RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif.—VSP Vision has announced a new Student Loan Repayment Program for optometry students, recent graduates and practicing optometrists burdened with student debt. The launch comes as millions of borrowers are set to resume federal student loan payments previously paused due to the pandemic. The $2 million investment aims to help optometry students and doctors address student debt while further incentivizing staffing in underserved communities, VSP said. Also launching today are new and enhanced career support and job placement services, the company added.

“One of the greatest challenges facing graduates and young professionals today is significant student debt and financial hardship,” said VSP Vision chief growth officer Michelle Skinner. “Our student loan repayment program is designed to help current and prospective doctors reestablish financial security so they can focus on doing what they love most—helping their patients.”

For optometry students, recent graduates and practicing optometrists with student debt, the program provides up to $50,000 per year for four years, regardless of scholarships previously awarded. To be selected, program participants must commit to working in a private practice or other optometric modality (including retail, corporate, medical or onsite clinics) that serves a community with limited access to vision care.

This important programmatic component aims to help encourage staffing in underserved communities while also underscoring VSP Vision’s commitment to increasing access to vision care where it’s needed most. The program is available for VSP network locations, including private practices participating in VSP Premier Edge, Visionworks, VSP Ventures, iCare, Eye Doctor's Optical Outlets and VSP Vision on-site clinics.

Premier Edge Career Support gives doctors a competitive advantage with high-touch personalized career support at every stage of the professional journey, VSP said. From school through retirement, Premier Edge Career Support offers personalized consultations, networking opportunities, business education, hiring resources and job placement at Premier Edge practices.

VSP Vision is also a one-stop source for doctors seeking their ideal job across a diverse range of practice modalities. VSP Vision Careers in Eye Care offers dedicated recruiters to connect doctors to immediate opportunities in a variety of practice settings, including private practice, retail, corporate, medical or corporate onsite clinics.

“The voice of the doctor informs everything we do, and these programs are another example of how we’re continuing to invest in solutions that directly support ODs at every career stage,” said VSP Vision president and CEO Michael Guyette. “Just like the broader industry, doctor preferences and needs are evolving quickly, which is why it’s so important that we deliver solutions that offer doctors choices, resources and support to enable their long-term success.”

These new and enhanced programs add to a variety of existing VSP Vision programs that are already bringing valuable support to current and prospective doctors, including the VSP Vision Exam Rebate, VSP Premier Edge and numerous scholarship opportunities.