The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) conducts education and training programs to enhance the quality of care provided to Veterans within the VA health care system. Building on the long-standing, close relationships among VA and the Nation’s academic institutions, VA plays a leadership role in defining the education of future health care professionals that helps meet the changing needs of the Nation’s health care delivery system. Title 38 U.S.C. mandates that VA assist in the training of health professionals for its own needs and those of the Nation. Through its partnerships with affiliated academic institutions, VA conducts the largest education and training effort for health professionals in the Nation.
In Academic Year 2017, 43,565 medical residents, 24,683 medical students, 463 Advanced Fellows, and 849 dental residents and dental students received some or all of their clinical training in VA. Of its 152 VA medical centers and 6 independent outpatient clinics (IOC's), 124 hospitals and 3 IOC's have affiliation agreements with 135 of 141 allopathic Accredited Medical Schools and 35 of 40 osteopathic medical schools for physician education. Many trainees have their health profession degrees and contribute substantially to VA’s ability to deliver cost-effective and high-quality patient care during their advanced clinical training at VA.