“Veterans’ health care: doctors outside the VA need to know more about the veterans they treat” – The Conversation

Shropshire sheds a tear as she salutes during the national anthem at an interfaith vigil for the victims of the Tennessee shooting, at Olivet Baptist church in ChattanoogaVietnam veteran Euretha Shropshire sheds a tear as she salutes during the national anthem at an interfaith vigil for the victims of the Tennessee shooting, at Olivet Baptist church in Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 17, 2015. The suspect in the fatal shootings of four U.S. Marines travelled to Jordan and possibly other Middle Eastern countries last year, authorities said on Friday, as the investigation focused on any signs of a connection to Islamist militants. Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, a Kuwaiti-born naturalized U.S. citizen, died on Thursday in a firefight with police after a rampage at two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee. REUTERS/Tami Chappell – RTX1KRW0

“Each year the military discharges over 240,000 veterans to reintegrate into civilian society. It’s a professional transition, but it’s also a personal one.

“Veterans go from TRICARE, the Department of Defense’s own health care system, to navigating the ins and outs of the civilian health care system. Under TRICARE, military service members are cared for in a manner that meets their needs. When they’re discharged, their new health care providers might not know that they were ever in the military.

“Asking ‘Have you served in the military?’ may seem like a minor issue, but it’s actually much more important than you might think. And it’s a question that few doctors make a point of asking, even though many medical residents and medical students receive all or part of their clinical training at VA medical centers and hospitals.”

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