On the 11th of January 2017, President-elect, Donald Trump, made the decision to appoint David Shulkin to the position of Secretary of Veterans affairs pending the Senate’s confirmation. Shulkin, who is from the private sector, is expected to earn an annual salary of $1.3 million (approximately $170 thousand per month) as a result of his new role.

Shulkin – who is 56-years-old and serves as the Chief Executive of the Veterans Health Administration – is set to be the first VA secretary who is not a veteran. From the time the office was founded under former President George H.W. Bush, every secretary has come from a military background.

Shulkin will be stepping into a controversial post. Since the resignation of Erick Shinseki in May 2014, the agency has been struggling to recover from a 2014 scandal that revealed falsified wait times. According to a report by the VA Inspector General released on 2nd September 2015, roughly 800 thousand records for veterans enrolling in healthcare had been stalled. In addition, 370 thousand belonged to veterans who had already passed away.

Previous positions held by Shulkin include:

  • Chief Executive Officer of Beth Israel Medical Center based in New York
  • President of Morristown Medical Center
  • President of Atlantic Health System Accountable Care Organization
  • Chief Medical officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, Temple University Hospital, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and Medical College of Pennsylvania Hospital

Academic Positions

  • Vice Dean and Chairman of Medicine at Drexen University College of Medicine
  • Professor of Medicine at the Albert Einstein of Medicine

Other notable achievements

  • Served on the editorial boards of various journals like the American Medical Association
  • Editor of Hospital Physician and Journal of Clinical Outcomes Management
  • Founder, Chairman, and CEO of DoctorQuality Inc. which is a consumer-driven information service
  • Writer of approximately 25-peer reviewed journal articles and several other professional publications.