Being a healthcare provider who desires to dedicate a part of your practice to working with Service members, Veterans and their families is appreciated and commendable. You should also note that this dedication demands a commitment to strive for a better understanding of the warrior ethos including an agreement to uphold the customs of the military culture. While some providers believe they are supporting the warrior by questioning the ideals and values of the military, such questioning tends to undermine the patient’s world view, a view that makes them part of a larger team and keeps them alive in times of war.
One of the biggest barriers that must be overcome by Service members and Veterans is that of stigma. For warriors to seek help is anathema to the warrior ethos and providers who understand and respect this can, in fact, reduce the experience of stigma. By trying to better understand the how military values and ideals impact your patients in an individualized, supportive and non-judgmental way you increase the likelihood of a strong patient-provider alliance and more better treatment outcomes.
There are a number of ways that you can work with Service members, Veterans and their families. The options range from becoming a VA or DoD government employee or contractor to donating a portion of your clinical week to care for a military member or veteran.
The VA/DoD Military Culture team is not endorsing or recommending any course of action or organization, but provides the links below as a service to help you learn more about the options for working with Service members, Veterans and their families.
Being a TRICARE provider means that you are treating America's heroes—the people making sacrifices to keep America strong and safe. TRICARE uses military hospitals and clinics (also known as direct care) as the main health care delivery system and augments direct care with a network of civilian providers and facilities to provide timely access and high quality service while maintaining the capability to support military operations.