Internships and fellowships
Minneapolis VA health care provides training programs for students at the college, university, and postgraduate levels. Explore our training programs to find out about how we can help you start your career as a health care professional.
The main missions of the Veterans Health Administration are patient-centered and evidence-based health care; collaborative, continuous education in an integrated environment; and prevention and population health through research.
Internships and fellowships
Minneapolis VA Health Care System is an academic health system that provides a full range of health services for Veterans, with state-of-the-art technology as well as education and research. We maintain over 90 active affiliations with health professions schools and have been working closely with the University of Minnesota since 1947.
Every year, our facility trains around 1,500 health professions trainees in over 40 disciplines, including medical students, residents, nursing students and associated health professions. While most trainees rotate for a period of time in our clinical learning environment, we also offer the opportunity to enroll in our VA-based, accredited training programs. Our learners, preceptors and staff are supported through a well-resourced health science library, advanced-tier simulation center and our Interprofessional Education and Collaboration Center. We’re proud of our partnerships with top institutions and organizations that support the educational mission of the VA to train the health care workforce for VHA and the nation.
Learn more about our education programs:
Clinical and health services research advanced fellowship
Minneapolis VA Center for Care Delivery and Outcomes Research (CCDOR) offers two-year post-doctoral fellowships in clinical and health services research for qualified candidates with a PhD, MD or other doctoral degree (e.g., DNP).
Candidates interested in PTSD and other trauma-related disorders, chronic pain and opioid harms reduction, healthcare disparities, implementation science, high value health care and policy, biostatistics, research methodology, cancer prevention and screening, substance use disorders, or epidemiology may find CCDOR a particularly good fit but other candidates are encouraged to apply.
Dental general practice residency program
Minneapolis VA medical center is closely affiliated with University of Minnesota Medical and Dental Schools. Consultants from the dental school and community, representing multiple dental specialties, are available to supplement instruction of dental residents in the treatment of patients.
Dietetic internship program
Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center clinical and education programs
The Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) clinical program seeks to distinguish, define and disseminate the best ways to identify and treat dementia. We manage a clinical service, conduct clinical studies, and train other health care professionals in geriatric-focused medicine and research. GRECC also offers training opportunities for fellows, residents, and allied health trainees.
Nursing internships and VA-STEP
Minneapolis VA medical center has a variety of nursing internship programs at different levels including student nurse technician and VA-STEP (VA Student Trainee Experience Program) for aspiring nurses seeking fulfilling careers improving the lives of those who've served our nation.
Occupational therapy hand and upper extremity fellowship program
Minneapolis VA Health Care System offers a full time, 12-month hand therapy fellowship of didactic and clinical education with provisional program status as approved by the American Occupational Therapy Association. This fellowship has been designed with curriculum and learning theories consistent with recent advances in recommended medical clinical education.
Occupational therapy fellowship in physical rehabilitation
Minneapolis VA Health Care system offers a full time, 12-month occupational therapy fellowship in physical rehabilitation. Clinical experiences include diverse settings with rotations in acute/sub-acute inpatient polytrauma, outpatient Comprehensive Pain Center, spinal injury and disorders, and outpatient rehabilitation with an emphasis on neurological conditions.
Occupational therapy internship
This internship is an 8 or 12 week supervised practice program based on the core competencies for entry level Occupational Therapy or Occupational Therapy Assistants set by the American Occupational Therapy Association.
Pathology and laboratory resident and medical student programs
Minneapolis VA Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Service offers a variety of resident and fellow rotations available to anatomic and/or clinical pathologist trainees as part of our affiliation with the University of Minnesota Medical School Laboratory Medicine and Pathology Residency and Fellowship Training Program.
Pharmacy student and residency programs
Minneapolis VA Health Care System offers both pharmacy student (pre-licensure) and residency (post-graduate training) programs. Pharmacists play a vital role in the delivery of patient care; working closely with physicians, nurses and other health care team members to ensure America's Veterans receive the finest care.
Physical therapy clinical education program
The physical therapy clinical education program aims to provide exceptional, specialized education to prepare physical therapists and physical therapy assistants with professional skills and knowledge to become excellent clinicians.
Physical therapy geriatric residency program
The mission of the physical therapy geriatric residency program is to create and sustain a culture of continuous learning and professional development through advanced evidence-based education and interprofessional collaboration in geriatrics, thereby elevating standards of excellence to optimally serve our nation’s Veterans and community at large.
Physical therapy neurologic residency program
The mission of the physical therapy neurologic residency program is to provide exceptional, specialized education that prepares physical therapists with advanced post-professional skills and knowledge to become better educators, researchers and clinicians in the practice of neurologic physical therapy.
