You have completed your training, signed a contract, become credentialed, licensed, and joined the workforce. Congratulations on making it this far! Beyond patient care, there are more things you can do to diversify your experience and utilize your abilities to their fullest potential. You may want to consider using your leadership skills to make a larger impact on patient care by becoming a Medical Director. Medical Directorships are often available for nephrologists who have been in practice at least one year. Although the following information is based upon experiences from DaVita’s Medical Directors, the role of a Medical Director in nephrology is consistent with non-DaVita practices as well. The following are just a few of the expectations of a Medical Director.
- Be a Leader in Kidney Care – As the clinical leader of the facility, the Medical Director is responsible for ensuring the quality and safety of care given to all facility patients, by all those who provide care, including physicians. The role is challenging, demanding and complex. A Medical Directorship, coupled with training and support, is an ideal setting for developing the personal and professional skills, beliefs and behaviors needed as a physician leader. Medical Directors are compensated for their leadership at fair market value.
- Lead Quality and Safety – Medical Directors lead quality activities at the facility through quality assessment and performance improvement policies, as well as through the oversight of key interdisciplinary patient care processes. Medical Directors motivate and inspire interdisciplinary teams to achieve continuous improvement through the implementation of a wide range of quality and safety activities. Audits to assure adherence to policies and procedures; review of training, education and competency of team members; approval of updates to policy and procedure; assuring compliance with appropriate laws and regulations; maintaining a safe working environment for caregivers; and monitoring water treatment and dialysate preparation are all critical facets of quality and safety that require medical director oversight.
- Inspire What Matters Most – Inspiration and motivation are key elements in effective team leadership. Medical Directors inspire and motivate by connecting members of the interdisciplinary team to the shared challenge of providing trusted and compassionate care to every patient, every day, in a high-risk environment. Helping the team learn and practice what matters most to each patient, and to each physician, is one of the most rewarding roles of a Medical Director.
If you have specific questions about Medical Directorships, please feel free to contact the SOURCE team via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.