Summary of occupation
Medical administrators coordinate medical programs and clinical services in a hospital or health service. They manage the day to day business of health services for communities, oversee budgets, and manage capital investments such as buildings and biomedical technologies.
Medical administrators regularly liaise with stakeholders including hospital boards, health departments and ministers to ensure that health services meet the needs of the public. They promote and manage the effective and efficient delivery of medical and clinical patient services.
Plans, organises, directs, controls and coordinates medical programs and clinical services in a hospital or other health service facility, maintains standards of medical care, provides leadership to ensure an appropriately skilled medical workforce, and contributes to health service planning.
A medical administrator needs:
- advanced knowledge and experience in medicine, or medical administration
- excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- good organisational and time management skills
- good analytical and problem solving skills
- a high level of business and management skills
- effective leadership and motivational ability.
Medical administrators usually work indoors in an office. They work for private or public hospitals, or community metropolitan or regional health services throughout the State. They may be required to be on-call in case of an emergency in the health service.
Medical administrators often liaise with government departments, organisations and medical services to ensure the smooth running of the health care facility.
On average, medical administrators can expect to earn between $3 419 and $5 051 per week ($177 775 and $262 656 per year), depending on the type of organisation they work for, and their level of experience.
Medical administrators regularly use computers to coordinate administrative duties such as record keeping, health service planning, reporting and budgeting. They may also consult and reference government and health legislation policies. Medical administrators may require a driver’s licence to visit locations within the health service.
To become a medical administrator, you must first become a qualified medical doctor and then specialise in medical administration.
In Western Australia, postgraduate courses in medicine are currently offered by the University of Notre Dame and the University of Western Australia. These degrees usually take four years to complete. Entry requirements include completion of a bachelor degree in any discipline. You must also sit the Graduate Australian Medical Schools Admissions Test (GAMSAT) and attend an interview at your chosen institution. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
On completion of the postgraduate medical degree, you must work in the public hospital system for two years (internship and residency). To then specialise in medical administration, doctors can apply to the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA) after three years of clinical experience to undertake further training and ultimately receive fellowship.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
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If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.