Secretary McDonald announces the start of a national recruitment effort to bring needed medical professionals to VA



Recruitment of Additional Medical Providers Will Increase Access to Care

Speaking to a crowd of medical students, residents and faculty at Duke University’s School of Medicine, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald today launched a recruiting initiative aimed at bringing the best and brightest health professionals to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) which will ultimately expand access to care for Veterans.

“At VA, we have the most inspiring mission and the greatest clients of any healthcare system in the world. That’s exactly the message I’m going to share as I speak with health care professionals and students about the value of serving at VA,” said Secretary McDonald. “We have taken action to get Veterans off of wait lists and into clinics in the short-term, but in the long-term, in order to provide timely access to care, we need to build capacity by hiring more clinicians. We need the best doctors and nurses serving Veterans, and that is why I will be out recruiting, leveraging the existing relationships and affiliations VA has with many academic institutions, and talking directly to medical professionals about joining us to fulfill our exceptional mission of caring for those who ‘shall have borne the battle.’”

VA is taking multiple steps to expand capacity at our facilities, to provide Veterans the timely care they have earned and deserve.  In addition to Secretary McDonald’s direct messages to clinicians and clinicians-in-training, these steps include:

  • Collaborating on a new nursing academic partnership (VA Nursing Academic Partnerships or VANAP) focused on psychiatric and mental health care to build stronger, mutually beneficial relationships between nursing schools and VA facilities.
  • Partnering with the Department of Defense Health Affairs, Army, Navy, and Air Force to improve recruitment of recently or soon to be discharged health care professionals. VHA is already taking advantage of known separations of military health care workers.
  • Expanding of a pilot program to bring combat medics and corpsmen in to VA facilities as clinicians
  • Improving the credentialing process for VA and DoD health care providers which will involve sharing credentials to speed up the process.
  • Expanding of the loan repayment program, as included in the recently passed Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act
  • Considering options to revise pay tables to offer more competitive salaries for VA providers, in comparison to their academic and private practice colleagues.
Dr. Chan Park, Director of Simulated Medicine and Attending Physician at the Durham VAMC, stands in the Simulation Center. He has been a VA employee for 3 years and was a US Navy officer for 10 years.

Dr. Chan Park, Director of Simulated Medicine and Attending Physician at the Durham VAMC, stands in the Simulation Center. He has been a VA employee for 3 years and was a US Navy officer for 10 years.

These actions build on existing recruitment tools, including partnerships between local facilities and academic institutions, loan repayment programs, and scholarship programs.

“In order to recruit and retain the highest quality medical professionals, VA needs to be competitive with other healthcare systems, and ultimately that is how we provide the best care to our Veteran patients,” said Interim Under Secretary for Health Carolyn M. Clancy.

To learn more about how to work in VA health care and serve our Nation’s Veterans, please visit: www.vacareers.va.gov.

 

Author

Tim Hudak

  joined the VA in December 2013 and is on the Veterans Experience Office team. Tim, a Chicago-land native enlisted in the Marine Corps straight out of high school. As an intelligence analyst he deployed to Al Anbar province, Iraq with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363 in 2006 and 2008. After the Marine Corps, Tim used the GI Bill to earn a degree in Intelligence Studies from Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa., and co-founded the university’s first student Veteran organization. Tim is active in many Veteran organizations.

Comments

  1. patrick jahnke    

    U know madison va my Dr was the best. Plus 4 other doc left the va. Why can’t they give more to good doctors keep them. Then make all those people he help get the shaft. Sorry we can give u no more narcotic meds after 4-5 yrs have with draws it still pain full and no help

  2. patrick jahnke    

    U know these new doctor going need a book. Va doctors for dummies, how prolong veteran pain, care, and pass the buck to someone else.
    Do not read their. Files or even thier med that Dont work on him or her, cancel all narcotics drugs with out telling them give meds Dont work until 3-4 month after taking 12 pills a day. Antidepressant drugs do more harm to mind and body without telling them. VA DOCTORS HANDBOOK for dummies

  3. Joe Aigner-Varoz    

    I applaud Secretary McDonald’s effort to increase recruitment of recently separated and retired military service members. As a retired Air Force healthcare administrator/executive officer, I have worked with hundreds of outstanding healthcare providers, medical technicians, and administrative support staff, many of whom would love to continue to support our nation’s veterans. I personally would be honored to support our veterans if the opportunity presents itself for someone with my skills.

