Shortage Area Designations

Federal and state shortage area designations assist the delivery of health care by identifying areas of greatest need. These designations are used by many government programs to award scholarships and loan repayment opportunities to those who work in areas of need.

Some helpful definitions:

  • Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) may have shortages of primary medical care, dental or mental health providers and may be urban or rural areas, population groups or medical or other public facilities.
  • Medically Underserved Areas (MUA) may be a whole county or a group of contiguous counties, a group of county or civil divisions or a group of urban census tracts in which residents have a shortage of personal health services.
  • Medically Underserved Populations (MUPs) may include groups of persons who face economic, cultural or linguistic barriers to health care.

For more information on the Shortage Area Designations, we encourage you to check: