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Purpose and Mission
A clinical director is the leader of the medical staff at a hospital, clinic, nursing home or similar facility. Many clinical directors are not doctors, but the main clinical director of a hospital or large clinic is typically an MD.
Some of the key responsibilities of clinical directors include budgeting and developing plans for long-term growth, ongoing quality assessment of patient services, as well as hiring and evaluation of professional medical staff.
Given that clinical directors are senior administrators, they typically report to the COO or CEO of the facility, or in some cases, they may report directly to the board of directors.
The entire job of a medical clinical director revolves around supervisory responsibilities. They are at the top of the chain of command, so clinical directors spend virtually all of their time undertaking supervisory responsibilities. They work closely with department heads and service chiefs, and serve as the primary liaison to upper management.
First comes a bachelor’s degree and then medical school to earn an MD. New doctors then undertake a four-year clinical residency to learn from experienced colleagues.
Clinical directors are typically senior physicians who practiced for several years before moving into administration. Most worked as department heads or service chiefs before moving up to become clinical director. Many also choose to go back to school to earn a master’s in public health or a master’s in business administration.
Responsibilities of a Clinical Director
The primary duties of a clinical director include developing and monitoring budgets for programs and interacting with finance staff. She must also work closely with other members of the management team and have effective communication skills. Clinical directors also develop strategies to manage program growth and ensure the sustainability of important programs and services. Reviewing program services and modifying them as necessary is another key responsibility. A clinical director is also involved with recruiting clinical interns and keeping relationships with nearby medical and graduate schools.
The qualifications of a clinical director include professional management and staff supervision experience, and leading a large team. They are also typically responsible for the supervision, evaluation, and compensation of medical professionals at their facility.
A clinical director must also be able to comprehend and mange revenues and expenses relating to clinical services, as well as being knowledgeable in client billing operations.