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Office of Academic Affiliations

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Medical and Dental Education Program


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Medical & Dental Education Program

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Our History

VA's medical education program began in the post-war years of World War II. The authority for establishing VA's affiliations derives from Memorandum Number 2, an historic document that was signed January 30, 1946. By forming affiliations with medical schools and universities, VA has become the largest provider of healthcare training in the United States.

Today's Graduate Medical Education Program

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) conducts education and training programs to enhance the quality of care provided to Veterans within the VA health care system. Building on the long-standing, close relationships among VA and the Nation’s academic institutions, VA plays a leadership role in defining the education of future health care professionals that helps meet the changing needs of the Nation’s health care delivery system. Title 38 U.S.C. mandates that VA assist in the training of health professionals for its own needs and those of the Nation. Through its partnerships with affiliated academic institutions, VA conducts the largest education and training effort for health professionals in the Nation.

In 2013, 40,420 medical residents, 21,540 medical students, 253 Advanced Fellows, and 1,397 dental residents and dental students received some or all of their clinical training in VA. Of its 152 VA medical centers and 6 independent outpatient clinics (IOC's), 124 hospitals and 3 IOC's have affiliation agreements with 130 of 141 allopathic Accredited Medical Schools and 22 of 29 osteopathic medical schools for physician education.  Many trainees have their health profession degrees and contribute substantially to VA’s ability to deliver cost-effective and high-quality patient care during their advanced clinical training at VA.


VA physician faculty members have joint appointments at the university and at VA, seeing patients at VA, supervising students and residents, and conducting research. VA's affiliations and the educational environment contribute to VA's patient care mission by enabling the delivery of high quality patient care to the veterans and beneficiaries that VA serves.


Most (about 99%) of VA's graduate medical education (GME) programs are sponsored in the name of an affiliate - generally a medical school or teaching hospital. About one-third of VA's dental residency training programs are sponsored by the VA and 80% of these are in general practice dentistry. The other two-thirds are sponsored by dental or medical schools, universities or teaching hospitals.

Accreditation & Funding

All VA residency training programs must be fully accredited by the appropriate accrediting body and residents must be enrolled in the accredited program to be eligible for VA funding. In some situations, Chief Residents may also be funded as post-residency positions.

Applying for Medical and Dental Residency Training Programs

Make your application through the the appropriate links below.
The Office of Academic Affiliations DOES NOT accept applications for residency training programs.

Contact Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS)*, or contact the program director, or the Graduate Medical Eduction Office of the sponsoring institution to which you wish to apply.

Accredited Physician Residency Training Programs

Dental Residency Training Programs

Must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Education (CODA) of the American Dental Association.

Graduate Medical Education References

* External Link Disclaimer: Links marked with an asterisk ( * ) are external links. By clicking on these links, you will leave the Department of Veterans Affairs website. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked website. The link will open in a new window.