July 26, 2018
On June 13, Jane Carreiro, D.O., vice president of Health Affairs and dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, participated in a private, invitation-only roundtable hosted by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Veterans' Affairs. The roundtable was convened to discuss collaboration between the VA and external partners, increasing clinical access in rural and underserved areas, graduate medical education(GME) training experiences at the VA, and the 1,500 GME slots authorized by the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (VACAA).
As a representative of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) and the only osteopathic physician and osteopathic medical school dean on the panel, Carreiro provided direct feedback and recommendations to Congress about existing barriers for medical and other health care training programs that seek to partner with the VA to take advantage of VACAA funding.
She cautioned that attracting health care providers to our rural VA facilities needs to begin early in the training process. “Medical students, and hence the doctors they become, are more likely to seek practice opportunities in communities where they have relationships. Longitudinal and ongoing experiences in VA facilities will integrate students into the VA community and foster relationships in a more meaningful way, than short bursts of exposure,” she said.
Carreiro is an active member of AACOM’s Osteopathic Medical Education (OME) & VA Academic Affiliations Task Force, which is composed of individuals who work to establish and enhance relationships with the VA. This task force helps connect the OME community with the VA and harnesses expert "on-the-ground" national and/or regional expertise.
Authorized in 2014 and subsequently revised in 2016, VACAA directed the VA to affiliate with new medical residency programs or ensure existing GME programs have an adequate number of residency positions by adding a total of 1,500 medical residency positions over 10 years, through 2024. The VA is currently reviewing applications submitted in response to its request for proposals for the fifth cycle of the VACAA GME expansion. The resident positions awarded in this round will be eligible for training during academic year 2019-2020, beginning next July, and this phase of implementation will build on approximately 700 positions already awarded.