Rehabilitation and Prosthetic Services
VA Chiropractor Careers
The Veterans Health Administration is the largest integrated health care system in the United States. Its mission is to honor America’s Veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being. VA Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) help fulfil this mission by making significant contributions as health care providers:
- Delivering the highest quality patient-centered, evidence-based care to VA patients with neuromuscular and/or musculoskeletal conditions in a timely, compassionate cost-effective manner
- Providing interprofessional educational opportunities for clinical trainees in chiropractic, medicine, and other health care disciplines.
- Supporting and conducting research to improve the function, health, and quality of life for Veterans
- Engaging in supervisory or leadership activities in support of the Mission
To recognize these contributions, VA offers numerous tangible and intangible benefits to VA employed chiropractors.
Benefits of a career as a VA ChiropractorVA chiropractic care is the pinnacle of mainstream healthcare system integration for US chiropractors. No other practice setting provides more opportunities for DCs to function at the peak of their competencies, improve care delivery, engage in scholarly activities, and advance interprofessional collaboration. Most importantly, this is all done in the service of our Veteran patients, which brings a level of gravitas and professional fulfilment not often found in other practice settings.
Chiropractors are Title 38 employees in VA, and are eligible to attain five grades: Associate, Full, Intermediate, Senior, and Chief (corresponding to GS levels 11-15). Grade determination is based on the VA Chiropractor Qualification Standards . Salaries for each grade vary by geographic location. Relevant pay tables are available from the Office of Human Resource Management.
Leave and Holidays
- VA chiropractors earn 26 days of paid annual leave (vacation/personal) each year and may accumulate up to 85 days. Annual leave begins to accrue immediately and can be used as it is earned with supervisory approval.
- VA DCs earn 13 days of paid sick leave each year with no limit on accumulation.
- The Voluntary Leave Transfer Program allows other Federal employees to donate annual leave for a medical emergency of an employee or family member.
- The Family and Medical Leave Act and the Family Friendly Leave Act allow employees to balance their work and family lives by taking reasonable amounts of leave for medical reasons, for the birth or adoption/foster care of a child, and for the care of a child, spouse or parent who has a serious health problem.
- Military leave is authorized up to 15 days a year for active reservists and National Guard members.
- All VA employees enjoy 11 paid Federal holidays per year.
Student Loan Forgiveness
VA chiropractor employment qualifies for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Some facilities may also offer the Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP) for positions that are considered hard to recruit or retain.
Health and Life Insurance
- VA offers a variety of self or family health insurance plans that all cover preexisting conditions. Spouse, domestic partners and children under age 26 are eligible, as are children -regardless of age - who are unable to support themselves. VA pays up to 75% of health premiums, a benefit that can continue into retirement (conditions apply). plans can be changed annually if you choose.
- Term life insurance with coverage based on salary is available with the cost shared by the Federal Government. Family and additional coverage options are available.
- Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is available for eligible employees to use pre-tax allotments to pay for certain health care expenses in a Health Care FSA, and for eligible dependents through a Dependent Care FSA.
- Under the Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program, employees can access long-term care coverage for home care, adult day care and facility care.
The United States Government accepts responsibility and liability for the actions of its employees during the exercise of their official duties. VHA health care professionals are covered under federal tort laws and may be defended by the United States against allegations of malpractice or negligence (38 USC 7316).
Chiropractors are covered by the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS). FERS is a three-tier retirement plan composed of Social Security benefits, FERS basic benefits, and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Similar to the 401(k) savings plans widely available in the private sector, the TSP allows employees to tax-defer a portion of their income each year, subject to the annual limitation requirements of the Internal Revenue Service. The Federal Government also provides a basic contribution and matching, depending on the amount of the employee contribution.
VA health care facilities are located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. An employee may seek employment at any location where there is a vacancy and if hired, transfer without loss of benefits.
Opportunities to receive both monetary and honorary recognition for overall superior performance and special or unique achievements are available.
Educational and Research Opportunities
The Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes the importance of continuing education and research, and the benefits they provide to both Veteran patients and employees. Numerous opportunities are available to VA chiropractors, including:
- Regional Medical Education Centers that develop relevant programs based on regional and local needs.
- Affiliations between schools and colleges of chiropractic and multiple VA medical facilities, offering an academic setting and the opportunity for lifelong learning.
- Facility-based continuing education.
- Opportunity for participation in research programs.
- Opportunity for executive development through administrative and management education.
- Time off may be granted for educational purposes
Application ProcessTo ensure optimal patient care, VA monitors chiropractic use and hires additional chiropractors accordingly. A given facility may bring on a DC as a staff appointment (employee) or contractor, full or part-time. This decision is made at the facility level based on local needs and resources. Open DC positions are posted on the USA Jobs website. Interested DCs can submit application materials only when such a position is posted.
Professional AttributesVA chiropractic positions are extremely competitive. Following are professional attributes associated with DC success in hospital/integrated medical practice settings. Individuals possessing many of these characteristics would be strong applicants for VA positions.
- Practice experience in a hospital/integrated medical setting
- Completion of a residency program conducted in a hospital/integrated medical setting, accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education
- Commitment to lifelong learning as evidenced by attendance at high quality and interprofessional continuing education activities
- Firm grasp of evidence-based medicine and patient-centered care
- Peer-reviewed publications in indexed journals
- Academic experience
- Exceptional clinical competence
- Professionalism, altruism, collegiality
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills