VA San Diego Healthcare System celebrates 49 years of academic partnerships to improve the health of Veterans and the nation
SAN DIEGO — VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS) announced Jan. 29 as part of its 75th anniversary commemoration of academic affiliations that it has trained over 1,600 of health professionals annually in collaboration with national academic affiliations.
VASDHS began partnering with the University of Southern California in 1972 to train medical students and has expanded to partner with 70 higher learning institutions since then. The future professionals trained under these academic affiliations 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.
The commemoration is part of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) overall 75th anniversary celebration of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) occurring throughout 2021.
“It is an honor to be a part of positive advancements and cutting-edge efforts serving those who served our nation. VASDHS takes pride in its academic partnership and achievements during the past 49 years,” said Dr. Robert Smith, VASDHS director. “We look forward to continuing our partnerships that benefit us all with the passion to learn and power to heal.”
During the pandemic, VA has worked with medical schools and programs across the country to utilize health professions trainees to care for Veterans virtually and in-person while completing their training requirements. The number of physician residents training in VA over 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.
VASDHS recent and continuing participation in treating patients with COVID-19 and vaccinating Veterans demonstrates the unique benefits our partnerships provide for our Veterans and communities.
VA’s academic mission began in 1946 with the adoption of Policy Memorandum No. 2, establishing a remarkable partnership between VA and its academic affiliates. Seventy-five years later, VA provides training to nearly 70% of all U.S. physicians. Approximately 120,000 health professions trainees help care for more than 9 million Veterans at clinical sites around the country.
Affiliated with more than 1,800 academic institutions including 97% of America’s medical schools, VA trains future health professionals in over 40 disciplines including physicians, psychologists, nurses, pharmacists and social workers.
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