Sec. Bob McDonald (left) speaks with Dr. Chan Park (middle) and Dr. Atilio Barbeito about the Durham VAMC Simulation Center and how it helps physicians care for Veterans. (REYANLDO LEAL/U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs)
Due to a three-year federal pay freeze, the annual pay ranges for VA physicians and dentists haven’t increased since October 2009. That may soon change as VA and the Veterans Health Administration look to enhance clinical capacity and expand access to timely care for Veterans across the nation.
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Since compensation is an important part of attracting and retaining skilled medical professionals, Secretary Bob McDonald proposed an adjustment to the maximum rates of annual pay for VA physicians and dentists based on the skills and qualifications of the professional being recruited.
“At VA, we have a noble and inspiring mission – to serve Veterans, their survivors anddependents. There is no higher calling,” said VA Secretary Bob McDonald. “We are committed to hiring more medical professionals across the country to better serve Veterans and expand their access to timely, high-quality care.”
However, a pay increase in annual income of up to $35,000 is only one of the steps taken by Sec. McDonald and VHA. Additional initiatives include:
- Collaborating on a new nursing academic partnership focused on psychiatric and mental health care to build stronger, mutually beneficial relationships between nursing schools and VA facilities.
- Partnering with the Department of Defense Health Affairs, Army, Navy and Air Force to improve recruitment of recently or soon to be discharged health care professionals.
- Expanding a pilot program to bring combat medics and corpsmen in to VA facilities as clinicians
- Improving the credentialing process for VA and DoD health care providers that will involve sharing credentials to speed up the process.
- Expanding the loan repayment program, as included in the recently passed Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act.
Click here to read more about the proposed increase in pay ranges. Information about working in VA health care can be found at www.vacareers.va.gov.