What Are the Responsibilities of a Medical Director?

Medical directors use administrative skills and education to oversee a hospital's operations. Read on to learn about what it takes to become a medical director. Schools offering Clinical Research Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Most medical care facilities have medical directors who oversee the facility's operations, and you could choose to pursue this position at a mental health hospital, emergency care service, or hospital department. Although the specifics of your responsibilities may vary depending on the type of health care your facility offers, your general duties will include overseeing clinical compliance, the quality of patient care, and the education of the physicians in your facility.

Important Facts About Medical Directors

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Professional Certification Available through the Hospice Medical Director Certification Board
Key Skills Critical and analytical thinking, problem solving, clear spoken and written communication, computer competency, attention to detail
Similar Occupations Human resources managers; insurance underwriters; social and community service managers

Oversee Clinical Compliance

According to the American Medical Directors Association (AMDA, www.amda.com), if you work as a medical director, you'll be responsible for making sure that your facility is in compliance with state and federal regulations. Regulation compliance will vary depending on your state and type of practice, but generally, you'll be responsible for ensuring quality patient care and fiscal compliance. In this role, you may need to work with liaisons from local government agencies.

Maintain Quality of Patient Care

The AMDA reports that medical directors often retain their medical roles in their facilities to practice patient care firsthand. Along with the rest of the physicians and nurses on your team, you'll work to provide high-quality customer service to the diversity of patients in your care. For example, if you work as a medical director of emergency services, you'll observe patient conditions in the context of emergency care and then advocate for your patients' needs. If you work in a psychiatric facility, you may need to intervene and mediate in difficult situations involving patients with mental health issues.

Educate Medical Personnel

You'll also be responsible for maintaining the professional development of other medical personnel at your facility through clinical practices. Those practices will vary depending on your type of facility and medical discipline, but you'll be seen as the team leader. If you work in emergency medical services, your duties might include training and providing education to new emergency service technicians. Your facility may also require you to liaison with academic communities to keep up-to-date on medical techniques.

Career and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical services managers, including medical directors, were projected to see a much faster than average job growth of 23% from 2012-2022. The average wages for these workers were $103,680 in May 2014.

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