The Veterans Health Administration offers a Chiropractic Integrated Clinical Practice Residency at 10 different VA facilities nationwide. University of Western States is the primary chiropractic academic affiliate for programs at both VA Cincinnati Health Care and VA Puget Sound Health Care System locations.
This Chiropractic Integrated Clinical Practice Residency is a CCE accredited program and involves a unique full-time, one-year post-graduate clinical experience. The program objectives include hospital-based clinical training, interprofessional education, and training in scholarly activities (e.g., presentations, group projects, and research).
The program is competitive and utilizes a match process for applicant acceptance. A call for applications is issued each year on the first business Monday of January. More information can be found here: VA Chiropractic Education and Training.
University of Western States began its affiliation with the VA Health Care System more than 10 years ago with American Lake VA in the Tacoma, Washington area. UWS is currently affiliated with 13 locations across the United States and in conversation with two additional facilities.
UWS has had more 80 clinical interns participate in VA clerkships with 11 going on to be hired full time. UWS interns leave strong reputations at their sites which has led new VA locations to seek adding UWS interns to their medical centers.
“Less than half of our veterans receive their health care at VA medical centers,” said Dr. Stanley Ewald, MPH, MEd, UWS associate dean, college of chiropractic. “Of those, many lack access to chiropractic care since many locations lack a chiropractic department. We feel it is very important that we partner with VA locations to provide drug-free pain management to those who have served our country, and to prepare students for a possible career in the VA thus expanding the chiropractic footprint in the VA. It is also a valuable and unique opportunity for our students to engage in broadly integrated, multidisciplinary care. It is our opportunity to provide heartfelt, compassionate care to those who have served. Even if our graduates do not pursue VA careers, they will better understand the needs of this patient population and how we can serve them throughout our profession.”
Interested doctor of chiropractic interns who would like to intern at a VA site should consult the VA handbook.
Review the current VA locations UWS is currently affiliated with across the U.S. –
- VA Palo Alto Health Care, Palo Alto, VAMC:
- VA Palo Alto Health Care, Major General William H. Gourly VA-DoD Outpatient Clinic, Marina (near Monterrey, part of Palo Alto system)
- VA Northern California Health Care, Redding VA Clinic
- VA Southern Nevada Health Care, North Las Vegas VAMC
- VA Sierra Nevada Health Care, Ionnis A. Lougaris VAMC, Reno
- VA Cincinnati Health Care, Cincinnati VAMC (Includes assignments to Cincinnati VAMC in Fort Thomas, Kentucky
- VA Portland Health Care, Portland VAMC – Portland (Includes assignments to Portland VAMC – Vancouver)
- VA Southern Oregon Health Care, White City VAMC, Medford
- VA Puget Sound Health Care, American Lake VAMC, Tacoma
- VA Puget Sound Health Care, Seattle VAMC
Read about the New VA resident at VA Puget Sound here.
- VA Spokane Health Care, Mann-Grandstaff VAMC, Spokane
Hear from UWS students who have served at UWS VA affiliation sites throughout their clinical internship experience –
“While my education at UWS prepared me extremely well, I learned more and grew more as a practitioner during my first six months working in the VA Health Care System than I ever could have imagined! In the civilian world you hear about the substance abuse crisis, but you don’t truly understand how much of an impact alternative care can have until you are in the middle of it. As cliché as it may sound, I have gotten to watch chiropractic truly change lives. From helping veterans who were wheelchair bound return to their favorite activities to being a part of other veteran’s sobriety journey, being a part of the VA has truly one of the most rewarding experiences!
I’ve had the opportunity to work with patients with conditions we only read about in school, and I may never see again. Working in the VA has given me confidence not only in my skills as a health care provider, but also in my ability to work with other professionals in order provide the best, well-rounded care to my patients.”
- Bailey Nachtigal, UWS doctor of chiropractic student
“The clinical experience at the VA Puget Sound, Seattle has been significantly impactful to my personal and professional growth. The best part of this experience would be the opportunity to work with our veterans and making a positive impact in their lives.
Adapting to the challenging clinical environment with interesting and complex patient cases and the undeviating focus on evidence-based patient care approach at the VA has exponentially increased my scope of clinical knowledge, thinking and experience. It has been an amazing opportunity to work alongside three highly-recognized national leaders in integrated chiropractic practice. This has created an environment for me to step out of my comfort zone and be comfortable in uncomfortable, challenging and stressful situations.”
- Sachien Hewawasam, UWS doctor of chiropractic student