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Rehabilitation and Prosthetic Services

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VA Chiropractic Education and Training

As part of its statutory mission, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) conducts the country’s largest healthcare provider clinical training program. VA Office of Academic Affiliations coordinates all educational activities in partnership with affiliated US academic institutions to train providers to serve VA and the Nation.

Chiropractic Student Externship Programs

Select VA medical facilities provide clinical education and training opportunities for chiropractic students. This takes place through formal Academic Affiliation Agreements with CCE-accredited chiropractic schools.
Since 2004 over 1,500 chiropractic students have completed clinical rotations at 24 VA facilities. Interested students can apply for VA training only through the chiropractic school in which they are enrolled.

List of current VA facilities and academic partner institutions offering chiropractic student training

Chiropractic Residency Programs

The VA chiropractic residency program focuses on Integrated Clinical Practice, with training emphasizing the provision of chiropractic care in an integrated healthcare system, collaborating with primary care Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACTs), specialty care, and other medical and associated health providers and trainees.

The residencies provide advanced clinical training in complex case management, allowing recent graduates to increase their scope and depth of clinical knowledge, experience and acumen. Residents are mentored by senior VA chiropractors who are national leaders in integrated chiropractic practice. These clinicians share their expertise in patient care, academics and research to provide a robust educational experience.

These hospital-based training programs expand the residents’ ability to collaborate with other healthcare professionals in team care, as trainees learn with and from other healthcare providers during interdisciplinary rotations. Residents develop their knowledge of hospital practice, policies and procedures, and are better prepared for future positions in VA, other healthcare systems, and/or academic settings.

Administration

The national residency program is administered by VA Office of Academic Affiliations, in conjunction with Rehabilitation and Prosthetic Services. Individual residencies are administered by the respective local VA facilities. Each VA facility partners with its affiliated Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) accredited chiropractic school in conducting the program.

Location

Training takes place at the individual VA facility, and may also include other sites such as the chiropractic school or other affiliated locations.

Curricular overview

Residents provide full diagnostic and management services of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular conditions under the mentorship of senior VA doctors of chiropractic (DCs). This includes team-based management of complex conditions in collaboration with other medical specialists and healthcare providers. Residents also engage in clinical educational rotations through services including primary care, medical or surgical specialties, mental health, and rehabilitation disciplines. Additionally, residents participate in various scholarly activities and attend and give presentations at multiple academic/research venues of the VA facility and/or its affiliates.

Eligibility requirements

Applicants must hold or be scheduled to receive a DC degree from a CCE-accredited school prior to the start of the residency program. Applicants must be eligible for, or hold a current, full, active, and unrestricted chiropractic license in a State, Territory or Commonwealth of the US, or in the District of Columbia. Applicants must meet all VA employment requirements including United States citizenship, and Selective Service registration when applicable.

Duration

Programs are full-time (40 hours/week) for 12 months. Additional weekly time may be needed for scholarly or other training activities. Programs run from July 1 to June 30.

Compensation

Salary ranges from $36,000 to $43,000 per year based on geographic location. Residents receive paid Federal holidays, and accrue vacation and sick leave. Residents are also eligible for life and health insurance. Residents are protected from personal liability while providing professional services at a VA health care facility under the Federal Employees Liability Reform and Tort Compensation Act, 28 U.S.C. 2679 (b)-(d).

Application process

Selection is through a competitive process considering factors such as chiropractic college transcripts, additional professional experiences, letters of recommendation, telephone and/or on-site interviews. A call for applications is issued each year on the second Monday of January. Applications are only accepted during the open call.

Program details

All VA chiropractic residencies meet the same national standards, yet each program is unique, and training experiences and opportunities differ somewhat at each site. More specific information is provided by each residency program.

 Chiropractic Residency Sites

Location

Academic Affiliate

Website

VA Connecticut Healthcare System

West Haven, CT

University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic

www.rehab.va.gov/chiro/Chiropractic_Residency_Program_Connecticut.asp

VA Western New York Healthcare System, Buffalo, NY

New York Chiropractic College

www.buffalo.va.gov/chiropractic/

Canandaigua VA Medical Center

Canandaigua, NY

New York Chiropractic College

www.canandaigua.va.gov/chiropractic/

VA St. Louis Healthcare System

St. Louis, MO

Logan University College of Chiropractic

www.stlouis.va.gov/careers/

VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, CA

Southern California University of Health Sciences, Los Angeles College of Chiropractic

www.losangeles.va.gov/trainee