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A Chief Medical Officer’s Responsibilities

The chief medical officer (CMO) is responsible for making assured delivery of primary care services which are according to professional standards such as referral, treatment, examination and other related documentation.

A qualified CMO needs to have a medical degree and should be certified in their specialty by the board.  This officer needs to have an unrestricted license and should be able to practice medicine in the state where the assignment will be.  Most companies require this officer to have years of experience in executive management in the field of healthcare or its equivalent experience or education.

Ideally, a chief medical officer should be a medical professional, like a doctor who could be the highest ranking member of the attending personnel.  This position will have a very unique responsibility in any organization which has a structure with hierarchical ranking.  He or she will have total authority over a patient that is placed under his or her care, regardless of the patient’s rank, until fit for duty.

In addition to that, in the CMO’s professional judgment, a person in his or her assigned area who is deemed unfit can be removed from duty, even if that person is a superior officer, until that person is fit for duty.

The role of the chief medical officer dates back to the Victorian times, when the line started in the year 1855.  In the government sector, the CMO has a broad range of responsibilities.  Included is the preparation of plans and policies which will implement programs that could help protect the health of the general public.

A CMO could also be the one who promotes to take action on improving the general population’s health to further reduce inequalities in health conditions among the populace.  He or she could lead initiatives to enhance the safety, standards, and quality of clinical services.

This officer could also take charge in the preparation or review of policy for health care or health areas for those in the position at the government.  This can be in areas where there is a large concern for the public or controversy, where there’s a need to revamp the medical workforce, or in the emerging and new fields of medical science.

The role of the chief medical officer is very independent in the operations.  Over the course of corporate and state history, the holders of this post have been individuals of high integrity and professionalism.  Appointment of this position could take place after public advertisement and open competition among equally competent candidates.

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