Blog: Increasing Military Cultural Competency Helps Military Personnel, Veterans & Their Families


Increased Military Cultural Competence Helps Military Personnel, Veterans & Their Families

Despite widespread deployment of mental health programs across the United States by the Departments of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA), significant numbers of personnel, veterans and their family members seek mental health care from community providers. Unfortunately, research shows that most community providers don’t routinely take a military history during a medical exam, often lack military cultural competence; feel neither competent nor confident in treating PTSD; and don’t know how to coordinate with federal healthcare programs. 

To address these issues APsaA will join colleagues from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the White House Joining Forces Initiative and the VA to present a panel at the International Society of Trauma Stress Studies in New Orleans November 5.  The panel, titled Serving Military Members, Veterans and Those Close To Them: Partnership, Policy and Population Health will describe efforts including national dissemination of Military History Training, success in changing the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Current Procedural Terminology [CPT] Evaluation and Management Services Guidelines to include military history taking, and national promotion of free, fully accredited, web-based training on Military Cultural Competence and related training for civilian providers, trainees and new federal hires.

Harold Kudler, M.D., chair of APsaA’s Service Members and Veterans Initiative (SVI) and Chief Consultant for Mental Health Services for the Veterans Health Administration, will chair the panel.  Prudence Gourguechon, M.D., will describe APsaA’s successful effort to change the AMA CPT manual and offer a psychoanalytic perspective arguing that increased awareness of military service throughout the civilian community could lead to decreased morbidity within the veterans and military community.