…..Veteran Disability Exams (otherwise known as Compensation and Pension Exams) are independent medical exams for military veterans who are claiming injury or disability during their time in service. The Department of Veterans Affairs ensures that all eligible military veterans receive injury or disability compensation in addition to life-long healthcare. The VA contracts directly with civilian companies that, in turn, hire and facilitate the execution of these exams by civilian physicians.
…..You may be thinking “Well why can’t military hospitals and military personnel perform these exams?” There are many more Veterans than there are military clinicians and facilities to perform C&P exams. Active military physicians provide acute care and diagnostic treatment, but disability exams are non-clinical and non-treatment in nature and their only purpose is to ensure that Veterans are fairly compensated for their service-related injuries or conditions. A physician performing the Disability exam is NOT the treating physician. There is no diagnosing new conditions or ordering diagnostic testing. The examining physician does not prescribe medication nor do they follow up with the Veteran. The note/questionnaire associated with a disability exam is purely legal in nature.
….As this is considered non-clinical work, board-certification is not required to perform Veteran Disability Exams and a physician need only hold an active state medical license. Doctors from any specialty can be trained to perform Disability exams. The contracting organizations who facilitate these exams provide comprehensive training and offer 24-hour support to their clinicians. During a Disability exam, the civilian physician will obtain a pertinent medical history from the veteran, perform a focused physical exam based on the injury or condition, and execute a chart review of the Veteran’s medical record. They are subsequently responsible for synthesizing the history of the Veteran with his or her service treatment records and pertinent labs or imaging that were ordered by their treating physician. The physician is compensated based on the number of questionnaires submitted to the VA with directly correlates to the number of claims a Veteran reports. Mental health professionals are contracted to specifically see Veterans claiming post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injuries.
….States that have a large number of military bases like California, Texas, and Florida have significant needs for independent physicians to perform these exams. At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, these exams were put on hold, but they have now been mandated as essential services and the VA is working hard to schedule Veterans so the need for civilian physicians to participate in this effort is significant.
….Multidisciplinary: This is an opportunity that blends chart review, physical exam, and history taking about a multitude of injuries, ailments, and exposures.
…..Enriching: This was a far divergence from my career as a pediatrician, but I truly enjoyed hearing the stories about decades of international and domestic service from older Veterans.
…..American History: After increasing my knowledge about the Korean, Vietnam, and Gulf Wars and the associated exposures and dangers that these brave Veterans encountered, I was even more grateful for our active and retired service members and their personal sacrifices for our Country.
Salary: This job has very high-earning potential. A physician performing disability exams will be paid by the number of disability claims per veteran. Physicians who have made this work a full-time career, can generate $40,000 PER MONTH in income.
Flexibility meter: 8/10. If you live in a city or state with a military presence, there are likely organizations that are looking for physicians to perform these exams. Many are open 7 days a week and will schedule veterans according to your availability.