Clinical Director Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Clinical Director, or Medical Director, is responsible for leading a team of medical professionals to administer excellent patient care to those with either physical disabilities, illnesses or behavioral conditions. Their duties include hiring medical professionals depending on their facility’s needs, managing budgets for medical supplies and equipment and ensuring that their facility adheres to healthcare laws and regulations.

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Clinical Director Duties and Responsibilities

A proficient Clinical Director should be able to perform various duties and responsibilities. Although a Clinical Director’s daily tasks may vary depending on the type of healthcare facility they work for, their main duty and responsibility is to manage and organize all activities in a clinical department. The following are other duties and responsibilities that a Clinical Director should be able to execute:

  • Design and implement business strategies to assist the clinic to realize business goals
  • Oversee the department’s compliance with legal policies, guidelines and standards
  • Ensure departments have sufficient and qualified personnel
  • Organize and run all patient care or administrative operations and programs
  • Ensure all medical records and other hospital documentation are current and within state and federal laws
  • Perform quarterly and annual employee reviews and provide feedback on their performance to help motivate their dedication to professional goals
  • Plan and manage the clinic’s budget and approve payroll
  • Act as a connection between patients, their families and additional care staff

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What Does a Clinical Director Do?

Clinical Directors typically work for healthcare facilities like hospitals in specific departments or health clinics and behavioral clinics to oversee operations and ensure that their facility has the best procedures to care for their patients. They work closely with upper-management and facility employees to coordinate operations in a way that supports business goals and patient needs. Their job is to implement work policies for Physicians, Nurses, Office Managers and Front Desk Assistants. They may also interact directly with patients to answer questions and assist them in scheduling appointments.

Clinical Director Skills and Qualifications

A successful Clinical Director will have certain skills and qualifications. Including this category in your job description helps you acquire a capable Clinical Director. Since Clinical Directors set the tone for the work culture of everyone working under the clinical department, it is important that they have the following skills and qualifications:

  • Excellent analytical skills and the ability to exercise sound judgment when making decisions 
  • Strong leadership and management skills
  • Great communication and interpersonal skills when dealing with clinical staff and patients
  • Problem solving skills when resolving administrative issues and conflicts
  • Detailed knowledge of policies and regulations in the clinical field
  • Ability to delegate and supervise tasks as required
  • Good understanding of budget and resources planning budgeting in addition to evaluation procedures and methods
  • Hands-on skills in dealing with hospital computer systems such as EMR

Clinical Director Salary Expectations

The national average salary for a Clinical Director is $82, 179 per year. The salary may vary depending on geography and the type of company. Ensure you confirm with employers from your company category and location when coming up with a fair compensation for your Clinical Director.

Clinical Director Education and Training Requirements

Having the education and training requirements section in your job descriptions is a definite way to get knowledgeable and trained Clinical Directors. The educational requirements for a Clinical Director may vary depending on an employer. A considerable number of health facilities prefer Clinical Directors with a master’s degree. However, the entry-level requirement is a bachelor’s degree in medical science, clinical administration, healthcare administration and related fields. A Clinical Director should also have sufficient training in clinical standards and regulations.

Clinical Director Experience Requirements

A Clinical Director with a good experience is an added advantage to your company. Experience proves that an individual has the ability to perform at the job. A Clinical Director should have previous experience working in a clinical or healthcare facility. They should also have experience handling patients, their families and other caregivers. A Clinical Director should have experience dealing with healthcare computer systems like EMR. Experience in clinical supervision and program management is also beneficial.

Job Description Samples for Similar Positions

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Frequently asked questions about Clinical Directors


What is the difference between a Clinical Director and a Clinical Supervisor?

The difference between a Clinical Director and a Clinical Supervisor is that Clinical Directors oversee budgets, policy implementation and other administrative tasks relating to a wide range of healthcare facilities. In contrast, Clinical Supervisors typically work for rehabilitation or behavioral health clinics to oversee the career development of Psychologists, Therapists, Psychiatrists and Social Workers. They also assign mental health professionals with particular patient assignments and check-in with them to answer questions and provide guidance. 

Further, Clinical Directors typically have a degree in healthcare administration, whereas Clinical Supervisors have a degree in psychology and additional licensure to work as Counselors, Therapists or Clinical Psychologists.


What are the daily duties of a Clinical Director?

On an average day, Clinical Directors start by checking their email or voicemail and replying to time-sensitive messages from upper-management or facility employees. They review financial statements and look for ways to rework their budget to purchase necessary supplies or equipment. Throughout the day, Clinical Directors interact with Doctors, Nurses and front desk personnel to answer questions and help where they can if staff members called out sick. During downtime in their office, they create memos and other documents to help healthcare professionals understand new policies to implement in their daily practices.

Before closing, Clinical Directors might hold a staff meeting to discuss the events of the day and relay information from upper-management.


What qualities make a good Clinical Director?

A good Clinical Director is someone who combines their leadership capabilities with their compassion for others to ensure that patients receive quality treatment at their facility. They understand the importance of budgeting and ensure that they always have enough money in their budget for emergency equipment repairs or replacements. Although they don’t necessarily need experience working as a Doctor, Nurse or other healthcare professionals, they should have a general knowledge of these roles and the types of supplies or equipment they need to do their jobs well. 

Clinical Directors also strive to make continuous improvements to facility operations by researching software programs or new medical equipment to incorporate into their facility.


Who does a Clinical Director report to?

A Clinical Director typically reports to the Chief Clinical Executive or Chief Medical Executive who works at the corporate level for a healthcare organization. These individuals inform the Clinical Director of policies and other practices to implement at their facility. For Clinical Directors leading a department in a hospital, they typically report to the Hospital Manager.

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