Medical Administrator

Office and Administration

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The term “medical administration” is a broad one. Doctors in the medical administration specialty can be engaged in a wide variety of roles, not just in hospitals, but in a range of organisations, such as education, pharmaceutical
or technology companies; or government departments such as health, defence, immigration and corrections where they run health services and advise on health policy and strategy. But the “top rung” in this speciality is a position as Executive Medical Director or Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in a large, metropolitan teaching hospital, health service or private hospital.

Medical Administrators coordinate medical programs and clinical services in a hospital or health service. They manage the day to day business of health services for communities, oversee budgets, and manage capital investments such as buildings and biomedical technologies. Future Growth Very StrongAs well as managing the day-to-day business of health services for communities, medical administrators oversee multimillion-dollar budgets, manage clinical workforces, oversee clinical support services, and manage capital investments such as buildings and biomedical technologies. They must regularly liaise with multiple stakeholders including hospital boards, health departments and ministers. A major part of their role is in dealing with medicolegal and performance issues relating to clinical services and medical staff.

Medical administrators regularly liaise with stakeholders including hospital boards, health departments and ministers to ensure that health services meet the needs of the public. They promote and manage the effective and efficient delivery of medical and clinical patient services. 

Medical administrators plan, direct and coordinate health and administrative services provided by hospitals, community health services, aged-care facilities, private healthcare facilities and other health service organisations.


ANZSCO ID & description: 134211: Plans, organises, directs, controls and coordinates medical programs and clinical services in a hospital or other health service facility, maintains standards of medical care, provides leadership to ensure an appropriately skilled medical workforce, and contributes to health service planning.

Alternative names: Medical Manager, Executive Medical Director, Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Director of Medical Services, Director of Clinical Services


Knowledge, skills and attributes

Good communication and collaboration skills are essential to the role, and not just with medical colleagues but with nursing staff, the hospital CEO, the finance manager, and others in the health care team. Maturity, flexibility, and good problem-solving and people skills are essential to the role. Most senior medical administrators are medically trained and have management training. Directors of medical services in metropolitan hospitals are usually doctors, although they don’t always have management qualifications. A clinical background adds credibility to the person and the role and makes consultation with the medical workforce smoother. Issues relating to medical procedures and treatments are easier to address because they’re familiar to someone with medical training. Medical administrators are often former specialist doctors seeking a new challenge.

Formal medical specialty training isn’t always a prerequisite for a career in the field. Some people get there after gaining experiences in various management roles such as head of department. Others get there after gaining
postgraduate qualifi cations in health management or public health. But the most respected qualifications are those in medical administration offered through the RACMA, the College recognised by the Australian Medical Council to offer specialist fellowship in medical administration.

A medical administrator needs:

  • advanced knowledge and experience in medicine, or medical administration

  • excellent communication and interpersonal skills

  • good organisational and time management skills

  • good analytical and problem solving skills

  • a high level of business and management skills

  • effective leadership and motivational ability.

 

Medical Administrator

 

Duties and Tasks

  • providing overall direction and management for the service, facility, organisation or centre
  • developing, implementing and monitoring procedures, policies and standards for medical, nursing, allied health and administrative staff
  • coordinating and administering health and welfare programs and clinical services
  • monitoring and evaluating resources devoted to health, welfare, recreation, housing, employment, training and other community facilities and centres
  • controlling administrative operations such as budget planning, report preparation, expenditure on supplies, equipment and services
  • liaising with other health and welfare providers, boards and funding bodies to discuss areas of health and welfare service cooperation and coordination
  • advising government bodies about measures to improve health and welfare services and facilities
  • representing the organisation in negotiations, and at conventions, seminars, public hearings and forums
  • controlling selection, training and supervision of staff

Working conditions

Medical administrators usually work indoors in an office. They work for private or public hospitals, or community metropolitan or regional health services throughout the State. They may be required to be on-call in case of an emergency in the health service.

Medical administrators often liaise with government departments, organisations and medical services to ensure the smooth running of the health care facility.

Tools and technologies

Medical administrators regularly use computers to coordinate administrative duties such as record keeping, health service planning, reporting and budgeting. They may also consult and reference government and health legislation policies. Medical administrators may require a driver’s licence to visit locations within the health service.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a medical administrator, you must first become a qualified medical doctor and then specialise in medical administration.

On completion of the postgraduate medical degree, you must work in the public hospital system for two years (internship and residency). To then specialise in medical administration, doctors can apply to the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA) after three years of clinical experience to undertake further training and ultimately receive fellowship.

To become a hospital administrator you usually have to complete a degree in health management at university. You may also consider a degree in business with a health-related major.

Entrants into the RACMA’s fellowship training must have an MB BS degree (or equivalent) and a minimum of 3 years of medical practice experience. They must also complete a master’s degree (which may be in public health or health services management or, increasingly, an MBA) during training. Fellowship training consists of 3 years full-time training, culminating in an oral examination. Advanced candidates with 5 or more years of experience in medical management and another fellowship may do it in less, under the College’s Accelerated Pathway to Fellowship program.

Those who don’t wish to do the full fellowship training may become an Associate Fellow, after successfully completing a 9-month part time course of workshops and tutorials.

Employment Opportunities

Employment prospects generally are excellent. There is a widespread shortage of medical administrators, with demand particularly high in rural hospitals. Many doctors who do the College’s training programs are already employed as medical managers and are undertaking the training to acquire the formal qualification. If not, they usually have a substantive job by the time they finish training.


Did You Know?


In 2015–16, there were 701 public hospitals in Australia accounting for about two-thirds (61,000) of all hospital beds. There were 630 private hospitals with 33,100 hospital beds.

 Total recurrent expenditure on public hospital services was about $64 billion. About 57% of this was for admitted patient care, 18% for outpatient care, 10% for emergency care services, 2% for teaching, training and research and 13% for all other services.

(Source: Australian Government: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: Hospital Resources 2015 - 16: Australian Hospital Statistics)

Statistics
(Source: The Australian)

Medical Administrator

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Judge

Personal Assistant

Corporate Trainer

Lawyer

Marketing Officer

Management Consultant

Officer Administrator

Interpreter

Private Investigator

Security Consultant

Receptionist

Sports Administrator

Call Centre Operator

Marketing Research Analyst

Hospital Administrator

Medical Administrator

Nurse Manager

Sports Centre Manager

Steward of Racing

Bookmaker

Child Care Centre Manager