The best way to learn firsthand about clinic managers' work is through an internship or part-time job at a clinic. Volunteering is also possible and will give you the opportunity to experience the clinic environment, observing the interactions between staff and patients, and determining if this type of work is a good fit for you. Your school's career services office can help you with locating clinics that offer opportunities for students. You can also conduct your own online search for clinics in your area and look for job and volunteer opportunities on their Web sites. Use the key words "health clinics" and add your city and state to find listings in your region. Another way to explore the clinic manager field is by visiting the Web sites of professional associations, reading the news sections and publications, as well as other sections to keep up with industry topics. Becoming an association member provides you with access to member events and committee meetings as well as other resources. Groups such as the American College of Healthcare Executives (https://www.ache.org) and the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (https://www.aaham.org) offer discounted membership rates for students.
Clinic managers are responsible for making sure that healthcare facilities run smoothly. The clinics they work for may be small or mid-sized, and they may be primary care medical facilities or specialized in urgent care, oncology, mental health, outpatient surgical procedures, or other areas. Patients without health insurance may have access to clinics that offer free and low-cost medical services. Some clinics take walk-ins while others require appointments. Clinic managers are top-level administrators who oversee everything from staffing and patient care to financing and policymaking.
The job of clinic manager entails many various duties, which must be maintained to ensure the efficient and effective running of the clinic. At the top of the list is overseeing the operation and coordination of services for patient care. Clinic managers work closely with the clinic's physicians and medical staff, evaluating the efficiency and quality of patient care and ensuring care services are safe and in compliance with industry standards and regulations. They evaluate the clinic's care services to identify the areas where improvement can be made. Clinic managers aim to improve the effectiveness and quality of the clinic's services to boost patients' satisfaction and also increase the staff's satisfaction in their work. Clinic managers also develop and revise, as needed, the clinic's procedures and policies.
Other major responsibilities for clinic managers include human resources management, resource management, and facility management. They direct and evaluate the clinic's staffing and manage the scheduling. The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health describes the clinic managers' tasks as follows: recruit staff members, develop staffing models, oversee staff competencies, and engage in feedback regarding the effectiveness of staff in their roles. For resource management, clinic managers create operating budgets, modify resource commitments in sync with the clinic's finances, participate in evaluating and acquiring equipment and supplies, and keep up with new technology for medical and health care supplies and equipment. Clinic managers oversee the clinic's facility management, participating in facility planning, construction, and renovation. Depending on the clinic, facility managers may also participate in the planning of clinical research in the clinic. For those who work in residency clinics, clinic managers duties include coordinating with education programs for resident education, coordinating resident training schedules with education coordinators, developing educational material, conducting seminars, and participating in training sessions to improve the practice management curriculum.