Today’s medical director’s job not what it used to be

Doctor and digital devices
Medical directors have a tough role to play in today's work environment.

Once upon a time, physicians may have taken on the job of medical director thinking it was an easy, cushy way to transition into retirement.

Those days are long gone, as medical directors have a tough role to play, according to Managed Care magazine. Today, medical directors may have to rein in competing egos, meet performance metrics, report data and worry about the bottom line, the report says.

There’s no one-size-fits-all job description, however. “Most medical directors are in clinical enterprises, involved with improving the delivery of patient care. But there are also medical directors in virtually all other sectors of healthcare,” Peter Angood, M.D., CEO of the American Association for Physician Leadership, told the publication.

If you are considering a job as a medical director, here are three tips:

Ask for fair compensation. You’ll earn your money, so ask for a fair salary. The median annual salary is $257,086 as of Aug. 29, 2016, based on survey data. But there’s a large range in salary depending on whether the job is part-time work performing administrative tasks for a medical group or clinic, or serving as chief medical officer or vice president of medical affairs in a large healthcare system.

Expect to lead the change to value-based and team-based care. “A case can be made that organizations making the shift from volume to value are looking for medical directors who can help lead them in that direction so they’ll be practicing what they preach,” Bob Collins, managing partner of physician recruitment company the Medicus Firm, told the publication.

Get ready to take on a different mindset. You will need to collaborate with others and reach a consensus rather than issue directives. “There are bigger issues, more people, more meetings and more committees where you’re just one voice,” said Collins.