Hospice/Palliative Care Physician Opportunity

Department of Veterans Affairs
Tucson, Arizona
Sep 20, 2019
Sep 19, 2020
Full Time
Position Type

The Southern Arizona VA Healthcare System

The Southern Arizona VA Health Care System (SAVAHCS) professional staff is seeking a full-time hospice/palliative trained physician to provide medical care to patients admitted to the SAVAHCS 18-bed hospice/palliative unit located in the Community Living Center (CLC) and to provide inpatient hospice/palliative consultation and liaison services.  The physician will work closely with the nurse practitioner assigned to the unit and with an interdisciplinary team to provide quality care for Veterans.  The physician will also work with the outpatient palliative physician and may be asked to provide cross-coverage in rare cases.  The physician may be asked to provide medical cross-coverage throughout the 92-bed Community Living Center (CLC), 32-bed Southwest Blind Rehabilitation (SWBR), Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) inpatient unit and share in home call coverage of the CLC clinical areas.


The hospice/palliative physician is responsible for the overall medical care delivered by the Hospice and Palliative Care team.  Duties performed will be consistent with selected provider's granted privileges and based upon individual training, qualifications, and experience. The selected individual will be responsible for performing duties to include, but not limited to the following:

  • Oversee daily operations, and provide clinical, programmatic and administrative leadership to the Hospice and Palliative Care service.
  • Provide physician services, clinical input and oversight for all patient treatment plans consistent with hospice and palliative care philosophy.
  • Provide inpatient consultation services in hospice and palliative care. Be an active participant and facilitate clarification and the development of patient and family goals of care.
  • Improve access to Hospice and Palliative care as experienced by patients, their families and providers.
  • Amplify the awareness of the concepts, role and availability of Hospice and Palliative Care services among ambulatory, home-based, specialty and acute care clinicians. Facilitate access to appropriate supportive care services.
  • Consult with attending staff as requested so that symptom management for patients is effectively and expeditiously accomplished.
  • Apprise the Hospice and Palliative Care team of medical care and practice standards
  • Plan and direct educational experience for medical students, residents, fellows and Nurse Practitioners assigned to Hospice and Palliative Care.
  • Provide counsel to the Community Living Center (CLC) leadership team regarding process improvement, program development, and policy decisions related to Hospice and Palliative Care service.
  • Train ambulatory, specialty and acute care clinicians to provide basic palliative care through improvements in service delivery policies, procedures and interfaces. Develop and provide education to medical center staff and coworkers.
  • Full and appropriate documentation of patient care services.
  • Pursue opportunities for partnering with other specialties, including Primary Care, Cardiology, Pulmonology, Surgery and Oncology within the facility.
  • Flexibility and a compassionate bedside manner are essential
  • Home call coverage of the CLC from 1630 – 1900hrs, Monday – Friday, shared with other physicians in the CLC clinical area

Preferred Experience:

Board Certified or Board Eligible in Geriatrics, Internal Medicine, and/or Family Medicine.  Must be able to attain affiliate faculty appointment with the University of Arizona Medical School.

Key Requirements:

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen.
  • Must be Board Certified or Board Eligible
  • Must have full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in ANY U.S. State.

Paid Time Off:

  • 26 Days paid annual (vacation/personal) leave
  • 13 Days paid sick leave each year with no limit on accumulation
  • 10 paid Federal holidays per year
  • 5 Days paid absence to attend approved CME courses


  • Health Insurance: VA employees have an outstanding number of health insurance plans from which to choose (premiums are partially paid by VA) Lifetime Healthcare Insurance options available
  • Dental & Vision: Our insurance options also include exceptional vision and dental plans (premiums are partially paid by VA)
  • VA employees have the option to use Flexible Spending Accounts, which allow you to use tax-free dollars to pay for medical, dental, and vision care expenses that are not reimbursed by your health insurance plan
  • Term life insurance, family, and additional coverage options are available with the cost shared by the Federal Government
  • Long-term care insurance is available as an option

Federal Retirement Plan:

  • VA employees are covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). FERS is a three-tiered retirement plan composed of 1) Social Security benefits; 2) FERS-RAE basic benefits (pension); and 3) Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) which is a 401K-type plan
  • How is the pension funded? VA employees automatically contribute 4.4% of their salary each pay period and the VA contributes 8.3% of the employee’s salary each pay period for a total annual contribution percentage equal to 12.7% of the employee’s salary
  • Similar to the 401(k) savings plans widely available in the private sector, the TSP allows employees to tax defer a portion of their income each year, subject to the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service. For calendar year 2015, employees under the age of 50 may contribute up to $18,000, while those over age 50 are eligible to make catch-up contributions that allow them to defer up to $24,000.
  • The Federal Government also provides an automatic basic contribution (1% of salary) and up to 4% of salary in matching contributions, depending on the amount of the employee contribution
  • For retired military personnel, these benefits are in addition to full monthly retirement pay or pension
  • In addition to FERS, VA provides health care insurance coverage for retired personnel
  • Disability Retirement
  • Employees are vested in a federal pension after only 5 years’ service

Community, Facility and Organization

The Southern Arizona VA Health Care System (SAVAHCS) consists of eight VHA facilities located in Tucson, Northwest Tucson, Southeast Tucson, Casa Grande, Green Valley, Sierra Vista, Safford and Yuma, Arizona.   Tucson is home to the SAVAHCS main campus (285 beds) where key administrative support services, inpatient, outpatient, and specialty care are based.  Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC) are located in Northwest Metropolitan Tucson (15 miles from Southern Arizona VA Health Care System), Southeast Metropolitan Tucson (19 miles), Casa Grande (68 miles), Green Valley (25 miles), Safford (127 miles), Sierra Vista (72 miles), and Yuma (237 miles). 

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