I’d like to thank my fellow VA physicians, nearly 25,000 strong, who each and every day demonstrate their caring and commitment to this country’s Veterans.

March 30 is National Doctor’s Day, a day to recognize the contributions of doctors to individual lives and communities.

It marks the date that Dr. Crawford W. Long of Jefferson, GA, performed a first in surgery on March 30, 1842. Dr. Long administered ether anesthesia to a patient and then operated to remove a tumor from the man’s neck. The patient later said that he felt nothing during the surgery and was not aware the surgery was over until he awoke.

Today in the Veterans Health Administration, thousands of doctors use the remarkable advances in health care science to serve our nation’s Veterans.

At the Augusta, Georgia, VA Medical center, Vietnam Army Veteran Rufus was asked how he felt about his care from Dr. Jianhua Cheng. He responded, “He saved my life. He’s a great doctor. One of the best. I wouldn’t have another doctor.”

This is but one anecdote of the numerous evaluations our doctors receive every day from their most important critic, the Veteran patient.

When I answered the call to serve as VA Under Secretary for Health, I responded as so many of our doctors did. When your country needs you, you answer…and you receive far more than you give.

Our doctors know they serve in an organization whose purpose is noble and whose cause is great. And they feel privileged to serve our Veterans, the men and women who served our country in uniform.

VA doctors make a positive difference each day as a vital component of our dedicated healthcare workforce. Their expertise, experience and industry best practices help to ensure VA remains a leader in American medicine.

On Doctor’s Day, 2016, we honor our VA doctors and celebrate the good work they do every day.

Dr. David ShulkinAbout the Author: Dr. David Shulkin is the Under Secretary for Health, Veterans Health Administration.

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Published on Mar. 30, 2016

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  1. Gerald Dixon April 8, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    What happened to the comment I posted yesterday? Was it to much of an embarrassment to the care and treatment Veterans are given or should I say not given.

  2. Bernard Ehn April 5, 2016 at 9:55 am

    I have been getting medical care for the last 7-8 years at the VA Hospital in Lyons, N.J. All of my doctors are outstanding and I am very appreciative of the care I have received. With MYHEALTHYVET I can schedule appointments with ease, look up test results, etc. I have nothing but admiration and respect for the entire staff (non-medical included) for all they have done for me.

  3. DannyG April 5, 2016 at 9:07 am

    I have a PA as my primary care “physician”, & I LOVE HER TO DEATH! She saved my life 6 yrs ago, & will always be DOCTOR JANE NEWMAN, of the Prescott Valley, Az VETERANS Administration Medical Facility.! – MY DOCTOR

  4. Anthony Jania April 3, 2016 at 11:58 am

    Great folks!!

  5. Anthony Jania April 3, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Thank you VA doctors, all the ladies and the gentlemen. Thank you very much.
    Anthony Jania

  6. Lawrence Mixon April 3, 2016 at 3:18 am

    Louis Stokes Va Medical. Doctor Wolfpaw is one of the greatest doctors. Then I would have to go down a long list of VA doctors. I have received some of the best medical treatments from this hospital over 25 years. I have no negative comments for I do have a ton of thank you for the doctors and the staff. I am 73 years of and in the best of health due to the care I have received over the years. Can I say “THANK YOU AGAIN AND AGAIN” I feel I can live another 73 years with the help of the doctors and staff.

  7. Danny C. Sweet April 2, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    You are all still the focus and hope for
    many in this country, many I’ll wants, many
    Disabled, making somewhat various conditions acceptable to live with and
    healing our wounds. Not a day goes by
    that I would forget how our future is
    better and for our children. Someone I
    could not become, you are like scientist
    in your own little ways..thks.

  8. Elizabeth Wolfe de Kluijver April 2, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    I’m still so thankful for Dr.Huilgol’s swift diagnoses of my colon cancer. He and others at the Roseburg. OR. VA saved my life in 2008 by setting in motion the life saving surgery I received at the San Fransisco VA.

  9. don harris April 2, 2016 at 7:40 am

    You might want to get rid of the word caring from this article. 1. I rarely have witnessed it directly or on others. 2. Caring is a Placebo, an unused activity by today’s doctors training or Understanding.

  10. Tperreira April 2, 2016 at 2:06 am

    The Phoenix, AZ VA has suffered quite a bit lately. The doctors there do incredible work, and are some of the most dedicated. I’m not sure how I would have done over the last 10 years without them. The problems in the VA never slow them down, and I truly hope they know their importance in the lives of so many vets. They are dedicated, caring, and greatly appreciated.

