Becoming a Clinical Director

Clinical Directors act as administrators of various research and health programs of a medical setting. They oversee clinical governance activities as well as patient care services. Their duties include supervising staff and patient progress, maintaining regulatory compliance within the facility, managing the training of staff members, administering budget and grant funding etc. In addition, they may have the responsibility to direct, organize, and evaluate various policies and services in the organization.

Clinical Directors are employed in variety of settings such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, behavioral health care facilities, rehabilitation facilities, research institutions. They often work full time. However, they may have to work in the night shifts and even during weekend.

Educational Requirements

To become a Clinical Director, the aspiring candidates need to earn a four-year bachelor’s degree in life science,  medical science, clinical administration or health care administrations from an accredited institution. However, most of the employers prefer candidates with master’s degree in clinical administration or any related areas along with some experience for this profession.

Clinical Directors study anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, patient care, medical ethics, coding and billing, office procedures, management and regulatory affairs etc.

Certification and Licensure

Since most states of USA require a Clinical Director to be licensed, the aspiring candidates need to earn a professional license such as Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) or Registered Nurse (RN). The candidates can obtain an exam based certification from by the American Medical Directors Association (AMDA).

Skill set               

Apart from the clinical knowledge, Clinical Director possess wide range of skills such as an understanding of clinical policies and various procedures, ability to establish and maintain cordial working relationship with patients and medical staff, competent in time management, leadership and conflict resolution skills, risk management abilities, effective communication and interpersonal skills, proficient in computer operation etc.

Job Outlook and Salary

The job outlook for a Clinical Director remains excellent across the USA. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise 22% during 2010-2020. The average annual salary of a Clinical Director was $98,460 in May 2012.