All Veterans Administration physicians are required to be licensed in at least one state to practice with the agency. This license must be for unrestricted practice. Physicians may be sent anywhere throughout the United States, the District of Columbia, or any U.S territories, however, they are not required to obtain a license in each state while practicing with the VA. Treating female veterans is a growing practice for VA doctors -- the female veteran demographic is expected to climb to about 18 percent by 2040, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Along with the requirement to have an unrestricted medical license in one of the 50 states, VA physicians must be U.S. citizens, they must be able to pass a physical exam including a drug screen, and they must speak English fluently. Candidates are required to have graduated from an institution approved by the American Medical Colleges or the American Orthopedic Association. Non U.S. citizens will be considered if a qualified U.S citizen cannot be found.
Applying With the VA
Physicians interested in working with the VA should contact the human resources office at the VA facility nearest to their desired employment location. Interviews and physical exams can be conducted at any VA facility most convenient to the applicant. All hiring decisions are handled locally.
Working With the VA
At the time of publication, the VA employs over 14,000 physicians at medical facilities throughout the U.S. and its territories. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, VA physicians are not required to spend as much time on administrative tasks as they are in the civilian sector, so they are able to focus more on patient care. The department contends that patient satisfaction exceeds that of the private sector. More than half of the physicians who currently practice in the U.S. received some or all of their medical training as part of the VA system, reports the Veterans Department.
Veterans Administration Benefits
VA doctors are federal employees and receive all the benefits of the civil servant system. Employees receive up to 26 days of annual leave per year, 13 days of sick leave per year, and time off on all federal holidays. Additionally, they are allowed to participate in the Thrift Savings Plan and flexible spending accounts. The VA offers doctors the opportunity to see many different areas of the country by offering relocation to any VA medical facility at any time.
Based in central Georgia, Louise Bennett has been writing professionally since 1999. Her business, financial and career articles have appeared in hundreds of print and online publications. She received a bachelor’s degree from Columbus State University. An avid reader, Bennett is currently working on her first novel.