VA Careers regularly profiles employees in an effort to show job seekers a different side of VA from their perspective. The goal is to recruit top health care talent by sharing the stories of dedicated professionals who make a difference in the lives of Veterans every day.
Dr. Ian Weissman is a radiologist at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center and has earned many distinctions and awards during his career. This is the second part of Dr. Weissman’s story. Read part one of the profile here.
Dr. Weissman, a true lifelong learner, pays close attention to the current state of VA, and the changes and advancements that are taking place. He cites VHA’s Blueprint for Excellence, released in Fall 2014, as a standard-bearer for professionals in his field.
“The charge to be innovative, to be creative, to improve and optimize the system, shows that VA cares that our values and characteristics are upheld,” he says.
Dr. Weissman compares this dedication to excellence to the Radiology Leadership Institute, where he was the first physician to complete the program that included 175 credit hours over an 18-month timeframe. He describes the program as “teaching doctors how to be better doctors,” and acknowledges that the training has helped him to better mentor the radiology residents/students that are in his circle of influence.
His advice to his mentees is simple, but often overlooked in a career as fast-paced and performance-driven as medicine. “I tell my students that it’s so important to cultivate a network, and to draw on that network when looking for a job,” he says.
As an experienced physician, Dr. Weissman notes that many of his colleagues are seeing the value in working at VA, where physicians are able to spend more time caring for patients.
“Health care is a business,” says Dr. Weissman. “In private practice, it’s important for doctors to work faster and bring more revenue to the hospital. At VA, that pressure isn’t there, meaning it’s easier to provide high value care to the patient.”
Dr. Weissman mentions VA’s Electronic Health Record as an important tool in helping him complete his work more efficiently, as he can reference the system to determine the particular needs of a referring clinician. Ultimately, this helps VA to provide more personalized, proactive care to our Veterans.
Thank you for your service to our Nation’s Heroes, Dr. Weissman!