The VA is critical to academic development

Celia N. Robinson, Julie Freischlag, F. Charles Brunicardi, David H. Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: A principal responsibility for surgical chairs is the development of academic programs. This has been challenging in light of the current economic downturn, declining reimbursement, and changes in funding. The aim of this study was to determine the importance that surgical chairs place on the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regarding their ability to develop academic programs. Methods: A Web-based survey was constructed and the link sent to 122 university-based surgical department chairs in the United States in 2009 to evaluate previous and current VA affiliations as well as attitudes associated with academic program development. Results: A total of 58 of 122 surveys (47.5%) were completed. Seventy percent of surgical chairs received some of their training at VA facilities, and 65% have held VA appointments. Although only 62% of programs were affiliated with VA centers, 91% of chairs believed that VA affiliations were important for their training programs. Additionally, 91% felt that the VA was a good place for faculty development. Finally, 78% indicated that the opportunity to obtain VA research funding is important for academic faculty development. Conclusion: Academic program development is an important part of a chair's responsibilities. The overwhelming majority of surgical chairs view a VA affiliation as an important resource in building academic surgical programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-631
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic medical center
  • Academic program development
  • General surgery education
  • US Department of Veterans Affairs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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