  4. CGDoc    

    Hopefully they fulfill their commitment on this. Currently only 1 in 3 VA employee’s have actually served our Nation in Uniform. This is Shameful.

  5. cupom Desconto Hotel Urbano    

    Basic women’s care includes Mammo and Ultrasound typically not available at local clinics. Saying women must travel to hospitals as local testing setups are for men’s care ( exccept maybe for the partial manual yearly exam/pap) isn’t a complete care for Women vets.

  6. Michael Baney    

    In order to ensure good, focused continuity of care for us veterans in Behavioral Health, you should require mental health professionals to stay a required period of time (say 3 years) after accepting a position. At the Marion, IL VA hospital I had 3 different psychiatrists in less than 18 months. When I questioned the Psychiatric nurse, she told me that the main Psychiatrists they get there are either just out of college and need loans repaid or are old and are looking for a rural place in which to retire. These are the wrong reasons to be working at a rural VA hospital and shows their first priority is not us.

    These practices need to be stopped in order to provide the best care to us veterans. Once I saw the 3rd psychiatrist in 3 appointments, I stopped going to the VA my mental health care because I was tired of going over the same stuff over and over.

  7. Annette McNamara    

    We need to hire doctors from war. here are two books that will help the New Doctors, listen to the veterans. Vets healing Vets. We need to hire Doctors that are of quality like the Navy Officer in this book. Unless and Until we walk a mile in a Veterans and his families shoes we will never understand. God Bless America.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A1A1UI0/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_2?pf_rd_p=1535523722&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B001G8WKKS&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1JQ78XERBYKEHTH461AZ

    1. Annette McNamara    

      Second Book for Doctors, as well as well trained front desk help, that need to respect the appointments and the families. Many complains on the rudeness of the front desk staff, and talking on the phone with friends when the veterans are checking in. This is wrong. We need to train staff on empathy and compassion training, and fire if they can’t handle their job.
      http://www.amazon.com/On-Call-Hell-Doctors-Story/dp/B001G8WKKS

      To those Staff and front desk are doing their job, thank you.

  8. Dan F    

    Where is the VA going to find more physicians? Before all this bad press and scrutiny, at any given time the VA had some 500 positions open nationwide for doctors. The only younger doctors I see at the VA I go to are foreign educated. Many of them has you wonder how they passed their medical exams as the English language isn’t one of their strong suits.

    The VA better start realizing that where there is a shortage of private doctors, they also suffer the same fate. One VAMC I went to in the past, didn’t have one doctor who was a PCP (all NPs and PAs), lacked specialists which required a 4 hour ride to another VAMC and had no affiliation with a medical school. The area is economically depressed, crime (in the city where the VAMC is located), is above the national average and the climate has more rain than Seattle on an annual basis. How many bright, young doctors would want to come there? I moved just to get away from that VAMC.

    Many VAMCs do not need more support personnel. They need more people who know what it means to practice medicine – too many just practice politics or keep their head down hoping they won’t run afoul of some idiotic rule.

  9. Dr. J    

    I have been trying to get on board VA as a medical Doc. but cannot get through paperwork.

  10. tim g    

    the process takes so long ,my husband has been working at becoming an addictions therapist with the veterans affairs , went through voc rehab , was trained and has been working as an addictions counselor for the past 5 years, is service connected 30%, and still has not found employment with the va? It just seems so crazy with a veteran who is qualified and wants to work for an agency to help other vets, and still nothing. nepotism is alive and well.

  11. peter vasi    

    I have been fighting the veterans affairs for my chronic hepititis c. That the veterans doctors are agreeing that I did get at the veterans hospital in 1993. Now I am dieing from it. And I can’t seem to get this case over . it is at the court if appeals in Washington DC . I have a fience and 5 kids to care of. And I am going to be homeless. I need help.

  12. John Morykwas    

    It’s the same old saying when flying B-52D in the USAF. “We have done so much with so little, and now you want us to do the impossible with nothing.” The VA has 1000s of opening for medical professionals, but VA refuse to fill them. The funds are alloted for these positions, but VA administrators divert the FTE funding toward their other pet projects, like bonuses. Stop the corruption and this will solve the problem, and lower the National Debt.

