Veterans Affairs and Academic Medical Center Affiliations: The North Texas Experience

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Abstract

Objective

The authors review the more than 30-year history of the academic affiliation between the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and the Mental Health Service at the Veterans Affairs North Texas Health Care System.

Methods

The authors interviewed individuals involved at various stages in developing this affiliation about decisions and challenges.

Results

The academic association has been very successful on the whole, though not consistently so. At this time, a flourishing educational and research program is in place and seems stable.

Conclusion

It is not clear how generalizable the Dallas experience is. Both sides of this affiliation have overcome obstacles. Persistence and patience have been crucial, especially when one or the other side produced temporarily insurmountable obstacles. It appears that the decision to pursue the recruitment of both researchers and educators to the North Texas Veterans Health Care System from the beginning may have been crucial in developing a fuller academic collaboration.

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