News Release

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers unlimited opportunities for emergency physicians

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Society for Academic Emergency Medicine

Des Plaines, IL — There are unlimited opportunities for career growth in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health system and this option should be recognized by medical students considering emergency medicine as a potential career, and by emergency medicine residents as well. This is the message of a perspective piece titled, The hidden jewel of emergency medicine careers: Why it's time to explore the VA. The piece introduces the April 2023 special issue of Academic Emergency Medicine (AEM), the peer-reviewed journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM), which is wholly dedicated to papers emanating from the VA’s annual “State of the Art” conference which focused on emergency care in the emergency department in 2022. 

The lead authors of the commentary, Neil Patel, MD, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, and Chad Kessler, MD, MBA, MHPE, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and VA Durham Healthcare System, provide this concise and interesting introduction to a potential career as a VA emergency physician at a time when people in the formative years of education and training have been influenced by concerns about future demand for employment as an emergency medicine physician. Their commentary addresses a few of the issues and critical gaps in the VA system, while refuting several misconceptions, and outlining the many benefits — including a competitive salary — of a medical career in the VA.

“It's truly a system that's focused on providing excellent care, educating the next generation of health care providers, and discovering new ways to improve health. With these missions, there are opportunities for career growth in every direction, whether that be in academic teaching, administration, or a research career.”





Academic Emergency Medicine, the monthly journal of Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, features the best in peer-reviewed, cutting-edge original research relevant to the practice and investigation of emergency care. The above study is published open access and can be downloaded by following Journalists wishing to interview the authors may contact Laura Giblin at



SAEM is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to the improvement of care of the acutely ill and injured patient by leading the advancement of academic emergency medicine through education and research, advocacy, and professional development. To learn more, visit

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