In the next 12 months, VA will select facilities to participate in the program, which will offer five residencies to chiropractic students during the next few years. The application process will be announced after the facilities have been selected. ACA will keep the chiropractic profession abreast of all of the details of the program as soon as they are available. VA is not the appropriate organization to contact regarding the program at this time.
"Chiropractic physicians can play an important role in improving the health of America's returning heroes. They need our care, and they've earned it," said ACA President Keith Overland, DC. "This historic win for our returning veterans will also provide the highest quality, integrated training for recent chiropractic graduates, and puts chiropractic physicians on par with other physician-level providers-who have similar programs-in the VA system."
This victory follows 12 years of strong advocacy efforts by ACA. In 2001, VA began the long-overdue process of expanding veterans' access to the services provided by chiropractic physicians with Public Law 107-135, which mandated that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs must provide chiropractic services to veterans at select VA medical centers and clinics. The program marks the next step in the evolution of the profession's relationship with VA. While there have been intermittent rotations of chiropractic students through VA facilities before, the new program will be a planned, structured effort to initiate full residencies within the VA.
Today, as a result of ongoing advocacy, VA now provides chiropractic services at nearly 50 major treatment facilities within the United States, which is particularly significant when you consider a 2010 report from the Veterans Health Administration which indicates that more than half of all veterans returning from the Middle East and Southwest Asia who have sought VA health care were treated for symptoms associated with musculoskeletal ailments - the top complaint of those tracked for the report.
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013, is the largest professional association in the United States representing doctors of chiropractic. ACA promotes the highest standards of patient care and professional ethics, and supports research that contributes to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients. Visit www.acatoday.org (http://www.acatoday.org/