How to Hire a Medical Director

Does your growing business need a medical director? A medical director is responsible for improving the standard of medical care in a hospital or care-giving facility. They are physicians who have ample experience in a hospital administration role.

Here are some tips to help you find great medical director candidates and make the right hire for your business.

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Medical directors searching for jobs on Indeed*


job seekers clicked on medical director jobs


resumes for job seekers with medical director experience on Indeed


medical director jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring a medical director?

  • Common wage in US: $225,002 annually
  • Typical wages range from $75,000$454,000 annually
  • Find more information on Indeed Salary

*Indeed data (US) – Dec 2020

As of December 2020, medical director jobs in the US are very competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 17 job seekers per medical director job.

Why hire a medical director?

A talented medical director helps in enhancing the quality of medical care in the hospital while increasing the productivity of operations at the same time to help achieve the revenue, sales and profit targets of the facility.

• Work together with the medical board to develop, amend and update medical policies and the best practices
• Lead and manage the team of Physicians and make sure that hospital policies are being complied with when providing care to patients
• Collaborate with care providers to educate them and take steps to improve the quality of care

Deciding between a full-time and freelance medical director

Before starting the hiring process and writing a job description to bring on your medical director, you should decide whether you need a full-time or contract-basis medical director.

Contract medical directors typically work on an hourly basis and may be appropriate for small clinics/hospitals, supporting time-bound research initiatives or in non-clinical settings (e.g., software company in the healthcare industry). Some physicians serve as medical directors on a part-time basis while continuing to treat patients as doctors.

What are the types of medical director?

When you’re ready to hire a medical director, consider which type of medical director you need. The main consideration is whether it’s for a clinical or non-clinical setting. Here are some common types of medical directors:

  • Facility medical director/ clinical director: A clinical medical director provides high-level guidance and creates policy for the treatment of patients.
  • Pharmaceutical medical director: A medical director at a drug company often provides clinical insights for the development of new drugs, evaluation of current drugs and distribution of pharmaceuticals.
  • Health plan medical director/ insurance medical director: A medical director at an insurance company can provide policy recommendations based on their medical expertise.
  • Executive director/ chief medical officer: A medical director will typically report into an executive director. While their roles have overlap, executive directors generally have more administrative duties.
  • Associate medical director: Associate medical directors generally report into medical directors or have a more limited scope of responsibilities in both clinical and non-clinical settings. 

Where to find medical directors

To find the right medical director for your clinic or business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Hire from within: Look at your current physicians and other MDs. They already understand the processes and policies in your facility/ company and could hit the ground running.
  • Ask for referrals: Ask other doctors, researchers, medical staff whether they know doctors or medical directors that might be a good fit. 
  • Refer to professional associations: Organizations like the NAMCP Medical Directors Institute and the AMDA (American Medical Directors Association) as well as state and local groups host events and have directories that can support your hiring needs. 
  • Post your job online: Try posting your medical director job on Indeed to find and attract quality medical director candidates.

Skills to look for in a great medical director

Medical Directors are an essential part of a medical clinic or hospital. It is crucial to note which qualifications and skills are vital for hiring a suitable Medical Director.

• M.D. Degree needed
• Current Medical License required
• Above 10 years of clinical medicine experience with minimum 5 years in a hospital administration role
• Ability to travel as required for providing medical treatment and diagnosis
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills
• Excellent time management and work prioritization skills

Writing a medical director job description

A thoughtful description is important to finding qualified medical director candidates. A medical director job description includes a compelling summary of the role, detailed list of duties and responsibilities, and the required and preferred skills for the position.

When writing your medical director job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on medical director jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • medical director
  • healthcare management
  • physician
  • director
  • medical records
  • medical 
  • healthcare administration
  • psychiatrist
  • remote work from home
  • telemedicine physician 

Interviewing medical director candidates

To hire a suitable medical director, take the time to vet candidates and asking detailed interview questions to understand their knowledge and skills.

• Demonstrated experience in managing a hospital and its entire administration
• Lead and manage the team of physicians and take care of the quality of medical care
• How they’ve contributed to improving the quality of medical care by proactively improving the medical processed and effectively utilizing the resources at their disposal

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of medical director interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

Frequently asked questions about hiring a medical director

Does a medical director have to be a doctor?

Yes, a medical director is generally a physician who must have an MD or DO and need to demonstrate their qualifications and training in medicine. U.S. states have various regulations specifying requirements, including the qualifications and responsibilities of a medical director.

In some cases, some companies have “medical director” as a title that does not have the typical responsibilities of a medical director in a clinical settings (e.g., advertising agencies that serve the medical space) that may not have the same requirements.

Does a medical director see patients?

Generally, medical directors do not directly treat patients, though they may oversee and provide guidance on treatment care. Some physicians take a part-time role as a medical director while continuing their other responsibilities as a physician.

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    Last updated: Apr 21, 2021