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Round IV Announcement of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs GME Enhancement Initiative

March 17, 2017

VA Facilities Must Submit Applications by June 1, 2017

(March 17, 2017) AACOM is pleased to notify its membership and the osteopathic medical education (OME) community of an important opportunity to expand graduate medical education (GME) positions, as authorized by theVeterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (VACAA), through collaboration with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Administered by the Veterans Health Administration’s Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA), the Request for Proposals (RFP) is seeking applications from VA facilities that want to expand their current GME programs or affiliations for Academic Year 2018-2019, which begins on July 1, 2018. The OAA is also requesting proposals from VA facilities that do not currently have a GME program and want to begin training physician residents.

Important note: VA facilities must be affiliated with an accredited medical school, sponsoring institution, or training program in specialty areas or locations as noted below and described further in the RFP. Members of the OME community that are interested in partnering with the VA on this opportunity are encouraged to thoroughly review the RFP and the OAA website for more information. All formal applications are due on June 1, 2017.

Please note: AACOM supports the expansion and sustainability of GME positions at the VA created by VACAA. The intent of this announcement is to work to enhance the number of osteopathic affiliations with the VA and to increase GME positions. AACOM will continue to partner with the OAA to inform and engage the OME community and its GME partners on this important initiative.


Authorized in 2014, the VACAA legislation directs the VA to affiliate with new medical residency programs or to ensure that existing GME programs have an adequate number of residency positions by adding a total of 1,500 medical residency positions over five years. This provision of the law was extended in 2016, allowing 10 years for the VA to establish these residency positions. The current RFP is the fourth phase of implementation and will build on the 547 positions already awarded during the first three phases. It is important to note that funding allocations for future rounds are contingent upon the Congressional appropriations process and budgetary approval within the VA.

VACAA targets residency positions in primary care, mental health, and in certain defined geographic and high-need areas. Specific priorities include:

  • Primary Care (family medicine, internal medicine, and geriatrics);
  • Mental Health (psychiatry and psychiatry subspecialties);
  • New sites for GME, whether those sites are medical centers or Community-Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs); and/or
  • Critical Access Needs, which are locations within Health Professional Shortage Areas that have a documented shortage of physicians in a program/area where there are delays in veteran access to care, such as rural areas, or locations with high concentrations of veterans.

VA OAA Points of Contact

To learn more about this opportunity and how to coordinate with your local VA facility, please contact Edward Bope, MD at Edward.Bope@va.gov, or Christy Clary, MSW at Christyann.Clary@va.gov.

AACOM will continue to collaborate with the OAA to facilitate the dissemination of information and resources on this opportunity. For details about AACOM’s activities on this issue, please visit AACOM’s VA GME webpage or email VA_GME@aacom.org.