Governor Rick Snyder signed into law last week legislation to help encourage physicians to practice in under served areas by updating an existing loan repayment program so that it is more in line with modern costs and needs.

The bill increases the maximum annual repayment benefit for a doctor who agrees to provide full-time health care services in an area with a shortage from $25,000 to $40,000 and creates a lifetime cap of $200,000.

It also permits the Department of Community Health to give preference to physicians studying general practice, family practice, obstetrics, pediatrics or internal medicine.