  13. John Lawrence    

    I say this with respect for the Secatary and also most of the Health care people. Please don’t rush in hiring just anybody. Make sure that there not just out for the money part if it. I know you may say this does not happen but it does and I would give you two examples of it but not in public as this is. One happen to me and the other not directly at my sister but she responded to the two doctors very cordial but at the same time very force why because she lost her husband at a somewhat young age (57) because he could not get treatment. All I ask is don’t rush it and just hire anyone. Thank you for allowing me to speak, have a great day and Gods speed in this endeavor.

  14. DW Fiz    

    I find it interesting my wife a nurse of fifteen years has been trying to get a job at the VA and luck. She is a veteran and a dedicated RN.

  15. GABRIELE WENZELOW    

    Please don’t forget the book up staff to do all the tests at all these new doctors are going to order we didn’t have enough staff with just the minimum amount of doctors they order lab x-ray EKG you fail to mention about technologists.. lab t text X ray techs ultrasound MRItext X ray techs ultrasound MRI.CATscan.EKG..etc. all I keep hearing aboutall I keep hearing about his doctors and nurses doctors and nurses do you know that they are not the ones who perform all the tests that the doctors order..on both inpatient and outpatient and vets from the clinics.. .
    I retired last year after 25 years I was the only ultrasound tech they never gave me any help although they had money for plenty of bonuses for themselvesI.I was always told there’s not enough money to get you help. they work the heck out of me until I collapse from mental and physical breakdown I’m now a medically retired.I have been gone for over a year my position has still not been filled I did see the job open once on usajobs.gov for 4 days what’s up with that. but yet there seems to be plenty of money to pay extra to outsource all these exams for all the money they’re spending they could have surely  gotten me some help all those years. Please keep in mind that the more doctors they hire the more exams will be ordered.

  16. GABRIELE WENZELOW    

    Please don’t forget the book up staff to do all the tests at all these new doctors are going to order we didn’t have enough staff with just the minimum amount of doctors they order lab x-ray EKG you fail to mention about technologists.. lab t text X ray techs ultrasound MRItext X ray techs ultrasound MRI.CAT scan.EKG..etc. all I keep hearing aboutall I keep hearing about his doctors and nurses doctors and nurses do you know that they are not the ones who perform all the tests that the doctors order..on both inpatient and outpatient and vets from the clinics.. .
    I retired last year after 25 years I was the only ultrasound tech they never gave me any help although they had money for plenty of bonuses for themselvesI retired last year after 25 years. I was the only ultrasound tech they never gave me any help although they had money for plenty of bonuses for themselvesbut I was always told there’s not enough money to get you help. they work the heck out of me until I collapsethey work the heck out of me until I collapse from mental and physical breakdown I’m now a medically retired.I have been gone for over a year my position has still not been filled I did see the job open once on usajobs.gov for 4 days what’s up with that. but yet there seems to be plenty of money to pay extra to outsource all these exams for all the money they’re spending they could assure well got me some help all those years agobut yet there seems to be plenty of money to pay extra to outsource all these exams for all the money they’re spending they could very well got me some help all those years ago.please keep in mind that the more doctors they hire the more exams will be ordered the doctor has to justify their existence there by ordering a ton of exams whether needed or not.

  17. Terri Stults    

    Adding more professional staff is great, but nothing is being said about hiring support staff.

  18. Seth    

    How about customers service? I like to see more climates of professionalism and a patient – centered approach. And be more selective with the hiring process; just because they are veterans it doesn’t mean that they are going to be good for the care of other veterans.

  19. Joy White    

    I would like to see more alternative medicine practitoners involved in this recruitment. If not employees of the VA system, but approved to offer services. Western medicine is just not reaching into the mental issues of the veteran. I like the idea of the holistic medical center in the DC area – now, let’s do more of this. There is more to the ‘cure’ than popping pills.

  20. DC Matthews    

    Basic women’s care includes Mammo and Ultrasound typically not available at local clinics. Saying women must travel to hospitals as local testing setups are for men’s care ( exccept maybe for the partial manual yearly exam/pap) isn’t a complete care for Women vets. Most cost effective to reach more women vets- is a Motor home with mamao and ultrasound to do yearly and pregnancy exams – and also have ultrasound that has many uses at clinics w xray and other testing equipment that covers mostly men’s health needs . Alternately local agreements for mammo and ultrasound with in town women’s centers should be the rule. 30 mile rule is too far for many low income who need yearly exams or specialist testing & care.

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