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Job Description and Average Salary of a Chief Medical Officer

Job Description and Average Salary of a Chief Medical Officer

A chief medical officer is a physician, but he takes care of the hospital administration. This CareerStint article gives the job description and average salary of a chief medical officer.
CareerStint Staff
"Today's chief medical officer needs to have professional experience gathered from different players in the drug development industry, since he needs to understand the objectives of the key players in the field."
Marc Salzberg, CEO, Pharma Brains

The field of medicine offers a wide variety of career paths. You can opt to be a physician, pediatrician, gynecologist, neurologist, cardiologist, skin specialist, surgeon, nurse, etc. But aiming to be a chief medical officer is not something many aspire for. In fact, many of the laymen misunderstand the role of a chief medical officer - they are unable to fathom whether the post is that of a doctor or an officer. Well, it is a combination of both. Confused? Do not fret, just read the paragraphs below that explain the job duties of a chief medical officer.
Job Profile
  • In a nutshell, a CMO manages the administrative duties of the hospital.
  • He needs to hold meetings with department heads and other executives to improve the hospital management system.
  • He has to keep in touch with medical institutions and help plan promotions and advertising techniques.
  • He has to communicate with committees and approve management programs.
  • He has to confer with other board members, trustee members, and decide on how the hospital services can be enhanced.
  • He has to maintain URAC standards for health management.
  • Recruiting staff, overseeing their training process, assigning job duties, and even firing incompetent staff are his responsibilities.
  • He must lead projects and build lasting relationships with the FDA.
  • He must provide performance review and ensure efficient service utilization.
  • He must make a note of patients' complaints and brainstorm ideas to improve service.
  • He has to take care of the market research, customer service, advertising gimmicks, information technology, etc.
  • He has to provide clinical guidance and support.
  • He has to set new goals and objectives for the organization and decide on suitable business strategies to achieve the same.
  • He has to define new business models for quality improvement and accreditation.
  • He needs to keep abreast of the latest innovations and research in the field. He also needs to participate in clinical development seminars.
  • As a leader, he has to motivate his juniors for quality project implementation.
  • He does not provide direct medical care to patients; yet, he needs to be knowledgeable about all the procedures conducted.
  • He has to approve marketing budgets to implement goals. He has to take care of vendor contracts and expenditures.
  • CMOs are responsible for market research and customer service.
  • He has to collaborate with health delivery systems and formulate clinical integration programs.
  • He has to ensure patient safety and cost-effective patient care.
  • He has to research on and implement infection prevention strategies.
  • CMOs need to monitor clinical enhancing strategies and foster expertise on all the issues pertaining to patient and staff satisfaction.
Requirements
  • A chief medical officer needs brilliant organizational and leadership skills.
  • This is because he is technically in charge of running the hospital - just like running a company; except that he has to assign life and death (literally) responsibilities to medical professionals, similar to how a team leader assigns official duties to his staff.
  • To become a CMO, you will need to first complete medical school. The fact that it is an executive position doesn't matter.
  • After graduation, you will need to complete your residency and work for a few years. It would be preferable to join a hospital as a general practitioner.
  • After a few years of experience, you can apply for and take the medical board exam to become a qualified, licensed CMO.
Salary
  • The salary range of chief medical officers is USD 85,000 to more than USD 250,000.
  • Unlike other fields, years of experience do not lead to a very significant change in the salary of a CMO.
  • The average annual state-wise salary is given below.
Alabama USD 99,000
Alaska USD 72,000
Arizona USD 80,000
Arkansas USD 99,000
California USD 104,000
Colorado USD 86,000
Connecticut USD 112,000
Delaware USD 85,000
Florida USD 91,000
Georgia USD 111,000
Hawaii USD 60,000
Idaho USD 64,000
Illinois USD 111,000
Indiana USD 93,000
Iowa USD 95,000
Kansas USD 89,000
Kentucky USD 84,000
Louisiana USD 87,000
Maine USD 86,000
Maryland USD 100,000
Massachusetts USD 117,000
Michigan USD 98,000
Minnesota USD 85,000
Mississippi USD 102,000
Missouri USD 96,000
Montana USD 81,000
Nebraska USD 71,000
Nevada USD 74,000
New Hampshire USD 96,000
New Jersey USD 105,000
New Mexico USD 85,000
New York USD 118,000
North Carolina USD 93,000
North Dakota USD 86,000
Ohio USD 93,000
Oklahoma USD 90,000
Oregon USD 94,000
Pennsylvania USD 94,000
Rhode Island USD 89,000
South Carolina USD 96,000
South Dakota USD 73,000
Tennessee USD 90,000
Texas USD 94,000
Utah USD 76,000
Vermont USD 86,000
Virginia USD 98,000
Washington USD 101,000
West Virginia USD 92,000
Wisconsin USD 87,000
Wyoming USD 80,000
Source: Indeed.com as of February 6, 2015. Figures are in US Dollars.
Work Environment
  • The BLS predicts that the number of positions available for CMO will be on a considerable rise.
  • The work is certainly hectic of course, but it encompasses the terminology of the medical profession and the excitement of business. If you are a person who loves dabbling with both these diverse arenas, the job of a CMO is perfect for you.
  • Though you might have regular working hours, you will need to be alert all the time. Not because you are on emergency call, but because any malpractice or medical error or any other problem in the hospital will reflect on your record. If you are called by your chief surgeon at 2:00 a.m. in the morning to fire an incompetent nurse, you will need to be in your senses to hear him out and take a fair decision the next day.
You have to be prepared for an avalanche of responsibilities in this profession. Of course, every designation has ts own share of duties; yet, as a CMO, you have the double responsibility of ensuring perfect healthcare as well as efficient administration. It is akin to juggling two different jobs, and requires you to be extremely proficient in your work.