And why would they do that? My understanding is (correct me if I am wrong) the hospital DPM jobs are the ones sought after, because of exactly that- pay (200K+) and legitimacy (also get to use most of your training) compared to the rest of the opportunities out there. What would cause a large private hospital to want to increase pay and title of DPM's even more if their position is already in high demand as it stands?
Well because many of the largest hospital networks in the country still do not hire podiatrists. Your assertation is only correct if all of these networks already hired DPMs at all of their facilities. Unfortunately that is not even close to being the case. Providence hiring DPMs in the PNW (they currently do not, other than 2 who were already employees of a hospital they recently acquired) would have a way bigger impact on "legitimacy" or "competition" or "opportunity" for DPMs than anything the VA will do on a national scale.
And let's not pretend that a podiatrist gets to "use most of" their training by working at many of these VA facilities. We've all rotated through them. For every hospital that has a true Foot and Ankle service run by a podiatrist or 3, there is another that cuts off toenails and feet and does very little of anything else.
Giving roughly 400 podiatrists the opportunity to obtain supervisory positions in a hospital system is huge.
For those podiatrists, yes. But let me know when private hospital networks begin following the "VA model," or make any administrative or operational decisions based on what the VA does for that matter. I'll let you know the next time someone tries to copy the "Kaiser model." I will be calling you first...