Sixty nine years ago, on January 3, 1946, Public Law 79-293 authorized the Department of Medicine and Surgery at the Veterans Administration. This law established a medical residency affiliation program, allowed VA to hire the best qualified physicians and medical staff outside of the civil service system, made medical research a top priority, and built new VA hospitals in urban areas near medical schools.

At the time the law was enacted, VA employed 2,300 doctors of whom 1,700 were still on active military duty from World War II. VA operated 109 hospitals in 45 states and the District of Columbia. By the end of that same year, VA employed 4,000 full-time doctors with less than 400 on active duty. In November that year, VA hired its first women doctors to oversee care for women Veterans.

Today, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is home to the United States’ largest integrated health care system consisting of 150 medical centers, nearly 1,400 community-based outpatient clinics, community living centers, Vet Centers and Domiciliaries. Together these health care facilities and the more than 53,000 independent licensed health care practitioners who work within them provide comprehensive care to more than 8.3 million* Veterans each year.

VHA’s Health Care Recruitment and Marketing Office is dedicated to recruiting the finest healthcare employees to care for our Veterans. HRMO administers several initiatives to enhance the recruitment of highly qualified health care professionals for critical positions where retention and recruitment is difficult, such as physicians, pharmacists and nurses. These initiatives include the VA Careers web site, access to VHA National Recruitment Program Consultants (NRP), and opportunities to connect with NRP recruiters at some national health care events.

Health care candidates can also learn about job vacancies, how to apply for employment at VA and learn more about the positive work environment at VA through the VA Careers’ Facebook page and Twitter account.

During the month of February, the VA Careers blog will feature stories on the VHA recruitment program, activities and leadership commentaries to help health care candidates on their journey to VA.

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Published on Feb. 2, 2015

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