Medical Administrator/Director of Medical Services

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A Medical Administrator plans, organises, directs, controls and coordinates medical programs and clinical services in a hospital or other health service facility, maintains standards of medical care, provides leadership to ensure an appropriately skilled medical workforce, and contributes to health service planning. Doctors in the Medical Administration specialty can be engaged in a wide variety of roles, not just in hospitals, but in a range of organisations, such as education, pharmaceutical or technology companies; or government departments such as health, defence, immigration and corrections where they run health services and advise on health policy and strategy.

The job of a Medical Administrator is very diverse and involves a number of key roles such as:

  1. Managing the day-to-day business of health services for communities
  2. Oversee budgets
  3. Manage clinical workforces and clinical support services
  4. Manage capital investments such as buildings and biomedical technologies
  5. Liaise with multiple stakeholders including hospital boards, health departments and ministers
  6. Manage medico legal and performance issues relating to clinical services and medical staff

 

Dealing with such a wide range of staff means that communication and collaboration skills are essential for the role, as well as good problem solving and people skills.

 

Medical administrators are often former specialist doctors seeking a new challenge.

Formal medical specialty training isn’t always a prerequisite for a career in the field. Some people get there after gaining experiences in various management roles such as head of department. Others get there after gaining postgraduate qualifications in health management or public health.

 

The most respected qualifications are those in Medical Administration offered through the Royal Australian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA), the College recognised by the Australian Medical Council to offer specialist fellowship in Medical Administration.

 

Entrants into the RACMA’s fellowship training must have a medicine degree and a minimum of 3 years of medical practice experience. They must also complete a master’s degree (which may be in public health or health services management or, increasingly, an MBA) during training. Fellowship training consists of 3 years full-time training, culminating in an oral examination. Advanced candidates with 5 or more years of experience in medical management and another fellowship may do it in less, under the College’s Accelerated Pathway to Fellowship program.