Medical Director Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: August 22, 2022

A Medical Director, or Clinical Medical Director, is responsible for overseeing daily operations of a healthcare facility. Their duties include reviewing healthcare laws and regulations to implement in daily practices, monitoring facility or department budgets and developing strategies to improve communication between medical professionals and patients.

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Medical Director duties and responsibilities

Medical Directors oversee the operation and success of medical services, hospital departments, clinical training services and blood banks. Some of their typical daily duties include:

  • Managing the healthcare organization’s budget
  • Assisting in the training and promotion of the medical staff
  • Ensuring that the medical staff and facility comply with the federal rules, regulations and codes
  • Enhancing cooperation between Nurses, Physicians and relevant medical departments
  • Fostering healthy relationships with suppliers as a way of keeping the hospital stocked
  • Evaluating the coordination of the medical team to ensure the success of the institution
  • Ensuring that licenses are up to date, thus preventing the prosecution or termination of the hospital’s services to the public
  • Evaluating and diffusing any tension that arises in medical units
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What does a Medical Director do?

Medical Directors typically work for hospital departments, healthcare clinics, rehabilitation facilities or care homes to ensure that patients receive the best care possible. They work closely with medical professionals to identify recurring health trends and determine new equipment or treatment methods to include at their facility. Their job is to maintain business relationships with medical suppliers or vendors to coordinate supply shipments as needed. They may also be responsible for hiring Physicians, Nurses and administrative staff to accommodate changes in employment needs.

Medical Director skills and qualifications

In order to effectively handle their work responsibilities and promote the growth of a healthcare organization, Medical Directors need the following skills:

  • Excellent management skills
  • Adept computer skills
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Impeccable presentation skills as a way of enhancing the success of the facility
  • Interpersonal and conflict-resolution skills
  • A profound understanding of mathematics, biology and anatomy
  • Ability to manage the healthcare facility’s budget

Medical Director salary expectations

The average salary for a Medical Director is $233,775 per year. This amount may vary depending on a candidate’s geographical location and expertise in the industry.

Medical Director education and training requirements

The educational requirements of a Medical Director may vary between employers, but they are typically required to be licensed Doctors with an M.D. or D.O. degree. Some employers may choose to hire individuals with a master’s degree instead, however. Candidates should also have medical training, such as by completing an internship and residency program after medical school, and they should have board certification and a license to work in a medical setting. Organizations may also prefer applicants who have other certifications, like the Certified Medical Director (CMD) offered by the American Board of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.

Medical Director experience requirements

Medical Directors should have experience working in previous healthcare organizations. Employers typically look for candidates who have worked as Doctors for many years beforehand, often for at least 10 years. Medical Directors who have gained experience teaching or managing others also make strong candidates, as do those who have previous experience working in an administrative role using computers and handling electronic medical records.

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Frequently asked questions about Medical Directors


What is the difference between a Medical Directors and a Medical Supervisor?

The difference between a Medical Director and a Medical Supervisor lies in seniority and the scope of their job responsibilities. Medical Directors oversee the entire operations within a healthcare facility, including budgets, health law compliance, employee performance and patient needs. In contrast, Medical Supervisors work under Medical Directors and assist them in completing specific tasks. This includes hiring and training administrative staff within the facility and conducting performance reviews on the Director’s behalf. Medical Supervisors may also assume the Director’s role when the Medical Director is out sick or on vacation.


What are the daily duties of a Medical Directors?

On a typical day, a Medical Officer starts by checking their email and voicemail to respond to time-sensitive messages from healthcare professionals, facility staff or medical suppliers. They hold staff meetings prior to the start of business hours to communicate policy or procedural changes to Physicians, Nurses and administrative staff. Throughout the day, Medical Directors divide their time between administrative tasks in their office and engaging with patients and facility employees. They schedule maintenance repairs for medical equipment and order supplies like vaccinations, sanitary paper, medical gloves or masks.


What qualities make a good Medical Director?

A good Medical Director uses their experience as a Physician to ensure a patient’s positive experience at their facility. They have a natural ability to lead, which allows them to oversee a team of Doctors, Nurses and other medical professionals. Further, a good Medical Director has excellent interpersonal communication that enables them to adjust their communication when speaking with medical professionals, patients and suppliers. A good Medical Director also looks for new medical equipment or software to advance their facility’s operations.


Who does a Medical Director report to?

A Medical Director typically reports to a member of upper management in a healthcare organization like the Chief Medical Officer. Medical Directors may also report directly to the local health board. These professionals act as a point of communication for Medical Directors regarding organizational policies and budgeting needs. 

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