The American College of Surgeons (ACS) is “joining forces" to help arm surgeons with the skills they need to provide appropriate, compassionate care to wounded warriors. Joining Forces is an initiative spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Jill Biden, EdD, to ensure that veterans have access to jobs, higher education, and quality health care services.
A common misconception is that most veterans receive their medical care and surgical care through the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs. In reality, more than 50 percent of veterans who return to civilian life have the same type of insurance coverage as other American workers.
Moreover, it is estimated approximately 50,000 veterans return home with serious bodily injuries, and one in six suffers from traumatic brain injury (TBI) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Yet, with the exception of military and Veterans Affairs (VA) physicians, few clinicians are trained to meet the challenges associated with providing care for this population.
Therefore, ACS is partnering with the American Association of Medical Colleges, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, and more than 20 other organizations to collectively improve the quality of care that vets receive.
We hope the information provided here will be informative, helpful, and motivating. As surgeons, our ability to recognize these conditions will help ensure that our returning veterans receive the best and most compassionate care we can provide.