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Office of Academic Affiliations

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Medical and Dental Education

The Medical and Dental Education Program brings together academic institutions and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers (VAMCs) to provide Graduate Medical Education (GME). Each year, the program provides clinical experiences to 75,000 medical and 1,000 dental trainees.

Photo in the operating room during a procedure.

Providing Vital Training Opportunities

These programs:

  • Offer trainees the opportunity to learn from VA’s physician and dental faculty, who hold joint appointments with universities and the VA, in both clinical and research settings.
  • Prepare health care professionals to meet the changing needs of the nation’s health care system.
  • Enhance VA’s ability to deliver cost-effective and high-quality patient care.
  • Represent the nation’s largest education and training effort for health professionals.

Program Overview

Medical   Affiliation Agreements   Dental
Training programs are available at 90% of VA facilities.   99% of medical schools are affiliated with VA, including 153 Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME)-accredited allopathic schools and the 37 Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA)-accredited osteopathic medical schools.   VA sponsors 33% of the nation's dental residency training programs.

Most VA-sponsored dental programs focus on general dentistry.

Accreditation and Funding

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

Accredited Physician Residency Training Programs

Learn more about the accreditation bodies that govern physician education programs:

Dental Residency Training Programs

Learn more about the accreditation bodies that govern dental residency training programs:

How to Apply

Most GME programs are sponsored in the name of an affiliate, generally a medical school or teaching hospital. This means interested residents and students will apply to the affiliate. The Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA) does not accept applications. Interested applicants should use one of the following services to apply:

Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS)
For medical school graduates and residents applying for physician resident positions.

National Resident Match Program (NRMP)
For VA-afiliated and VA-sponsored programs.

The program director or the GME Office of the sponsoring institution can provide additional information on how to apply to their institution’s specific program.

Other References

Resources for Health Professions Trainees
VA Onboarding requirements.

American Board of Medical Specialties
All specialty board requirements.

Association of American Medical Colleges
Undergraduate GME, workforce issues, continuing education.

Council on Graduate Medical Education
Reports to Congress and Dept. of Health & Human Services on GME issues.

American Medical Association Medical School & Residency

Educational Commission for Foreign Medial Graduates (ECFMG)
All international medical graduates must be ECFMG certified to train in VA-affiliated or VA-sponsored programs.

For More Information

For additional information or to ask questions, please contact OAA’s Medical & Dental team via email: