Several of the 50 Best Careers of 2011 occupations are in health care. Many prospects today research companies and organizations prior to applying for a position. Professionals in all occupations today often desire to be a part of organizations leading their industry with best practices. I have noticed that many of the featured “Top Companies” and “Best Employers” lists often exclude government and non-profit organizations from comparison. It is important to check the eligibility for participation and criteria of award to determine its comparison to VA. Surveys and rankings can be biased to a certain group, contributor or customer for a number of reasons. Some may even include all submissions as winners, watering down a list.

I bring this up as VHA is often excluded from participation in “Top” rankings and surveys as a Government Organization. This can present a belief that VHA does not measure up to other health care organizations or companies across our nation. Recently attending Diversity Recruitment and Retention Training at a prominent university, I had the opportunity to train with some well–known leaders in both non-profit and for-profit sectors. While many had established programs, it was clear to me that VHA is a strong contender with many best practices.

Consider conducting your own research about what defines “Top” or “Best.” Just as it is not a good practice to take financial advice without your own due diligence, the same goes for a future employer. All organizations have pros and cons. However, if government and non-profit organizations are excluded from reviews and rankings, what is the measured standard? How does the “Top” compare to VHA in the area being ranked?

I believe that if professionals today desire to work with best-in-class organizations, hospitals and other health care organizations on the leading edge of technology and care, a full comparison of all sectors should be conducted. As a patient and a Veteran that receives care at VA, I can attest that VHA physicians and staff are among the best in their field. I continue to be impressed with the quality of our providers and the commitment in which they serve our Veterans, and I feel that excluding like organizations from surveys and rankings can be misleading—whether one is evaluating diversity trends, customer service, rural health or those employers that are military friendly.  

This practice of exclusion by sector troubles me. How can government and non-profit organizations continue to compete for top talent into the future if the trend is to not recognize their achievements among their peers?  

So, if you are in the top 10% of your career field, check out how VA compares to your desired “Best Employer.” Are they really? Start your research at and apply today!

The Best Care-The Best Careers

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Published on Sep. 28, 2011

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