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Becoming the Head of a Department

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by BlakeC93, 07.02.12.

  1. BlakeC93

    BlakeC93

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    How does one become the head of a department? What degrees are required? I would like to work as a General Surgeon in a hospital and work my way to the position of Head of Surgery. Would a Master's of Public Health in Health Administration and Policy and an M.D. be sufficient? I understand that it may require being employed by the hospital for several years to work my way through the ranks, but would the MPH in addition to my M.D. speed up the process? Thanks!
  2. xroc

    xroc

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    I assume that you probably have to excel at what you do and be very involved in your work (in addition to having the old head of department leave at the same time when your qualifications would make you a good candidate to be the new head of the department). All in all, I don't see why an MPH or any other degree would speed up the process, and from what I see, the heads of departments are usually people well into their 50s, 60s, etc., so I don't think it's something that as a pre-med you should ever worry about.
  3. RogueUnicorn

    RogueUnicorn rawr.

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    punch yourself in the face. also, are you this guy

    [​IMG]
  4. Verum

    Verum

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    If one has to ask how to become Chief of Surgery, chances are already against them.
    Last edited: 07.02.12
  5. sliceofbread136

    sliceofbread136

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    One does not merely become a chief of surgery
  6. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Moderator Gold Donor

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    Just realize that being chairmen doesn't necessarily (though it helps and isn't uncommon) mean that you are the best surgeon of the department. It tends to be a position for surgeons who are business/administratively inclined and often it is an older surgeon who isn't operating as vigorously as he used to. Like I said, none of this is necessarily true (look at Dr. Spetzler for example, the guy is an Übermensch), but I personally think that being chairman of a department, though a great honor and achievement, isn't necessarily the best outcome for all people interested in academic medicine.
  7. L1BS

    L1BS

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    So how does one become Surgeon General of the US?? :p

    OP get an MPH only if you're interested in getting one, not because you think it will make you Chief of Surgery. Its great that you have such high goals already but really; that is like decades down the road. First things first, finish undergrad if you haven't yet and get into medical school!
  8. RogueUnicorn

    RogueUnicorn rawr.

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    what the serious responses. i blame you mmmmmmmmcdowe
  9. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Moderator Gold Donor

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    Dude, shouldn't you be at Bronycon right now :D
  10. RogueUnicorn

    RogueUnicorn rawr.

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    dawg cons are for mainstream pansies, i'm rogue yo
  11. gettheleadout

    gettheleadout barefoot jackrabbit Moderator

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    Now reaching full professor on the other hand...
  12. Verum

    Verum

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    Which is higher, chief of surgery or Director of neurological surgery? i assume chief of surgery is general surgery and has no jurisdiction over neuro but i could be wrong. Can someone post a graphic showing the heiarchy of the average academic teaching hospital (mgh, brigham, hopkins) with all staff and positions. I want to know who to kiss up too :p
  13. L1BS

    L1BS

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    Ok sounds easy enough, I'll get on that. If Hoda or Kathy Lee ever leave the 4hr of the Today show, they know who to call! Also, I wonder if writing my first book before getting into med school would put me at an advantage. I'll call it The Trials and Tribulations of Organic Chemistry and MCAT Woes, definitely see NYT bestseller potential there. Didn't Sanjay Gupta go to Michigan? I went to a different Big 10 school for undergrad so going to UM would be out based on principle...
  14. oldbearprofessor

    oldbearprofessor Camp Kesem Advisor Bear Administrator SDN Senior Moderator SDN Advisor

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    Means that there is nothing left for you to reach for academically. So, for the last 11 years I've been sitting in my office, plotting my strategy on Diablo and reading SDN. It's a life.:p
  15. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Moderator Gold Donor

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    Got any spare SOJs?
  16. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Moderator Gold Donor

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    It depends on the hospital. If there is a department of sugrgery but all the subspecialties are part of that department (e.g. divisions), then theoretically the chairman/chief is higher than all directors of each sub specialty. However, many academic institutions have separate departments for each surgical field, so in that case there would be a chairman for both general surgery and for neurosurgery.

    The other two important people for medical students (beyond mentorships, advisors, LORs, research, etc) are the program director and the course director. They may be the same person, but ultimately the program director is the big cheese when it comes to residents and to residency applications and the course director is responsible for your medical school evaluation for that rotation. This is further complicated by the fact that the chairman often has some say as well and is often the one who puts his/her name on your letter of recommendation for residency.
  17. NewYorker9

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    :thumbup:
  18. cloverpie

    cloverpie Junior Member

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    Uh, aren't these academic appointments? Doesn't that also mean that there are many other factors you can't control for, like politics, the hierarchy at your given institution, whether or not they prefer internal or external candidates for the position, how long you've been there, etc.?
  19. Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme Lifetime Donor

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    I work very closely with the head of the trauma department, and he has just an MD in terms of degrees. You just have to be good at what you do and amicable with your co-workers. There's also a little thing called politics involved.
  20. cloverpie

    cloverpie Junior Member

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    One bit of general career advice from my very successful old boss: "Never skip the department Christmas party."
  21. Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme Lifetime Donor

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    :thumbup:

    It's not all about the free food.
  22. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers SDN Advisor

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    Being a department chair means being "in charge" (and often delegating) issues around the department budget, space allocations for administrative offices, faculty searches, faculty evaluations, department politics (everything from parking lot assignments to scheduling of vacations), research productivity, mentoring, residency accreditation, etc, etc. It means many meetings and little or no time for one's own patients and one's own research (unless you are vigilant at protecting your research time as one chair I knew was). Be careful what you wish for ... it might not be what you expect.
  23. cloverpie

    cloverpie Junior Member

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    This is true. It's really great in that you can help shape the priorities of a department or institution but the amount of paperwork and politicking involved makes it the sort of job that most sane people back away from later in their careers. Not to mention that it's even harder at hospitals because you're dealign with issues of patient care, reimbursement and the like.
  24. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers SDN Advisor

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    It depends on the job. Some department chair jobs will be filled from within because there is a very strong candidate waiting in the wings. In other cases, the position will be advertised widely and strong candidates will be invited to interview.

    A strong candidate generally has an appetite for teaching and mentoring, research (with funding), and an excellent reputation in patient care. In addition, an interest in being involved in administrative issues (which can include meetings, and more meetings) is desirable. Department chairs usually come up through the ranks of division chiefs (each surgical & medical & gyn subspecialty has its own chief) or have the rank of Professor of ___ before being appointed chairman.
  25. cloverpie

    cloverpie Junior Member

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    I think Docbert was speaking generally but you're right about department chairs.
  26. wanderedtoolong

    wanderedtoolong

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    This is hilarious. Thanks for giving me a good laugh.
  27. cloverpie

    cloverpie Junior Member

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    lol, amazing how this discussion would be considered ludicrous anywhere except for SDN.
  28. alexrgross

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    I think it is mostly based on excellence in your field of expertise, and also the standard of excellence at the institution where the department is located. Of course it partly involves everything explained above too.

    Avoid over interpreting this, but look through the top institutions in the US, and then look up the clinical directors and chairs rankings on US News, and note how many are identified in the top 1% of their field.
  29. Bro Dude

    Bro Dude Subaquatic Creel Engineer

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  30. 235788

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    My guess is that 93 = you were born in 93'.

    You have some time
  31. kpcrew

    kpcrew Removed

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  32. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Moderator Gold Donor

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  33. gettheleadout

    gettheleadout barefoot jackrabbit Moderator

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    I take it this is an invitation?


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  34. tima

    tima

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    A MD/MBA can make you a competitive applicant.

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