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Medical Director Interview Questions

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  1. What are your past experiences leading teams of physicians in a medical establishment? See answer
  2. How do you ensure communications successfully reach board members, physicians and patient families? See answer
  3. How do you think the growing number of retirees will affect how our establishment provides services? See answer
  4. How do you learn about the newest medical developments in the field? See answer
  5. Limiting our supplier network to local suppliers is more expensive than alternatives in the short term. However, is this a more viable and holistic strategy in the long term than sourcing our critically important equipment from geographically remote locations? Please explain. See answer
  6. What would you do if the city has just experienced a terrorist crisis and patients are being brought over to your establishment for treatment?
  7. What is your leadership style? Please explain your answer.
  8. How would you address staff shortages due to employees retiring?
  9. Tell me about your approach to promoting staff compliance to our policies.
  10. Tell me about your experience in managing multidisciplinary teams of healthcare workers.
  11. Describe some of the staff training you’ve implemented.
  12. Tell me about a strategy you used in your previous job that reduced medical waste and increased cost-effectiveness.
  13. If we were facing a reduction in the quality of care delivery, how would you address this issue?
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6 Medical Director Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

What are your past experiences leading teams of physicians in a medical establishment?

A:

Since your medical director will be leading the operations and strategy for a healthcare-focused organization, it is imperative that they have experience in the medical field themselves. Your prospective medical director will likely be working across many disciplines in the medical field rather than focusing on a single department like pediatrics or oncology. It is important to gauge the candidate’s level of experience working with teams of medical professionals and to gain an understanding of their leadership style.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Clear leadership capabilities
  • Identifies examples of leading other physicians
  • Past experience as a team leader

Example:

“I was the lead physician for the neurology department at my old hospital and led a group of ten physicians to ensure that patients and families received the best care possible.”

Q:

How do you ensure communications successfully reach board members, physicians and patient families?

A:

Once your candidate moves from a physician or lead physician role into a director role, they will take on more of a facilitating position within the organization, rather than a front-line, patient-facing role. Your candidate will need to balance the needs of a diverse number of stakeholders to ensure that they are all able to receive important information about the medical services offered by your institution.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Cites past experiences in facilitating communications
  • Enjoys working in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong communication skills

Example:

“In addition to the quarterly updates sent out to our board members, I will send out monthly emails to different stakeholder groups informing them of current events within our organization and any expected changes. I also send out a monthly newsletter to patient families.”

Q:

How do you think the growing number of retirees will affect how our establishment provides services?

A:

Many developed countries in the world, including the United States, are seeing their Baby Boomer generation exit the workforce. These individuals, along with lengthening life expectancies, mean that medical establishments are seeing an increasing need for their services. The additional consideration of increasing medical costs means that medical establishments will need to adjust the services offered, which means changing relationships with staff and supporting organizations, including government and insurance agencies.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Recognizes the effect of elderly patients on medical services
  • Strong understanding of medical fundamentals
  • Business and communications acumen

Example:

“More retirees mean that your organization will need to increase the number of annual checkups and possibly in-patient capabilities as well as full-time nursing staff.”

Q:

What would you do if the city has just experienced a terrorist crisis and patients are being brought over to your organization for treatment?

A:

While no medical director wants to be put in a situation of enormous stress in the face of external crises, there is a chance they will need to be prepared to respond to unexpected circumstances, such as a terrorist attack. Your medical director and staff will need to be adequately prepared to support first responders to the situation and to provide top-notch care to survivors of the crisis.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Provides a clear strategy for responding to crisis situations
  • Detail-oriented approach to running medical teams
  • Calm, collected disposition

Example:

“If we are called to respond to a terrorist situation, I would ensure that all my medical teams are on high alert and that our emergency rooms are ready for immediate action with a pre-determined large-scale emergency protocol.”

Q:

How do you learn about the newest medical developments in the field?

A:

Although your medical director will be in charge of a large array of tasks, including administrative work, team meetings, communications and projects that need significant medical knowledge, it is important that the candidate is able to stay abreast of new developments in the field. New developments might include changes to regulations and the development of new machinery that can streamline certain processes and checkups. Your prospective medical director should be able to incorporate these developments into your organization’s strategy going forward.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Direct response to how they learn of new medical developments
  • Identifies important contacts that they can leverage
  • Interest in improving organizational strategy

Example:

“I start my day off by scanning news headlines and published research reports to stay on top of new medical developments. When I find something interesting, I either reach out to my own contacts or ask someone from my team to follow up.”

Q:

Limiting our supplier network to local suppliers is more expensive than alternatives in the short term. However, is this a more viable and holistic strategy in the long term than sourcing our critically important equipment from geographically remote locations? Please explain.

A:

Many healthcare institutions use offshore suppliers to cut costs, but this can be counterproductive in relation to supply availability, supplier regulation, ecological costs and costs on the local economy. You can use this question to understand a candidate's awareness of industry issues, strategy skills and problem-solving skills. An ideal medical director candidate would demonstrate a suitable skill set with their response.

A candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • Awareness of industry trends
  • Strategy and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to develop innovative solutions

An example answer to this question can look like this:

Example:

"Limiting our supplier network to local suppliers is definitely a more feasible and holistic strategy. There are several reasons for this. For instance, using out-of-the-way offshore suppliers becomes unfeasible during crises that shut down transportation options. Using local suppliers enables us to maintain supply during healthcare emergencies, reduce waste, create more local jobs, boost the local economy and cut environmental costs, so it's a far more holistic supply solution."

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