American Academy of Physician Assistants

Caring for Veterans

AAPA is a partner in the Joining Forces Campaign. We are dedicated to being a part of this important mission to support U.S. service members, military veterans, their families and families of the fallen. The PA profession has roots in the military, and many PAs serve with those warriors on the front lines.

AAPA's Caring for Veterans and Military Families Initiative endeavors to bring awareness to all PAs so that they can provide the military and veteran communities the care and support they need. This dedicated webpage has been created to provide resources for PAs to utilize in caring for veterans and their families/caregivers; disseminate information related to new research around veterans health; and highlight the work of PAs who are serving our nation's heroes.

CME and other educational and clinical practice resources

Military Caregivers: Cornerstones of Support for our Nation's Wounded, Ill and Injured Veterans a review of the RAND Report, presented by Terri Tanielian, senior social research analyst, RAND Corporation; and facilitated by J. Leocadia Conlon, PA-C, MPH. (Video presentation) 

PTSD: National Center for PTSD current CME features.

PTSD: National Center for PTSD brings together free in-depth continuing education resources for the professional community concerned with trauma.

BrainLine for Professionals— Preventing, treating, and living with traumatic brain injury (TBI); find the research from experts in the field, tools and strategies, fact sheets for patients and so much more. 

Defense Veterans Brain Injury Center— Educational and practice resources.

Military Culture: An Introduction for Community Healthcare Providers CME has expired, audioslides still available as an resource.

Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) — Treatment for PTSD

Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Center — Clinical Recommendations and Documents

PTSD Screening and Referral: For Health Care Providers — For researchers, providers and helpers.

Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury — Clinical resource.

VA Blue Button Program — Help your patients obtain their medical records from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Institute of Medicine report — Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan: Readjustment Needs of Veterans, Service Members and their Families (March 2013)

RAND report — Invisible Wounds of War Project

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Examination — Clinical resource

Traumatic Brain Injury CME from Massachusetts General Hospital

Heads Up To Clinicians- CME from CDC

Traumatic Brain Injury - The Role of Medical Rehabilitation from Peace Health- CME

Citizen Soldier Support Program- Course Catalog - Category 2 CME

Make the Connection- Effects of Military Sexual Trauma 0 Clinical Resource 

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Support for veterans

Know the signs of suicide and provide support to veterans and active duty military members! The U.S. Department of Defense released a study indicating that 95 percent of its participants who had initially attempted suicide because they wanted to die later recognized that they had actually wanted to escape emotional pain.

  • Ask – Don’t just ask about if someone is thinking of suicide – also ask about sleep disturbances, alcohol use, hopelessness, depression, anxiety or panic; if they have activities they enjoy and look forward to; and ask about access to firearms and other lethal means.
  • Care – Listen, offer hope, and don’t judge.
  • Escort – Take action, don’t leave the person alone, and escort them to assistance.

The Military/Veterans Crisis Line provides immediate attention at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) * Press 1

Other Resources for Veteran Support

Signs of Suicide (SOS) Military Program


Real Warriors Campaign   


Citizen Soldier Support Program (CSSP)  

Military Pathways


After Deployment Wellness Resources


TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors)    

1-800-959-TAPS (8277)


Print out awareness posters to display in your practice



Give an Hour


 Accelerated Resolution Therapy (for PTSD)


Locate VA medical centers and community-based outreach clinics


Military One Source   

Army Soldier for Life  

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Support for military families and caregivers  

Job and educational resources for veterans

Recognizing that well-being is more than just physical health, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Warrior and Family Support program has discussed the "Model of Excellence" as the necessary trinity for military veterans to successfully reintegrate into society. This includes access to healthcare, employment and education. PAs can support the total wellness of military veterans by providing resources for employment and education in addition to being their healthcare provider.

The following resources are for military veterans who may be interested in applying to a physician assistant program:

PAs Supporting Veterans

Read about the Horse Rhythm Foundation — a national nonprofit organization founded and run by physician assistants to support veterans and their families.

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The Joining Forces Initiative

Joining Forces

AAPA is a partner in the Joining Forces Initiative.