While doctors of chiropractic provide care at more than 40 Veterans Administration health facilities and the VA has academic affiliations with numerous chiropractic colleges, the profession does not have a residency program within the VA – as is the case with other health care providers, including the medical and dental professions – until now.The VA has announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) that "solicits applications to establish Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Chiropractic Care Residency training programs." According to the July 23, 2013 announcement, the pilot program will be located at 3-5 VA health centers and includes funding for up to six resident positions in the first year (2014), with initial funding planned for three years.
"The Association of Chiropractic Colleges is pleased to see the VA's RFP for residencies," said ACC President Dr. Brian McAulay following the announcement. "It is the natural progression of then-VA Secretary Principi's vision of chiropractic's full integration into the health care delivery team."
While the VA announcement specifies that the pilot program will feature one-year, full-time appointments beginning in mid-late 2014, the ACC emphasizes that the RFP "is not a call for DCs interested in the program to contact the VA. Rather, it is the first step of a project for its current VA facilities. The ACC will provide further updates when appropriate."
Notable criteria for VA facility eligibility include the following:
- "Applications for new chiropractic physician residency training programs in Integrated Clinical Practice will be considered. These programs will emphasize the provision of chiropractic care within an integrated health care system, in collaboration with primary care Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACTs), specialty care, and other medical and associated health providers and trainees."
- "The nature of the chiropractic residency program, populations served, training experiences provided, and qualifications and skills of faculty and staff must be appropriate to the VA mission and to CCE standards. Clinical settings should provide a range of experiences in patient diagnosis and management, provide exposure to patients of varying backgrounds and cultures, and foster substantial responsibility in carrying out professional functions."
- Facilities must provide, among other criteria, "a minimum of 2 full-time credentialed and privileged chiropractic staff, at least one of whom must be a VA employee, for provision of supervisory support, professional role modeling, and administrative functions ... an identified chiropractic residency director with appropriate administrative time to manage program-related activities ... [and] facility willingness to obtain and fund CCE accreditation."
To review the July 23 VA announcement in its entirety, click here.