Chief Medical Officer Job Description

Chief medical officers supervise and lead medical staff and manage the day-to-day operations of healthcare facilities or field medical units. Private, government, and military hospitals and medical facilities hire chief medical officers, who are trained and licensed physicians, to work independently and ultimately report to a top executive or a board of directors. Chief medical officers typically work full-time hours, potentially during all shifts. They do not usually travel to perform their normal duties.


Chief Medical Officer Duties and Responsibilities

Daily duties performed by chief medical officers vary depending on the facility they manage, the number of physicians on staff, and the number of patients and illnesses being treated at the facility. However, these tasks are common despite those variables:

Supervise All Medical Staff

Chief medical officers supervise the entire medical staff, including physicians and surgeons, to ensure that proper procedures are being followed and that good medicine is being put into practice.

Develop Strategic Plans

Chief medical officers develop and implement strategies for all staff members to follow in order to meet both short- and long-term goals, including those regarding disease management, case management, and insurance policies.

Lead Medical Staff

Chief medical officers lead the entire medical staff and are ultimately responsible for everything that happens at their facility.

Host Meetings

Chief medical officers lead meetings to outline goals and strategies for staff to follow.

Review Data

Chief medical officers review facility data and perform staff evaluations.

Develop Administrative Policies

Chief medical officers develop administrative policies regarding patient filing systems, document management, and other essential clerical details.

Review Patient Complaints

Chief medical officers review patient complaints and concerns, look over patient surveys, and adjust policies as necessary.

Manage Budgets

Chief medical officers manage facility and staff budgets. They also write reports detailing important financial information.


Chief Medical Officer Skills and Qualifications

Chief medical officers are trained physicians who manage day-to-day treatment, administrative, and financial matters as leaders of medical facilities. Employers hire chief medical officers who have all the following skills:

  • Communication skills – chief medical officers use verbal communication skills to host meetings and present new strategies to medical staff
  • Leadership skills – chief medical officers lead and supervise medical staff, so employers look to fill this role with professionals who have strong leadership skills
  • Analytical thinking – chief medical officers use analytical skills to evaluate staff, assess policies, and create strategies
  • Physician experience – chief medical officers are licensed physicians with a strong understanding of medical procedures, equipment, and terminology
  • Financial management – chief medical officers manage budgets, which requires skill with math and finance


Chief Medical Officer Education and Training

Chief medical officers must be graduates of an approved medical school in order to qualify for this job. They must also have a current medical license for their state of employment. Many employers also require chief medical officers to have past clinical and leadership experience.

No training is provided to chief medical officers, who are already required to meet extensive education and experience requirements before being hired. They begin performing their normal work duties immediately.


Chief Medical Officer Salary and Outlook

PayScale data shows that chief medical officers earn $292,192 in median annual income. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that physicians and surgeons earn more than $208,000 annually. Chief medical officers are physicians who are also leaders, administrators, and medical strategists. The BLS expects employment in this field to rise 13 percent through 2026.

Chief medical officers receive extensive benefit packages that typically include vacation leave, paid holidays, and monetary bonuses for meeting certain business and healthcare goals. Complete healthcare packages with dental and vision insurance are typically included as well. Many chief medical officers receive additional perks that include free parking, free meals, and other incentives.


Helpful Resources

These helpful resources provide workplace strategies and essential tips for chief medical officers, along with news updates, job listings, educational tools, and medical research materials:

Association of American Medical Colleges – in addition to information about medical schools, this website has news updates, professional development resources, research data, and training webinars

Medical Office Management – this book is a complete guide to both patient care and business practices in medicine, essential information for every chief medical officer. Each chapter provides detailed information about policies, billing, legal issues, and everything it takes to manage a medical facility

American Association for Physician Leadership – search for jobs, find education information, browse news updates, and read medical journals and books at the AAPL website

ABC of Clinical Leadership – this book explains clinical leadership in detail, providing leadership and management techniques as well as case studies, tips, and useful strategies

National Health Council – visit this website for news updates, information about upcoming medical conferences, and other useful resources for medical professionals

Making Strategy Count in the Health and Human Services Sector: Lessons Learned from 20 Organizations and Chief Strategy Officers – learn how to apply critical strategies to healthcare management with this guide, which explains how to make data-driven decisions and successfully manage a healthcare organization


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