Over the last two weeks, I've had multiple appointments at the Roseburg Veterans Administration Medical Center.
As always, I experienced superb medical care, competence, and caring.
I know that the Veterans Administration medical system has not always been great. I started doing rotations at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Indianapolis in 1970, in my second year of medical school; the hospital was terribly under-resourced, and despite dedicated physicians and nurses, care was--at best--at community-standard level, which was not very good.
Medicine has improved remarkably in the 50-plus years since then, and the Veterans Administration has been ahead of the pack in improving patient care and safety. It shows.
I won't mention departments or individuals' names, but today, as always, I was treated with respect and compassion, treated efficiently and effectively, and I always trusted that my health and safety were paramount. (Sidebar note: patient safety and health were primary considerations in the downsizing of Roseburg VAMC; you can't treat ICU and ER patients properly when patient numbers and acuity are low. It's a matter of training and experience. The decision was in the best interest of us all. I commanded a U.S. Army hospital in Belgium that made the same decision in the mid-1990s.)
Some years ago, Phillip Longman published Best Care Anywhere: Why VA Health Care Is Better Than Yours. There have been challenges to the Veterans Administration since that time, particularly with regard to appointments and insufficient funding. But it is still true that veterans objectively get the best medical care available from any medical care organization in the country.
I saw it today. Kudos to the wonderful folks at the Roseburg Veterans Administration Medical Center.
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