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Chief Physician and Surgeon (7561)

Chief Physician and Surgeon

California State Personnel Board Specification

  • Schematic Code: SB25
  • Class Code: 7561
  • Established: 05/01/1976
  • Revised: 07/28/1976
  • Title Changed: 07/28/1976


Under general direction, to (1) serve as a chief of service in charge of a major general medical and surgical subdivision in a large State hospital; and to do other related work, or (2) supervise physicians and other professional personnel giving medical and psychiatric care to patients; to give medical services to such patients; and to do other related work.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Employees in this class may be employed in any one of the large State hospitals providing extensive medical care. Chief Physicians and Surgeons serve in a supervisory capacity in charge of major medical subdivisions of a hospital, such as a number of hospital departments engaged in various specialized fields of medicine, or groups of wards organized on the basis of specialization in type of treatment, or on the basis of age, sex, or other classification of patients. The supervisory and specialized teaching functions distinguish it from the lower level class of Physician and Surgeon.


General direction is given Chief Physicians and Surgeons by the chief medical officer of a large institution, who works directly under the institutional superintendent and directs all medical and psychiatric clinical services of the institution.


This class is distinguished from the class of Senior Psychiatrist by the fact that the supervisory and treatment functions are preponderantly of a general medical nature rather than psychiatric, although these services may be performed in a psychiatric treatment division of the hospital.

Typical Tasks

Assists in the supervision necessary to maintain high standards of psychiatric and general medical care and treatment for an assigned unit; supervises the work of a small medical staff and assists in the coordination of their activities with those of the nursing, psychology, social work, rehabilitation therapy, and other ancillary services; advises staff, either individually or by presiding at ward, diagnostic, and clinical conferences, on appropriate treatment techniques for specific cases; reviews clinical records of patients to assure their adequacy and proper administration; makes regular ward rounds, special teaching rounds, and inspection tours to observe professional services given and the enforcement of hospital regulations; examines and treats patients requiring more difficult forms of medical treatment; serves as consultant to staff members on unusual or difficult medical problems; arranges, as necessary, for consultation on difficult cases with medical authorities outside the hospital; encourages research by staff members, reviews plans for research projects, and recommends their approval to the chief medical officer; presents recommendations to the chief medical officer on such matters as hospital policy, new forms of treatment, the need for equipment and facilities and personnel and budgeting; trains and evaluates the performance of personnel and takes or recommends appropriate action; assigns medical officers to shifts and posts including officer-of-the-day and weekend duty; plans and reviews the instruction of assigned residents, interns, and other students; informs the chief medical officer on such matters as new or improved techniques developed by the staff or by other medical personnel, trends in the incidence of disease, and needs for new or improved medical service.

Minimum Qualifications

Possession of the legal requirements for the practice of medicine in California as determined by the California Board of Medical Quality Assurance or the California Board of Osteopathic Examiners. (Applicants who are in the process of securing approval of their qualifications by the Board of Medical Quality Assurance or the Board of Osteopathic Examiners will be admitted to the examination, but the Board to which application is made must determine that all legal requirements have been met before candidates will be eligible for appointment.) and Possession of a valid certificate issued by an American Medical Specialty Board or an American Osteopathic Board as a specialist in one of the fields of medicine, or eligibility for examination for such a certificate as evidenced by a written statement from the Secretary of an American Specialty Board or an American Osteopathic Board. (Applicants who are in the process of establishing specialty board eligibility will be admitted to the examination but the required verification must be submitted before appointment.)

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: Principles and methods of general medicine and surgery and skill in their application; principles of psychiatry and neurology; principles and applications of psychiatric social work, clinical psychology, physical therapy, the various rehabilitative therapies, and other ancillary medical services; current developments and trends in general medicine, surgery, and psychiatry, including mental retardation; principles and practices of hospital administration and personnel management; principles and practices of medical research; principles, methods, and objectives of training treatment personnel; department's Affirmative Action Program objectives; a manager's role in the Affirmative Action Program and the processes available to meet affirmative action objectives. Ability to: Direct and coordinate complex and varied activities in the field of general medicine and surgery; coordinate and participate in psychiatric and medical research; analyze situations accurately and take effective action; effectively contribute to the department's affirmative action objectives.

Special Personal Characteristics

Willingness to live and work in a State institution; sympathetic and objective understanding of the problems of the mentally disabled and developmentally disabled; tact, patience; emotional stability; and demonstrated leadership ability.

  Updated: 6/3/2012
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