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VA Commemorates 75 Years of Academic Partnerships and Medical Training

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will mark the 75th anniversary, Jan. 30, of its VA’s academic affiliations program which provides training to nearly 70% of the country’s physicians.

The program is affiliated with more than 1,800 academic institutions, including 97% of America’s medical schools — training future health professionals in over 40 disciplines including physicians, psychologists, nurses, pharmacists and social workers.

VA, its medical centers, academic affiliates and other partners nationwide are recognizing this milestone with events and activities throughout the year, highlighting the history and continuing achievements of its academic mission under the Passion to learn. Power to heal theme.

“VA’s mission to educate health professionals is vital to the future of health care,” said VA Acting Chief of the Academic Affiliations Office Karen M. Sanders, M.D. “Our academic partnerships set the standard for care and bring the latest health innovations to VA as we train doctors, nurses, mental health professionals and others who care for Veterans and patients across the nation.”

VA’s academic mission began in 1946 with the adoption of Policy Memorandum No. 2, establishing a partnership between VA and its academic affiliates. 75 years later, approximately 120,000 health profession trainees help care for more than 9 million Veterans at clinical sites across the country. These future professionals are the nation’s health care workforce pipeline who will go on to care for Veterans and other patients in urban and rural communities across the U.S.  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, VA has worked with health profession trainees from various medical schools and programs nationwide to care for Veterans virtually and in person, while completing their training requirements. The number of physician residents training in VA during the past year increased by more than 2,000 and, according to the American Association of Medical Colleges, applications to medical schools have increased by 18% for the upcoming 2021 academic year.

Learn more about the history of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and details about VHA’s 75th anniversary activities. Visit VA’s Office of Academic Affiliations for more information about academic affiliates.