VA proposes increased pay for its dentists, physicians

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is proposing increased salaries for incoming dentists and physicians as part of its recruitment efforts to hire more clinicians and expand veterans' access to care.

The updated pay ranges propose increases of $20,000 to $35,000 annually for dentists and physicians who care for veterans, according to the VA. There will be no increases for physicians in management.

"With more competitive salaries for physicians and dentists, the Veterans Health Administration is in position to attract and hire the best and brightest to treat veterans," stated Carolyn M. Clancy, MD, interim under secretary for health.

Additional steps include the following:

  • Partnering with the Department of Defense (DoD) Health Affairs, Army, Navy, and Air Force to improve recruitment of recently or soon to be discharged healthcare professionals
  • Expanding a pilot program to bring combat medics and corpsmen in to VA facilities as clinicians
  • Improving the credentialing process for the VA and DoD healthcare 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

Not only is the VA the second largest national employer, it is also the largest employer of healthcare providers. More than 70% of all U.S. doctors received training at the VA; VA facilities train 62,000 medical students and residents, 23,000 nurses, and 33,000 trainees in other health profession fields annually.

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