(a) In order to carry out more effectively the primary function of the Veterans Health Administration and in order to assist in providing an adequate supply of health personnel to the Nation, the Secretary—
(1) to the extent feasible without interfering with the medical care and treatment of veterans, shall develop and carry out a program of education and training of health personnel; and
(2) shall carry out a major program for the recruitment, training, and employment of veterans with medical military occupation specialties as—
(A) physician assistants;
(B) expanded-function dental auxiliaries; and
(C) other medical technicians.
(b) In carrying out subsection (a)(1), the Secretary shall include in the program of education and training under that subsection the developing and evaluating of new health careers, interdisciplinary approaches, and career advancement opportunities.
(c) In carrying out subsection (a)(2), the Secretary shall include in the program of recruitment, training, and employment under that subsection measures to advise all qualified veterans with military occupation specialties referred to in that subsection, and all members of the armed forces about to be discharged or released from active duty who have such military occupation specialties, of employment opportunities with the Administration.
(d) The Secretary shall carry out subsection (a) in cooperation with the following institutions and organizations:
(1) Schools of medicine, osteopathy, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, optometry, podiatry, public health, or allied health professions.
(2) Other institutions of higher learning.
(3) Medical centers.
(4) Academic health centers.
(6) Such other public or nonprofit agencies, institutions, or organizations as the Secretary considers appropriate.
(e)(1) In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall establish medical residency programs, or ensure that already established medical residency programs have a sufficient number of residency positions, at any medical facility of the Department that the Secretary determines—
(A) is experiencing a shortage of physicians; and
(B) is located in a community that is designated as a health professional shortage area (as defined in section 332 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 254e)).
(2) In carrying out paragraph (1), the Secretary shall—
(A) allocate the residency positions under such paragraph among occupations included in the most current determination published in the Federal Register pursuant to section 7412(a) of this title; and
(B) give priority to residency positions and programs in primary care, mental health, and any other specialty the Secretary determines appropriate.
(Added Pub. L. 102–40, title IV, §401(a)(3), May 7, 1991, 105 Stat. 211; amended Pub. L. 113–146, title III, §301(b)(1), Aug. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 1784.)
2014—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 113–146 added subsec. (e).
Pub. L. 113–146, title III, §301(b)(2), Aug. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 1785, as amended by Pub. L. 114–315, title VI, §617(a), Dec. 16, 2016, 130 Stat. 1577, provided that:
"(i) as of the date of the enactment of this Act, do not have a medical residency program; and
"(ii) are located in a community that has a high concentration of veterans."
[For definition of "facility of the Department" as used in section 301(b)(2) of Pub. L. 113–146, set out above, see section 2 of Pub. L. 113–146, set out as a note under section 1701 of this title.]