The AAMC announced over the weekend a significant increase in VA residency positions: 2000 new slots over the next 5 years, with 341 added in AY 2007-08. Here is the text of the announcement.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) plans to increase support for medical residency positions starting in the 2007-2008 academic year (AY). The graduate medical education (GME) enhancement initiative stems from the recommendations included in the September 2005 Advisory Committee on Veterans Health Administration Resident Education report. The report encouraged the VA to restore and maintain its historic support for 11 percent of the total U.S. resident physician positions. In recent years, the VA has averaged only 9 percent of the national total.
VA anticipates adding 2000 resident positions over the next 5 years at a rate of 300 to 500 positions annually. The VA reports that it has approved funding for Phase I (AY 2007-08) and approved initiation of Phase II (AY 2008-09). In the first round of the GME enhancement initiative, 341 new positions will be added across the country in July 2007. The next request for proposals will be issued in spring 2008.
According to Malcolm Cox, M.D., VA Chief Academic Affiliations Officer, "These positions will not only address VA’s critical needs and the looming U.S. physician workforce shortage, but will also provide flexibility in training in new specialties and new sites of care, such as community-based clinics. The availability of additional physician resident positions will also encourage innovation in education that is patient-centered and inter-professional in nature and that incorporates state-of-the-art models of clinical care, including VA’s renowned quality and patient safety programs and electronic medical record system."