Physician Incentive Program (MRPIP) to encourage primary care physicians to practice in rural and medically underserved areas of Montana. The MRPIP Trust Fund was established to facilitate repayment of qualified educational debts of rural physicians who serve communities or populations where there is a demonstrated need for medical services. The trust is funded by fees assessed to all Montana allopathic and osteopathic medical students participating in the WICHE and WWAMI programs.

Benefits and Obligations

  • The program provides up to $150,000 in medical education loan repayment (prior to July 2017, repayment cap was $100,000).
  • One- to five-year periods of service are required in approved rural or underserved locations.
  • Graduated payments based on length of service are disbursed directly to verified lending institutions.

Characteristics of Qualifying Locations and Populations

The program is based on legislation designed to provide assistance to medically underserved populations and rural communities in Montana that have difficulty attracting and maintaining adequate numbers of physicians.   Traditionally, such communities have populations of fewer than 8,000 and hospitals with fewer than 50 beds or have demonstrated shortages of physicians serving specific populations.  Many of these areas have been designated by the United States government as health professional shortage areas (HPSA).  Hospitals and other community organizations in these areas must document their inability to recruit and retain sufficient numbers of physicians.

Selection Process

Applications are reviewed for program eligibility by an advisory committee appointed by the Commissioner of Higher Education.  Qualified applications are prioritized for participation based upon community needs and the availability of funds.  The following preferences may be applied:

  • MT WWAMI TRUST graduate physicians.
  • MT WICHE and WWAMI graduate physicians who contributed to the MRPIP trust fund.
  • Physicians who practice in remote rural locations or in locations having difficulty attracting physicians.
  • Primary care physicians.

All advisory committee nominations of physicians to receive awards are submitted to the Montana Board of Regents for final approval.

Map of Montana communities served by MRPIP

The table below summarizes the information contained on the map above.  The numbers following the city/county names represent the total number of MRPIP physicians who have practiced in that location.  Some MRPIP physicians have practiced in more than one location.

Communities Served by MRPIP:

CITY/COUNTY CITY/COUNTY CITY/COUNTY CITY/COUNTY

Anaconda/Deer Lodge (22)
Big Timber/Sweet Grass (2)
Billings CHC/Yellowstone (4)
Butte/Silver Bow (4)
Chester/Liberty (3)
Chinook/Blaine (1)
Columbia Falls/Flathead (3)
Columbus/Stillwater (3)
Conrad/Pondera (2)
Corvallis/Ravalli (2)
Culbertson/Roosevelt (3)
Cut Bank/Glacier (2)
Deer Lodge/Powell (7)

Dillon/Beaverhead (10)
Ennis/Madison (5)
Eureka/Lincoln (2)
Florence/Ravalli (2)
Forsyth/Rosebud (2)
Glasgow/Valley (3)
Glendive/Dawson (8)
Hamilton/Ravalli (10)
Hardin/Big Horn (3)
Harlowton/Wheatland (2)
Havre/Hill (8)
Helena/Lewis & Clark (3)
Lewistown/Fergus (6)
Libby/Lincoln (8)
Lincoln/Lewis & Clark (2)
Livingston/Park (14)
Miles City/Custer (7)
Plains/Sanders (6)
Plentywood/Sheridan (3)
Polson/Lake (13)
Red Lodge/Red Lodge/Carbon (6)
Ronan/Lake (6)
Roundup/Musselshell (1)
Scobey/Daniels (3)
Seeley Lake/Lake (1)
Shelby/Toole (11)
Sheridan/Twin Bridges/Madison (1)
Sidney/Richland (8)
St. Ignatius/Lake (1)
Stevensville/Ravalli (8)
Superior/Mineral (2)
Thompson Falls/Sanders (1)
Townsend/Broadwater (2)
White Sulphur/Meagher (1)
Whitefish/Flathead (3)