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Veterans, you’re the expert on YOU

Your healthcare provider needs to know basic information about your military service to provide you the best possible care. It’s especially important if you seek your medical care outside VA hospitals or clinics, in healthcare settings more accustomed to civilian patients. It just takes a few moments but can make a big difference in your health outcomes and patient experience.

Use the SALUTE™ “Be the Expert on You” Checklist to:

  • Equip your healthcare provider to make more accurate health assessments.
  • Identify possible service-related injuries or exposures.
  • Expedite important diagnoses and treatment plans.
  • Help you prepare for your next healthcare visit and remember important information to share while you’re there.

Two ways to use the tool:

  1. Download and print the checklist for use in your next healthcare visit.
  2. Click here to view the mobile-friendly checklist on your phone.

Veteran Voices

Servicemen and women weighed in on the value of the SALUTE “Be the Expert on You” checklist and their own personal health journey.

“I would prefer that my doctor asked these screening questions and had a better understanding of what I’ve been through, particularly when it comes to reviewing blood panels. I have been exposed to burn pits, and although I do not have any current symptoms, I think my provider having that information would make them better prepared for any signs that may arise in the future.”

– Bryan, Staff Sergeant, United States Marine Corps

“I was 38 when I deployed to Afghanistan and was exposed to the burn pits. We didn’t think about toxic air contaminants until we could literally see it falling from the sky. Fast forward four years and I have been dealing with one medical issue after another, the worst of which has been my lung issues. A breakdown of communication happened during multiple Emergency Department visits. The hospital couldn’t figure out my diagnosis. I was sick for an entire year, lost over 20 pounds and missed multiple family events before I got the treatment I finally needed… Would those ER visits have gone differently had they access to my VA records, or had I filled out a “Be the Expert on You” form? Probably!”

– Simon, Technical Sergeant, United States Air Force


This tool is part of the SALUTE program, established by ECRI, one of the nation’s largest patient safety organizations. The “Be the Expert on You” tool is derived from a project supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). ECRI values AHRQ’s contributions to the original toolkit.