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Chief Medical Officer Job Profile

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If you're interested in moving up the ladder in the medical field and are willing to give up some of your hands-on work with patients, you may be ready for healthcare executive positions, including chief medical officer. Chief Executive Jobs in medicine can be rewarding but also incredibly stressful and challenging. Understanding the basics of this career can be extremely helpful as you decide whether to pursue executive jobs or to remain in your current role.

Responsibilities of Chief Medical Officers

When you pursue these chief executive officer jobs, you need to first understand what you are getting involved in. The chief medical officer has to carry a great deal of responsibilities in the average managed care facility or hospital. One of the primary responsibilities involves dealing with any and all financial matters. The chief medical officer has to manage the costs associated with the organization, including the contract costs with the employees and other facility staff. Most of these individuals have to frequently review those contracts and find ways to reduce costs to ensure that the hospital is running as efficiently as possible. Most purchasing decisions for new equipment and staff for this facility must also be passed through the chief medical officer as well.

Besides handling the financial running of the facility, the officer is considered the head of all of the departments within the facility. That means any problems must ultimately end up with him or her. In some facilities, the chief medical officer will also oversee training programs, the scheduling of physicians and nurses, as well as the hiring and firing of all levels of the staff. As with any company, the chief medical officer is primarily responsible for answering to the board of directors.

Education Requirements

The primary education requirement for any chief medical officer position is going to be that you are a licensed physician. You must also be licensed in the state in which the position will be located. That means if you are only licensed to work in Florida, you may not be able to obtain a chief medical officer job in New York unless you complete the additional licensing requirements.

Being a physician is not going to sufficient, however. Most chief medical officers are also required to be board certified in some type of specialty area. Although any type of specialty will work, family medicine, pediatrics, or similar fields that allow you to deal with a wide range of the medical process are usually preferred.

These are the minimum requirements. While you could technically obtain the position with these requirements, you can increase your chances of being successful at being hired by continuing your education beyond your medical degree. Having a post-graduate background in health administration or public health or even an MBA can give you a tremendous advantage over the rest of the competition when all other factors are equal.

Experience Requirements

Because of the demands of the chief medical officer position, you must be able to demonstrate a sound knowledge of the facility for which you will be working. That means you are going to need plenty of experience. New physicians are never going to obtain these positions no matter how much extra education they have. In fact, you will need at least five years experience in administration before you will even be considered for most chief medical officer jobs. The hiring committee will also want to see a wide-range of administrative experience so they can be confident in your ability to handle all of the responsibilities that will be suddenly placed on your shoulders.

Of course, you will also need to do whatever it takes to maintain your license, including continuing education and examinations. If your license has lapsed or has been revoked, you will not be able to serve as a chief medical officer.

Personal Requirements

While you are going to need the education and experience requirements listed above to get a chance to become chief medical officer, you're also going to need some specific personality traits. Leadership abilities are mandatory for this position. If you have a hard time giving orders or commanding respect, you should not consider this type of position. In fact, if you've completed some leadership courses or training this can help you get the desired position.

You will also need to be the kind of person who can more easily deal with stress. Having so many important decisions to make and having to answer to the board of directors at every turn can be a strain on your mental and physical health. If you have stress problems already, you should consider avoiding moving further up the hospital administration ladder.

Additionally, you need to be prepared to sacrifice a lot of your time and energy for the hospital or medical facility. As a physician, this may be nothing new to you but if you are reaching a point in your life where you'd like to spend more time relaxing or enjoying your family then now would not be a good time to try for chief executive officer jobs.
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