Why was the situation so dire that veterans faced months-long waits to see Veterans Affairs physicians? It's not exactly a secret that the VA faces a severe shortage of physicians. More than 800 job openings are listed on the VA website. There are many reasons why it is so hard to recruit physicians to work for the VA, including challenging patients, dwindling financial resources and uncompetitive salaries. As an immigration lawyer, I've seen the problem from a different angle. International physicians represent 26% of the doctors training in America's teaching hospitals. These doctors fill leftover teaching hospital slots not used by doctors educated in American medical schools.