  11. Donald Richard Nichols April 1, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    I have had a great primary care doctor for 15 years Dr. Kolpachi. Three other doctors who have treated me in the Houston VA ortho dept Dr. Green, Dr. Gable and Dr. Raji Thomas all are also great doctors. Several others over the years I can’t recall their names are also good doctors.

  12. Michael Wilkins April 1, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    I would like to give thanks to my PCP Dr Maria Vanegas-Ortiz in Pittsburgh, without whom I would surly be far less healthy than I am. She takes the time to listen and teach and encourages me to do better.

  13. Samuel M Gringeri April 1, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    A thank you for your service and sacrifice God bless you all ! Amen! You are in my prayers all the wonderful Doctors trying to help me stay alive!

  14. Edward Soria April 1, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    I have the best doctors at the VA and they really take care of me— one should not point fingers as to what race they are. I recall all the different races when we were fighting in Korea in our units as grunts and when I went to VIetnam it was repeated again— our fighting men and women come from all over America.

  15. SHIELA MIMS April 1, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    I want to thank my dentist Dr Keir and Mt hygienancestors Sherri for giving me excellent outstanding care while working on my teeth..Dr Keir have beyond overboard to help me maintenance of my teeth and gums and my gratitude to the the staff and Lake City Florida Dental is deeply appreciated.Dr Keir skills and knowledge his craft well exceeds any dentist I have ever seen even the civilian who dentists who have do called state of the art equipment..His judgement are right on..I was a hard case..now thanks to him a Sherrie..I teeth are much more healthy Than before..Thank you for listening.

    • SHIELA MIMS April 1, 2016 at 1:28 pm

      I mean my hygienance Sherry. .

  16. Edward Gates April 1, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    I would like to Thank Dr Recto from Henderson, V.A. clinic , in Nevada One of the nicest Dr’s you will ever have. He is caring and shows support for all of his patients , I salute you.

  17. George Carden April 1, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    I want to thank Dr. Bradley Waters @ Memphis VA Hospital for everything he has done for me for over 5 years. He saved my life when I was bleeding to death. God was, definitely, guiding his hands and God chose to let me live to honor this wonderful man.

  18. George E. LeFebvre April 1, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    I’ve had a few VA Doctors since my retirement in 1978. The most exceptional and my best one was Doctor Recto at the VA Clinic in Henderson, NV. He exemplifies what a dedicated Doctor is.

  19. Marco Cordon April 1, 2016 at 10:57 am

    I would like to thank these VA doctors that have for many years cared for this Vietnam veteran:

    Dr Brian Lengel, Austin OPC
    Dr Ksenija Corak, Cedar Park OPC

  20. Roger Cooley April 1, 2016 at 10:56 am

    I have in my opinion, the best doctor I’ve had in my life at the Palm Harbor Florida VA clinic. I can only wish I had her in all my younger years. Doctor Brooke Baul is a professional that makes a true difference in the VA. She’ first to diagnose my ills and even if she has to refer me to a specialist, knows before I go the final result. I owe her a lot as she saved my life in 2011 and I have no way to repay her for her diligence and pure expertise. I hope my comments draws the VA’s attention in her recognition in true excellence.

    • Edward Soria April 1, 2016 at 6:13 pm

      Your AMerica has not left you -I recall all the different soldiers I met as grunts in Korea and later as a combat Engineer in VIetnam,we are one big country and you need to know what it is that makes all of us American— The doctors are the best that take care of us— take another look friend,

      Edward Soria

  21. Ron Nixon April 1, 2016 at 9:49 am

    to many immigrants are doctors…substandard care… too many foreign cultures…Where Has My America Gone?

  22. Loren Hou April 1, 2016 at 9:45 am

    I have the greatest respect and admiration for the VA doctors who have contributed so greatly to my own health and well being over the last few years. Thank you, Doctors!

  23. thomas gomez sr April 1, 2016 at 6:49 am


    • Dr. Ethelle Lord April 1, 2016 at 10:48 am

      What a wonderful tribute to Dr. Ester Gavish. So many of the VA doctors become not only care providers, but a wonderful support to VA families. I know, my husband is Major Larry S. Potter, USAF Ret. who is now living at the Maine Veterans Home in Caribou, Maine. You can read more about the work that I do at http://www.internationalcaregiversassociation.com/ in support of all veterans and their families living with dementia.

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