Physician assistant training
Minneapolis VA is dedicated to providing physician assistant students with a high-quality, hands-on training program. Physician assistant students will function as a member of the clinical or surgical team while performing a variety of rotations.
Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Residency
Our post-graduate Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Residency (PC-NPR) prepares candidates to become passionate, highly competent and autonomous primary care providers through an interprofessional clinical experience to increase access to quality primary care for Veterans.
Psychology and psychiatry clinical training
Radiology/imaging resident and medical student programs
Minneapolis VA Heath Care System is a major teaching hospital for the University of Minnesota (UMN) Radiology Residency Program and the UMN Medical School Radiology elective.
Our residency rotations include GI, GU, MSK, nuclear medicine, interventional radiology, non invasive vascular, and modality rotations in CT and ultrasound. The medical student rotation at Minneapolis VA is intended to expose the student to the clinical duties of a radiologist.
Recreational therapy internship
Recreation therapy internships are available in the following clinical areas: Community Living Center/long term care/palliative care, polytrauma/acute rehab, traumatic brain injury/polytrauma transitional rehab, inpatient psychiatry, medical foster home and the Spinal Cord Injury and Disorder Center.
School of Radiological Technology
The Minneapolis VA Health Care System School of Radiologic Technology was founded in 1965, and with advances in medical technology, and as higher standards were required of radiation workers, VA established an accredited program in 1966-67.
Minneapolis VA Health Care System has the only VA radiologic technology training program in the nation, graduating hundreds of students who have gone on to successful radiologic technology and radiology-related careers.
Service to Science Scholars Summer Research Institute
The Minneapolis VA Health Care System Service to Science Scholars Summer Research Institute offers nine full-time, paid positions to undergraduate and graduate students in psychology and related health science fields.
The Minneapolis VA Mental Health Integrated Care Community, with support from the VA Office of Research and Development, hosts a Veteran and military-connected student summer research program in mental health research. We recognize that Veterans are underrepresented among scientists pursuing VA mission-critical behavioral science research on PTSD, suicide prevention, post-deployment health and reintegration issues, and other mental health issues.
We're eager for student Veterans and military-connected students (e.g., children of U.S. Veterans) to gain a clinical science understanding of mental disorders necessary for their success as the future generation of VA scientists.
Social work clinical training
VA is one of the largest trainers of social work students in the country and annually trains approximately 600 social work interns. Field instructors and interns at Minneapolis VA benefit greatly from access to this national network of resources.
Speech pathology training and clinical fellowships
Speech pathology training allows trainees and clinical fellows to participate in a truly interdisciplinary approach to evaluation and treatment of Veterans and service members being served at the Minneapolis VA medical center.
Surgery and specialty care residency and fellow program
Minneapolis VA Surgery and Specialty Care Service Line and the Department of Surgery at the University of Minnesota are recruiting a Surgical Fellow in Quality and Safety. This is a unique, one year training program focused on quality improvement, patient safety, and leadership.
VA Quality Scholars (VAQS) fellowship
The National VA Quality Scholars Program (VAQS) is a 2-year fellowship that is designed to train the next generation of health professionals to improve healthcare through innovations, quality improvement, and patient safety.
The fellowship is sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs and consists of eleven sites across the United States, as well as an affiliate site in Toronto, Canada. Each site in the US consists of a partnership between a VA hospital and an academic institution. The site in Minneapolis is based at the Minneapolis VA Healthcare System and the University of Minnesota.
The fellowship is available to physicians, doctoral level nurses, and psychologists. Exceptional candidates with an interest in quality or implementation research, healthcare leadership or education are encouraged to apply.
Registration and contacts
Information, forms, instructions and coordinator contacts:
As a Simulation Learning, Education and Research Network (SimLEARN) Advanced Tier Certified Simulation Program, Minneapolis VA trains over 2000 staff per year using simulation equipment, methodology or technology for the goal of Veteran and staff education and patient safety.
Office of Academic Affiliations
In 2021, VA celebrates the 75th anniversary of the establishment of partnerships between VA and our nation’s medical schools to train clinicians in the care of Veterans. This educational partnership remains one of VA’s main missions.
VA’s Office of Academic Affiliations continues to maintain and expand our close relationships with institutions of higher learning to provide advanced clinical training in physician education, nursing, dentistry, psychology, social work, optometry, dietetics and nearly 40 other health care professions.
- More than 120,000 clinical trainees receive training in VA each year
- VA leads clinical care, research and medical advancement in many areas
- Current VA trainees receive first consideration for employment openings