David Shulkin, M.D., Confirmed as VA Secretary

David Shulkin, M.D., Confirmed as VA Secretary


On Monday, February 13, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously (100-0) to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominee of David Shulkin, M.D., as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Dr. Shulkin previously served as VA Under Secretary for Health under the Obama administration.


ASA has enjoyed a strong working relationship with Dr. Shulkin and looks forward to continuing to work with the Secretary to ensure Veterans continue to receive the highest standard of health care available.


In March 2015, Dr. Shulkin was nominated by former President Barack Obama to serve as VA’s Under Secretary for Health. During his appointment, Dr. Shulkin led successful and ongoing efforts to improve health care services, as well as access to these services, for Veterans within VA. Prior to his tenure in VA, Dr. Shulkin served as President of Morristown Medical Center, President of Atlantic Accountable Care Organization and Vice President of Atlantic Health. Of the many additional leadership positions Dr. Shulkin has held, some notable appointments include President and CEO of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, Chief Medical Officer of Temple University Hospital, Chief Medical Officer of the Medical College of Pennsylvania Hospital, and Chief Quality Officer of Drexel University School of medicine. Dr. Shulkin received an M.D. from the Medical College of Pennsylvania and a B.A. from Hampshire College.


While serving as Under Secretary for Health in VA, Dr. Shulkin played a pivotal role in ensuring that Veterans continue to receive high-quality anesthesia care. The safe, team-based model of anesthesia care was under threat in VA’s proposed “Advanced Practice Registered Nurses” rule. Dr. Shulkin and former VA Secretary Robert McDonald released a final APRN rule that safeguards physician-led anesthesia care for Veterans and is in line with ASA’s Safe VA Care campaign that calls for the preservation of the proven team-based model of anesthesia care.


ASA congratulates Secretary Shulkin on his confirmation and looks forward to continuing to work with VA on issues important to the practice of anesthesiology and patient safety.


Written by Stephanie Summers