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CAREERS ACT 2023
Attention: VA Doctors of Optometry
We've heard you!! We know that recruitment and retention of the high quality doctors of optometry in the VA is difficult due to many factors, including low pay compared to the marketplace.
VA Optometry is the entry-point to the integrated health system of the VA for many Veterans. Thus, AFOS and AOA have worked tirelessly with legislators, Veteran Service Organizations and the VA to find solutions to ensure that Veterans have access to excellent eye care delivered by doctors of optometry. It is vital that VA compensation is competitive across the VA and to outside facilities.
Early in February, Senator Tester and Senator Boozman introduced the VA CAREERS Act. The VA Clinician Appreciation, Recruitment, Education, Expansion, and Retention Support (CAREERS) Act would provide VA with more tools to compete for highly qualified medical personnel, support training for current and future VA clinicians to ensure veterans receive the highest quality of care, and provide more oversight and public transparency on VA’s efforts to address vacancies.
After significant work and dialogue with AOA and AFOS, included in this bill is the reclassification of Optometrists to the VA Physician Pay Scale. We strongly feel that this will help address the national recruitment and retention concerns and allow the Veterans the best access to superior eye care.