On January 26, members of the GOP Congressional Doctors Caucus engaged in a roundtable discussion on how VA’s academic affiliations and training programs enhance Veteran care and health professions education.
Rep. Buddy Carter, one of two pharmacists who sit on the Doctors Caucus, hosted the roundtable with the participation of the VHA Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA).
Caucus members heard from a panel of accomplished trainees and VA medical center leaders who shared how VA residency and training programs shape their ability to deliver quality Veteran health care.
“This is extremely important for us to make sure that we’ve got health care professionals who are going to be able to serve our country and serve our citizens in the future,” Rep. Carter said.
Carter congratulated Secretary McDonough and VA on the establishment of VA Health Professions Education Week to recognize the contributions of trainees and VA’s academic partnerships to Veteran health care. The inaugural recognition week will be March 14 – 18, 2022.
More than 70% of U.S. physicians trained with VA
VA conducts the nation’s largest health professions education and training program in more than 60 professions across 1,000 VA sites of care. These programs have a major impact on the health care workforce in VA and beyond. More than 70% of physicians in the U.S. trained with VA.
This past year, over 80% of VA optometrists, more than 70% of VA podiatrists and psychologists, nearly 65% of VA physicians, 58% of VA pharmacists, and 47% of VA dentists reported receiving clinical training in VA prior to employment.
The roundtable recognizes the work of VA and its academic affiliates to educate future health professionals for VA and the nation. Current trainees and VA education officers discussed the high quality of training at VA and such topics as increased use of telehealth during the pandemic and to care for Veterans in rural areas.
“In rural America, we really struggle to find physicians and especially specialists,” said Carter. “VA’s mission and VA’s part in educating these physicians is extremely important.”
No other organization more important to training than VA
Dr. James Hildreth, president of Meharry Medical College who served as a panelist for the roundtable agreed, saying, “There is absolutely no other organization in the country more important to training the health care workforce than VA.”
VA is affiliated with more than 1,400 academic institutions, including 99% of America’s medical schools. VA’s academic mission began in 1946, establishing a remarkable partnership between VA and its academic affiliates. Seventy-five years later, over 113,000 health professions trainees help care for more than nine million Veterans at clinical sites around the country.
- Visit the Office of Academic Affiliations website.
- Find out more about VA’s academic mission by watching this video.