The Office of Academic Affiliations is proud to lead health professions education, one of the foundations of quality health care, within the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Education is one of VA's four missions. Each year over 100,000 health professions trainees receive part of their education in VA, where they have a major role in the delivery of the "best care anywhere" to veterans.
After World War II, General Omar Bradley, the Administrator of VA, developed a pioneering partnership between VA and the Nation's medical schools to address the national shortage of physicians. This bold move changed the face of U.S. medical education. Partnerships with other health professions schools soon followed.
VA has long been a leader in the development of entirely new medical specialties, including geriatrics, substance abuse, and spinal cord injury. VA is also widely acknowledged for its initiatives in quality improvement, patient safety, medical informatics, and team-based care. Today, VA-based training is addressing the special needs of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. As American medicine evolves, VA will continue to meet the health care needs of veterans, while providing health professions education benefiting all Americans.
Medical and Dental Education
VA's medical and dental education programs are conducted through affiliations with 126 of the 131 allopathic as well as 15 of the 26 osteopathic U.S. schools of medicine and with 26 of the 56 U.S. dental schools. Each year, about 37,000 medical residents, 20,000 medical students and 1100 dental residents receive training in VA. VA is the third largest source of funding for graduate medical education in the Nation after Medicare and Medicaid.
Associated Health Education
Nearly 58,000 trainees in over 40 associated health professions receive clinical training at VA facilities each year. VA has affiliations with over 5,000 associated health education programs at 1,800 U.S. colleges and universities. In addition, VA directly sponsors associated health training programs in psychology, pharmacy, podiatry, optometry, and speech-language pathology.
VA Advanced Fellowships
For 30 years, the VA Advanced Fellowship Program has offered medical, dental, and associated health trainees advanced training in areas of special interest to VA and the Nation. These post-residency and post-doctoral programs enhance leadership development in a wide variety of clinical and health-related disciplines.
Graduate Medical Education Enhancement
VA is enhancing graduate medical education by encouraging curriculum innovation, realigning VA residency positions to meet changing physician specialty and veteran demographic needs, and addressing the projected U.S. physician shortage. VA's Graduate Medical Education Enhancement Initiative will add two thousand new residency positions to the Nation's graduate medical education workforce over five years. This will increase VA-funded physician residency positions to approximately 10% of the U.S. total.
VA - Department of Defense (DoD) Collaboration in Medical Education
VA and DoD are committed to a proactive federal partnership that provides excellence in medical education. Since 2004, VA's Office of Academic Affiliations and DoD's Office of Health Affairs have engaged in joint planning to enhance collaboration in graduate medical education.
VA Nursing Academy
The VA Nursing Academy is a 5-year pilot program designed in collaboration with VA's Office of Nursing Services. Partnerships between VA facilities and local nursing schools will allow for expansion of nursing school faculty and student enrollment, while promoting scholarly development and encouraging educational and practice innovations. The first four partnerships are in Gainesville, Salt Lake City, San Diego, and West Haven. The Academy is projected to add one thousand new nurses to the Nation's nursing workforce over five years.
Learners' Perceptions Survey
The Learners' Perceptions Survey of health professions trainees has been conducted annually since 2001 to provide information on VA's clinical learning environment.
Education is an essential component of VA health care. VA's enduring commitment to education ensures that veterans receive the highest quality of health care, while providing unique training opportunities for the next generation of health care providers. Through the years, affiliations with the Nation's colleges and universities have developed into the largest public-private partnership in VA's history, becoming a cornerstone of American health professions education.
Office of Academic Affiliations (14)
VA Central Office
810 Vermont Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20420