Internal medicine administrators come to their positions from a wide range of backgrounds. For some, it is their first experience working with physicians or in higher education. In addition to possessing core skills in financial and human resources management, administrators are expected to gain an in-depth understanding of the research, educational, clinical, and administrative missions of an academic internal medicine department.
Departments of internal medicine are commonly organized into administrative units that are overseen by the chair of medicine’s office. Divisions within the units are arranged by educational programs and subspecialty medicine topics (e.g., cardiology) and are managed separately. The scope of responsibilities managed at the department level and the roles held at the division level vary among institutions based on their school of medicine’s organizational structure and management arrangements with affiliated medical centers.
Departments of medicine are large, diverse, and dynamic. Academia is predicated on the testing of new theories, the development of cutting-edge practices, and creative implementation of practices in all mission areas. Administrators work with faculty, trainees, and staff to facilitate these professional aspirations in a fiscally responsible and compliant manner. Administrators new to a position or new to the field soon learn a new language (or languages) and are welcomed into this community of people in similar roles willing and able to help.