A Clinician’s Experience: The Growing Field of Disability Examinations

Since joining the Veterans Evaluation Services® (VES) network of health care clinicians, Dr. Maria Baker has been able to use her expertise and passion for serving Veterans to significantly grow her independent practice.

As a licensed psychologist, Dr. Baker has always been interested in finding opportunities to serve Veterans. She completed doctoral work in counseling psychology followed by an internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. There she had the opportunity to train in the compensation, pension, and trauma recovery carelines. After working in independent practice for a time, Dr. Baker missed serving the Veteran population. This inspired her to take a staff psychologist position at a Houston-area VA community-based outpatient clinic.

As Dr. Baker designed the next phase of her career, she looked to combine the flexibility of an independent practice with the ability to serve Veterans. She had learned of the opportunities with VES from colleagues, who were having wonderful experiences as part of its global network of clinicians.

“I was absolutely thrilled to have an opportunity to continue to serve our Veterans while maintaining the flexibility of an independent practice.” – Dr. Maria Baker

The VES clinician network provided a way to incorporate work with Veterans into her independent practice and utilize her VA compensation and pension skills. Dr. Baker was able to quickly realize the impact of being a VES clinician, allocating openings in her schedule for exams without increasing administrative work around tasks like scheduling and records accumulation.

“VES is a great opportunity for clinicians who are seeking to grow their practice within their open schedule with meaningful, interesting, and challenging work. VES also takes on the administrative process, so I can focus on what I do best.”

Over the years, VES been an integral part of Dr. Baker’s independent practice and has contributed to significant growth. This includes the opportunity to earn additional compensation by traveling to locations where her expertise is not readily available. She enjoys the ability to apply her skills
in analyzing complicated investigations and solving puzzles.

“I have been surprised to realize the positive impact our exams can have in the lives of Veterans. For many Veterans, this might be the very first experience with post-discharge healthcare and VA services. Even though we are not in the role of providing treatment, we can offer kindness,
compassion, and a quality experience.”

Dr. Baker’s story is an inspiration and brings to life the experiences of the more 6,500 clinicians in the VES network.