Dear Residency Trained Optometrist,
The objective of the NAVAO is to encourage and promote the best possible primary eye and vision care for our nation’s Veterans and to promote the education, training, professional growth, and welfare of optometric staff, research/clinical fellows, residents, and students. VA optometry residents transitioning to career VA optometrists is the principal pathway to achieving it.
As with many of our health professional colleagues, the VA optometry workforce is experiencing a growing recruitment and retention crisis. To combat the crisis, the CAREERS Act of 2023 has been introduced in the US Congress. This bill would move optometrists to the physician’s pay scale and eliminate existing pay caps imposed by the current antiquated pay schedule. Physician’s pay is predicated on market pay that considers the health care labor market of a geographic area.
To aid in establishing market-based pay comparisons, the NAVAO is surveying to assess the compensation of VA residency trained optometrists. Existing market assessments fail to differentiate residency trained ODs from non-residency trained. With this data, the NAVAO intends to create a tool that does.
The NAVAO executive board thanks you for your responses and time.