On November 27, 2018, AACOM, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA), hosted an informational webinar exclusive to the osteopathic medical education (OME) community. During the webinar, participants had the opportunity to speak with OAA officials leading the national programmatic and operational components of the VA’s efforts to enhance partnerships with its academic affiliates.
The webinar featured an update on the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (VACAA) graduate medical education (GME) expansion and the VA’s progress in establishing 1,500 new medical residency positions. Participants also learned about upcoming opportunities to expand medical education partnerships through the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (MISSION) Act.
Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH
President and CEO
Thomas E. McWilliams, DO
AACOM OME & VA Academic Affiliations Task Force
Edward T. Bope, MD
Director of Graduate Medical Education Expansion
Anthony P. Albanese, MD
Affiliations Officer for Graduate Medical Education
Authorized in 2014, VACAA 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 (through 2024) for the VA to establish these residency positions. VACAA targets residency positions in primary care, mental health, and in certain defined geographic and high-need areas. The MISSION Act, which became law in 2018, contains provisions that have a direct impact on the VA’s clinical education mission. This includes the establishment of a pilot program to support residency programs at covered facilities, which includes VA facilities, facilities operated by an Indian tribe or tribal organization, Indian Health Service facilities, Federally Qualified Health Centers, or Department of Defense facilities.
AACOM continues to support the VA and its efforts to expand partnerships with the OME community to help cultivate a comprehensively trained future physician workforce that is well-equipped to meet the needs of the nation’s veteran patient populations and beyond. For more resources and information on AACOM’s activities, please visit AACOM’s VA GME webpage and/or please contact VA_GME@aacom.org.