Honoring Those Who Have Served: How Can Health Professionals Provide Optimal Care for Members of the Military, Veterans, and Their Families?

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With over one million service members separating from the military over the next several years, it seems prudent to ask whether U.S. health care professionals and systems of care are prepared to evaluate and treat the obvious and more subtle injuries ascribed to military deployment and combat. The authors suggest that several systemic interventions—adding military health history sections to electronic health records, history and physical diagnosis textbooks, and licensing exams while also ensuring that this content is adequately covered in undergraduate and graduate health professional training—will enable all health care professionals to provide service members and veterans with the high-quality care that they deserve. The authors also highlight the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ recent innovations in education and care delivery, which are enhancing the education of thousands of students and residents, who will be better prepared to care for veterans after receiving this training.

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