Whether you are a nurse, doctor, patient, or other employee in a clinic or hospital, it is beneficial to understand the role of a medical director when you are in a clinic or hospital. A medical director will be a trained physician, but this does not always mean they are going to be directly responsible for patient care. In large facilities, the medical director may have too big of a staff to provide any direct care. In a small clinic, the medical director could have the dual role of caring for patients and providing oversight to all medical staff to ensure compliance with agency goals and policies.
Medical Directors are Physicians
Anyone that is put in charge of a medical hospital or clinic will have the physician credentials necessary to understand the complexities of the job. They are responsible for understanding all policies of the facility and providing training for staff and must have good communication skills in order to solve any problems that are going on between employees within the facility. The medical director must keep their license and obtain continuing education credits as needed.
The Policies and Procedures of the Facility
A medical director often has a direct impact on the policies and procedures of the facility and may work on changing policies that are outdated. Each clinic or hospital has goals, policies, or agendas, and the medical director plays an integral role in the execution of these. When a policy is no longer viable, the medical director may be the one that changes the policy with the support of team members in the role of policy change.
Compliance With State and Federal Laws
Each medical facility must meet the standards set by both the state and federal governments. Part of the role of a medical director is to ensure the facility meets all of the state and federal laws that apply. Although the medical director does not handle this job alone, they are usually the one in charge of problem-solving when a facility is not in compliance with the law.
The role of a medical director is complicated, and one that includes a lot of responsibility. For medical directors in a small setting, they may be responsible for some patient care. In large facilities, the medical director will provide oversight for the compliance of all staff below them, training as needed, and help form policies and agendas as required.