Guest Author: Amy Loveridge – Special Projects Coordinator, VHA National Recruitment Program
The Department of Veterans Affairs offers physicians the opportunity to work in the largest, most technologically advanced integrated healthcare system in the United States. The healthcare recruitment market is a challenging one, and the ever-shifting competition can make it difficult for professionals to find employers that provide environments where their job satisfaction needs will be met.
The RAND Corporation recently released their research report, “Factors Affecting Physician Professional Satisfaction and Their Implications for Patient Care, Health Systems, and Health Policy.” In it, they identify key factors for physician professional satisfaction in the workplace.
A career at Veterans Affairs can meet many of the needs cited in this study. As the largest healthcare system in the country, we provide our physicians with careers that emphasize:
- Quality of Care– Physicians who perceive themselves and their practices to provide a high quality of care, without facing major obstacles to do so, are more satisfied professionally. VA employs more than 14,000 physicians who continually push the limits of achievement, and it shows: years of patient satisfaction scores higher than the private sector; three Nobel Prizes for Medicine; six Albert Lasker Medical Research Awards; and contributions to the development of the CT scanner, artificial kidney, cardiac pacemaker, nicotine patch, and hydraulic limbs. VA also leads the way in diabetes and HIV/AIDS treatment and research. We are committed to automating workflow, reducing staff fatigue, and implementing evidence-based practice guidelines to positively impact patient safety and treatment outcomes.
- Electronic Health Records– Easy-to-use and technologically advanced electronic health records have the potential to improve patient care and physician satisfaction. The VA electronic health records system is one of the longest-running and highly rated electronic health systems in the nation.
- Practice Leadership- When their values were aligned with leadership values, physicians were more likely to be satisfied in their work. Every Veterans Affairs employee shares the same mission, Abraham Lincoln’s promise to our nation’s heroes: “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan.” Our employees that are interested in advancement find opportunities throughout our network to become leaders themselves.
- Work Content, Allied Health Professionals, and Support Staff- lower staff turnover was a significant predictor of overall physician satisfaction. Year after year, VA’s workforce has significantly lower turnover rates than the private health care sector.
- Payment, Income, and Practice Finances/ Professional Liability- While physicians in the study were generally satisfied with their income, they rated income stability highly as a satisfaction factor. At VA, our budget is set by Congress in two year cycles to guarantee that Veterans continue to receive the highest caliber of care from professionals who work under predictable schedules, reduced paperwork, the elimination of billing hassles, and no burden of liability coverage. In addition, we also offer generous vacation and personal leave.
The in-house healthcare recruiters would be glad to work with physicians to find opportunities at Veterans Affairs that match your skills and experience, caring for America’s heroes, Veterans. You can find more information and contact a recruiter at VA Careers.
Amy Loveridge joined VA in 2006 as a Presidential Management Fellow, following a legal internship at the Department of the Army while she attended the University of DC David A. Clarke School of Law. She completed her fellowship at the VA Pittsburgh Medical Center, before joining the VHA National Recruitment Program, where she currently serves as the Special Projects Coordinator. Her previous education incudes a B.A. in Arts Management from Chatham University and a certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. An Atlanta, GA native, she currently lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA.