A medical administrator is a non-clinical role such as a Chief Medical Officer, Director of Medical Services, Chief Executive of a hospital, Consultant to a government or private sector health service, etc. The role could involve responsibilities such as managing medical programs and clinical services in hospitals or other health care facilities, contributing to health service planning and workforce planning, providing leadership to ensure an appropriately skilled workforce and working closely with your clinicians to improve patient safety, care pathways, and even mediate between units.
Medical administrators provide the bridge between clinicians and management. They provide leadership for programs using their medical knowledge and practical knowledge of clinical work, together with their medical management and leadership skills and knowledge.
Fellows of the college may also work in other areas such as policy, pharmaceutical companies, digital health, private not for profit companies, aged care leadership roles and insurance companies, just to name a few.
FULL PANEL RECORDING
To be a good medical administrator you need:
- Effective time management
- Ability to manage multiple projects at the same time
- To be comfortable working to deadlines
- To be comfortable dealing with organisation-wide risks, as your decisions may affect many people
- Good networking and stakeholder management skills to build connections with those around you
- Awareness of occupational concerns facing the medical profession
- Interest in the bigger picture view of health
Medical administration is a non-clinical role that commonly includes working in an office, working in a team, meetings, involvement in drafting and implementing organisational procedures and leading and rolling out projects, such as electronic medical records transition.
Although there is no clinical after hours or shiftwork, your role may expect you to cover some on call requirements, but generally the roles fit into office hours.
You will get the opportunity to work at the forefront of big complex health system problems and you get this exposure as a registrar too. The role provides you with exposure to understand the broader health environment including politics, economics, ethics, social change and so much more.
What are some enjoyable aspects of medical administration?
Training to become a medical administrator is facilitated through the Royal Australian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA). Further information about the training program can be found here.
The training program is a three-year program with one standard pathway through the College. If you have completed a masters or have any previous experience in management, you can apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).
The College stipulates you need at least three years of postgraduate clinical experience to get onto the program. It’s very valuable to have practiced as a clinical registrar where you will provide some leadership to interns and residents. This allows you to test your management skills and know if you have what it takes to be a medical leader where you can make a change not just for one patient but an entire population.
Each trainee can expect a different experience throughout their training as the College offers a really customisable training program based on individual needs and interests and where you want to eventually work as a medical leader. For example, you could complete your training in a health department, public system, private system and community and another trainee could work in a tertiary hospital along with a secondary hospital.
The College prescribes a list of masters that are accredited for the training program and these are published on the college website. There is some choice you can have here, for example, an MBA would be useful if you want to manage your own consulting business at some point in the future.
There are options to do dual training. Many people work part-time, or you work full-time completing your medical administration and then add further years on to complete a different specialty training. As long as both colleges can work collaboratively it’s possible to do dual training for example physician, paediatrics or general practitioner pathways. You do have double the responsibilities and it may require double the time to complete both the fellowships.
Here in WA they like to have a one-on-one discussion with potential trainees to provide them with some career advice as to what sort of masters they’d like to complete and also encourage you to speak with the national college prior to enrolling in a master’s program.
Overview of medical administration training program
How to best prepare myself for applying to RACMA?
Can you do dual training as a Medical Administrator?
Can you still work clinically as a medical administrator?
Which PGY year is best to apply for the training program?
What don't you enjoy about being a medical administrator?
What masters should I consider for medical administration?
N.B. Career prospects are dependent on both the supply of specialists and the projected future demand for services provided by medical specialists (including general practitioners). The complex interplay of supply and demand is currently being modelled at both a state and national level and will be included when it's available.