Valor Intern Program as a Step Toward a VA Residency

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BC_89

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Starting IPPEs at the end of the year and noticed that the VA puts out what is known as a "Valor Intern Program" for those interns wanting to work within the VA and possibly get a PGY-1 residency.


Has anyone done this or know of any current pharmacy students on this program? Is this some sort of a stepping stone to secure a PGY-1 at the VA or another way of facilities recruiting candidates for their residency program? I've worked a few years within the VA (active duty side in the pharmacy) but haven't heard of this until now. Wondering if anyone has any thoughts or first hand experience with this.

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Yes and no. So, VALOR participation does not necessarily play into a residency at the site (I can tell you some stories about that), however, it makes easier to get ANY PGY-1 position within a VA. It's just a summer or year-round program for us to train interns as well as outsource some donkey labor.

However, if you are being trained under SRA or Title 38 VR&E, the provisions are different and do not overlap. Honestly, if I were in your shoes, I would try for VTP instead of VALOR as it keeps you in tenure unlike VALOR.

VTP:

Even if you are not assigned to pharmacy, whatever you get assigned to in VTP will give you experience in the VA administration such that you can deal with both the pharmacy and non-pharmacy aspects of this.
 
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VA esidency does not have any official "preference" for any category of applicants, including veterans and VALOR interns. However, VALOR is a good introduction to the VA and will give you an idea of whether you would like to practice there upon graduation or not. And, of course, it does look good in an application package, but is not a guaranteed way to get a VA residency. Actually most of our VALOR interns decided NOT to pursue a VA residency after completion of their programs...sucks since the amount of VALOR spots we get depends on how many of our interns pursue residency or employment with the VA.
 
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Yes and no. So, VALOR participation does not necessarily play into a residency at the site (I can tell you some stories about that), however, it makes easier to get ANY PGY-1 position within a VA. It's just a summer or year-round program for us to train interns as well as outsource some donkey labor.

However, if you are being trained under SRA or Title 38 VR&E, the provisions are different and do not overlap. Honestly, if I were in your shoes, I would try for VTP instead of VALOR as it keeps you in tenure unlike VALOR.

VTP:

Even if you are not assigned to pharmacy, whatever you get assigned to in VTP will give you experience in the VA administration such that you can deal with both the pharmacy and non-pharmacy aspects of this.

Interesting. VTP is something fairly new to me as well. I'll do some reading up on this over the weekend. I am curious with what all I can and cannot overlap due to currently actually being under Chapter 31 VR&E Entitlement with a "TDRL" rating of 100% disability status (which I anticipate may be lowered to 70% if permanent status is finally resolved). I know Chapter 31 provisions are pretty picky with what programs I can and cannot participate in while in school status so this would be something good to speak with my Voc-Rehab counselor about.

Quoting the information you sent on the hyperlink (which truthfully I need to look over it in more detail myself): does this apply to all available career slots at the VA such as a GS-11 or above if I'm currently under Chapter 31 VR&E or do I need to obtain some other certificate of training to be considered? I can only assume a PGY-1 (albeit a job) is not considered "without competition" at time of graduation:

Disabled Veterans Enrolled in a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Training Program – This program allows Disabled Veterans who have completed training or work under the VA Rehabilitation Training Program and received a certificate of training to be hired without competition.
 
VA esidency does not have any official "preference" for any category of applicants, including veterans and VALOR interns. However, VALOR is a good introduction to the VA and will give you an idea of whether you would like to practice there upon graduation or not. And, of course, it does look good in an application package, but is not a guaranteed way to get a VA residency. Actually most of our VALOR interns decided NOT to pursue a VA residency after completion of their programs...sucks since the amount of VALOR spots we get depends on how many of our interns pursue residency or employment with the VA.

Wow. Did they state as to why they didn't want to pursue a residency with the VA? I remember the red-tape when working at a level 1 trauma VA hospital but I was merely a tech and in uniform. I can only state what I've seen with our past pharmacists who stayed or left. I've always been under the impression I may have some edge on a few applicants for merely being a disabled veteran (I am really wanting to aim toward the VA as a straight higher in outpatient or a possible residency).
 
Wow. Did they state as to why they didn't want to pursue a residency with the VA? I remember the red-tape when working at a level 1 trauma VA hospital but I was merely a tech and in uniform. I can only state what I've seen with our past pharmacists who stayed or left. I've always been under the impression I may have some edge on a few applicants for merely being a disabled veteran (I am really wanting to aim toward the VA as a straight higher in outpatient or a possible residency).

I can give you good reasons, if the Inpatient supervisor at your local was still there, you wouldn't want to do your residency there either. But you know, we spread the good stuff around...Careerism at its finest, at least he's not in PDX anymore.

 
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Doing VALOR probably helps, but it might be worth as many application “points” as someone who did a couple APPE rotations with the VA if they are taking a checklist approach. I have heard great things about the program. As others have pointed out, it is not a direct path to working for the VA like the JRCOSTEP/SRCOSTEP government programs were meant to be. Your disabled veteran status is of course a preference for actual hiring, but how much it matters to an RPD is not standardized.

In my opinion, having VALOR and being a veteran who wants to serve veterans should at least make you stand out from traditional applicants.
 
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