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Recruitment Assistance Program

This program provides qualifying dentists an incentive payment in return for three continuous years of practice in an eligible rural community. Dentists must enter into a contract with the South Dakota Department of Health in order to participate in the program. The amount of tuition reimbursement for a qualifying dentist is equal to twice the current USD school of Medicine's resident tuition for a four-year period. Since South Dakota does not have a dental school, the USD School of Medicine's resident tuition is being used as the basis for reimbursement. The current amount is approximately $280,754.

To be eligible a Dentist must:

  • Be licensed as a Dentist in South Dakota.
  • Agree to practice full time as a general dentist in an eligible community for at least three consecutive years.
  • Agree to be a participating South Dakota medical assistance provider and to serve any individual eligible under chapter 28-6 and may  not refuse treatment to any such individual while participating in the program. 
  • Provide services to Medicaid, Medicare and State Children't Health Insurance Program patients. 
  • Not have previously participated in such program, or any other state or federal scholarship, loan repayment or tuition reimbursement program which obligates the person to provide medical services within an underserved area.

To be eligible a community must:

  • Have a population of 10,000 or less
  • Be assessed by the Department of Health to evaluate the community's need for eligible providers and its ability to sustain and support additional providers and be found eligible for participation.
  • Agree to pay a pro-rated portion of the total amount of the incentive payment:
    Under 2,500 population - 25% 
    2,500 - 5,000 population - 50% 
    Over 5,000 population - 75%
Contact Information
​Jill Dean, Office of Rural Health 
600 E Capitol
Pierre SD 57501
Phone: 1-800-738-2301 
South Dakota Department of Health