he U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has formed an educational partnership with a program launched earlier this year by the University of California, Los Angeles; Yale University; the University of Michigan; and the University of Pennsylvania. The partnership, between the VA and the National Clinician Scholars Program (NCSP) will allow the next generation of leaders and change agents to understand and improve the health of veterans and of the nation.
The VA’s new collaboration with the NCSP builds upon a strong foundation: In 1978 the VA Office of Academic Affiliations, in conjunction with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), established the VA Advanced Fellowships Program for RWJF Clinical Scholars at selected VA medical centers, a long-standing and successful venture. Fundamental elements from the RWJF program, such as high quality mentoring, a tailored curriculum, clinical work, a community engagement focus, and annual meetings, are retained in the new program.
The new VA-NCSP program offers an interprofessional training opportunity for physicians—both MD and DO—to lead and partner in health system transformation through health care redesign, improvement, and research. The application cycle for the 2017-19 cohort is now open; applications are available online.
At the heart of the program, partners at each institution work directly with each scholar to identify and develop projects to solve current, real world problems and to cultivate the scholar’s unique research and leadership skills. Integration of physician and nurse researchers in training to advance the field of health care from different perspectives will shape the future of health and health care in ways that we have not seen before to benefit our veterans and all Americans.