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Tools for your practice: Enhancing Consultations with Veterans

05 July 2024 - Dr Catherine Eltringham

DVA clients are current and ex-service personnel with a variety of service and operations experience. They include people from a range of socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. All have non-service-related identities and belong to an array of subgroups in the wider community.

How can you approach each consultation with veterans and their families to optimise their care?


Using the VETERANS Lens (mnemonic) to structure your thoughts when consulting a veteran or DVA client will assist you to unpack their full history, including their Australian Defence Force (ADF) experiences, support networks and medical concerns. The VETERANS Lens will guide you through the important, not-to-be-missed aspects of a medical history that are of particular relevance to a veteran’s health. 



V = Values and culture

E = Exposures: Ears, eyes and other occupational exposures

T = Transition

E = Emotional history: Mental health, wellbeing and connectedness

R = Review of usual medical care including sexual health

A = Alcohol and substance use

N = Navigating the system

S = Supports: Social and Resources


Related courses

Understanding Our Veterans' Healthcare: This webinar will demonstrate how to incorporate the VETERANS Lens into your consultations and understanding of the transition from ADF to civilian life for your veteran patients and their families. Click HERE to enrol.  

Further webinars and resources will expand on the VETERANS Lens and provide you with guidance for optimising the care of your veteran patients

Dr Catherine Eltringham
Dr Catherine Eltringham

Catherine is a GP in Geelong, Victoria. She has been involved in a wide variety of Medical Education opportunities, these include GP training, lecturing in Medicine at Deakin University, and providing clinical consultancy for the Deakin Indigenous Health team. Over recent years Catherine has moved into planning and facilitating the professional development of Medical Educators and GP Supervisors as well as learning (like everyone else) to do all of this online. Catherine strives to ensure her education events are engaging and innovative, with a dose of appropriate fun. 

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