On Wednesday, VA Secretary Bob McDonald talked with Rachel Maddow about VA’s role in the American health system.
“Not only do Veterans need the VA, but American medicine needs the VA, which means that America needs the VA,” McDonald told viewers of the program.
“Did you realize that 70 percent of U.S. doctors are trained by the VA? It’s our residencies that train doctors,” McDonald said. “We have the largest nurse force in the nation. Who’s going to train the doctors and nurses if it’s not the VA?”
Sec. McDonald also discussed how VA’s health care system is a bellwether for the rest of the industry. “VA is like the canary in the coal mine. We see things in American healthcare before the rest of the American public sees it. We see the aging of the American population. We see the need for family care, primary care doctors. We see the need for mental health professionals. This is a role that we play in terms of informing American medicine,” he said.