Jan 27, 2023 | News and Updates

The bipartisan VA clinician appreciation, recruitment, education, expansion, and retention support or CAREERS bill was introduced in the US Senate by Senator Tester (D-Mont) and Senator Boozman (R-Ark).  The goal of the bill is to bolster the recruitment and retention of clinicians in the VA.

This bill would put Optometry on the physician pay scale based on market pay analysis. Highlights include:

  • Modernize VA’s antiquated pay system for physicians and other high-level clinicians, which will particularly benefit rural and other hard-to-hire markets.
  • Pay for licensure exam costs for future clinicians participating in VA scholarship programs.
  • Expand eligibility for more health care staff to be reimbursed for ongoing professional education costs.
    • ‘(1) With respect to any physician, dentist, podiatrist, dentist, chiropractor, optometrist, registered nurse, or physician assistant appointed under section 10 7401(1) of this title, not more than $1,000 per year 11 for each such individual
  • Increase and fine-tune VA’s workforce data reporting requirements to help VA and Congress be better informed on how to improve the hiring and onboarding process for future employees’ enterprise wide.

Text – S.10 – 118th Congress (2023-2024): VA Clinician Appreciation, Recruitment, Education, Expansion, and Retention Support (CAREERS) Act of 2023 | | Library of Congress

This bill has the support of VA leadership

And the support of President Biden’s administration

This bill needs your support too!

Here’s how:

  1. Renew or join AFOS/AOA: AFOS | Why Join (
  2. Have a colleague join NAVAO
  3. Contact your local congressman in support of the bill
  4. Get the word out by telling friends and family

This is a once in a career opportunity that AOA and AFOS have invested time and resources into for VA Optometrists.  Please do your part.