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 PattyKilloranPosted by Patty Killoran, an intern in the Primary Care Office at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health

This is another in a series of profiles of health care professionals who have benefited from the Massachusetts Loan Repayment Program. The MLRP works to increase access to comprehensive primary care in underserved areas, by providing up to $50,000 towards outstanding educational loans for health professionals who commit to work at an eligible health care organization for two full-time years.      

From a very young age Priya Joshi demonstrated an aptitude and interest in science. Her parents encouraged Priya to pursue and cultivate this interest throughout the early years of her education, expressing their hope that she would eventually choose a career in medicine. Priya told us she knew early on that that’s exactly what she would do. She notes of her parents’ expectations, “it wasn't a hope, but rather a certainty.”

Today, Priya Joshi is a primary care physician at Boston Medical Center (BMC), where she performed her residency. The primary care office occupies two floors of one BMC building, with six different teams all functioning as smaller practices.  These mini-practices allow physicians to accommodate the high volume of patients who need to be seen in a fast-paced environment like BMC. There is no shortage of variety in her work. ”Every day yields a surprise for me,” Priya told us, “meaning I could see anything from a viral infection that requires me to provide a patient with reassurance to diagnosing advanced cancer over a few hours.”  

Early life experiences and her parents’ influence combined to have a significant influence on Priya and her decision to be a physician who works primarily with underserved populations. Priya’s parents ingrained in her the importance of giving back to the less fortunate and community service. “For Thanksgiving, we would often volunteer as a family at a local homeless shelter,” she shares. 

Throughout high school and college, Priya volunteered in urban emergency departments including UMass Medical Center in Worcester and Massachusetts General Hospital. During medical school Priya’s clinical trainings were predominantly at Cook County Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago, IL.  In this way, most of her medical experiences have been working for underserved populations and the disenfranchised. Priya attributes these experiences with her decision to pursue a career working with people who face barriers in accessing health services.

Priya finds that there are many rewards and opportunities in working with the patient population she sees. Priya enjoys the variety of clinical conditions she sees in primary care, and appreciates the potential impact she can have on people's health and well-being.  Said Priya, “I try to emphasize the importance of preventing disease with my patients, and I feel that developing a good rapport and trusting relationship is vital to achieving this goal.”   

During her residency at BMC Priya learned about the Massachusetts Loan Repayment Program (MLRP), and she began investigating her eligibility for the program immediately. She knew that she wanted to stay at BMC upon completing her residency, and her eligibility for the loan repayment program played an important part in allowing  that to happen.. As Priya notes, “I'm very grateful to be participating in the MLRP.”

For more information on the Massachusetts Loan Repayment Program, click here.

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