Honoring Those Who Have Served: How Can Health Professionals Provide Optimal Care for Members of the Military, Veterans, and Their Families?

Lee, Jennifer MD; Sanders, Karen M. MD; Cox, Malcolm MD

Academic Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000367
Commentaries
Abstract

With over one million service members separating from the military over the next several years, it seems prudent to ask whether U.S. health care professionals and systems of care are prepared to evaluate and treat the obvious and more subtle injuries ascribed to military deployment and combat. The authors suggest that several systemic interventions—adding military health history sections to electronic health records, history and physical diagnosis textbooks, and licensing exams while also ensuring that this content is adequately covered in undergraduate and graduate health professional training—will enable all health care professionals to provide service members and veterans with the high-quality care that they deserve. The authors also highlight the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ recent innovations in education and care delivery, which are enhancing the education of thousands of students and residents, who will be better prepared to care for veterans after receiving this training.

Author Information

Dr. Lee is deputy secretary of health and human resources, Commonwealth of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia, and was director, Office of Community Engagement, Veterans Health Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC, at the time this was written.

Dr. Sanders is acting chief academic affiliations officer, Office of Academic Affiliations, Veterans Health Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC, and was deputy chief, Office of Academic Affiliations, Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC, at the time this was written.

Dr. Cox is adjunct professor of medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was chief academic affiliations officer, Office of Academic Affiliations, Veterans Health Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC, at the time this was written.

Funding/Support: None reported.

Other disclosures: None reported.

Ethical approval: Reported as not applicable.

Disclaimer: Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government, and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Sanders, VHA Office of Academic Affiliations (10A2D), 810 Vermont Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20420; telephone: (202) 461-9490; e-mail: Karen.Sanders@va.gov.

© 2014 by the Association of American Medical Colleges