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Physician and Surgeon (Safety) (7552)

Physician and Surgeon (Safety)

California State Personnel Board Specification

  • Schematic Code: SB38
  • Class Code: 7552
  • Established: 08/01/2000
  • Revised: --
  • Title Changed: --


Under medical supervision, to perform assigned medical work in the Department of Developmental Services or Department of Mental Health; and to do other related work.

Distinguishing Characteristics

This class is distinguished from the Physician and Surgeon and the Physician Surgeon, Departments of Mental Health and Developmental Services, by the custody requirements imposed by the criminal nature of the forensic client, patient, or inmate population and the security features of the facility.

Job Characteristics

Employees in this class may work in any of the various State developmental centers or hospitals.


Physicians and Surgeons (Safety), Range A, are responsible, under the general supervision of a physician and surgeon or psychiatrist of higher level, for the medical care of assigned forensic clients, patients, or inmates and the supervision of nurses, attendants, and others engaged in the care of forensic clients, patients, or inmates. Although they are responsible for making ordinary professional decisions independently, they work in accordance with established schedules and routines and to a large extent are in a learning capacity.


Incumbents in Ranges B, C, or D are experienced physicians and surgeons. Working in small institutions or clinics, they may be responsible for planning, directing, and performing all phases of the medical services provided and for making professional decisions regarding surgery and general medical work. They may supervise a small staff of professional and nonprofessional personnel.


In larger institutions, employees in this class either work under the general direction of a medical officer of higher level or the administrative direction of the institution's superintendent. They are responsible for directing or performing an assigned phase of the medical services of such an institution and for making professional decisions. They may supervise and instruct medical personnel engaged in caring for forensic clients, patients, or inmates. In mental institutions, they may administer prescribed psychiatric examinations and treatments under the direction of a psychiatrist.

Typical Tasks

Examines forensic clients, patients, or inmates and diagnoses their illness and prescribes and administers medical treatment; performs or assists in performing major and minor surgical operations and autopsies; supervises pre-and postoperative care of surgical cases; assists in the selection of forensic clients, patients, or inmates for electric and insulin shock therapy and antiluetic treatments; orders laboratory examinations and analyses, x-rays, and special diets; writes prescriptions; makes rounds of the wards and reviews reports, records, and general progress of forensic clients, patients, or inmates; instructs and supervises physicians and surgeons, nurses, technicians, and personnel assigned for special training; attends and participates in staff conferences for the discussion of the surgical, medical, and mental condition of various forensic clients, patients, or inmates and their final diagnoses and treatment; as assigned, makes routine psychiatric examinations and administers psychiatric treatment; keeps or supervises the keeping of records and case histories; prepares reports and related correspondence; serves periodically as officer-of-the-day; and observes and intervenes in instances of disruptive or assaultive behavior.


Assists staff in the counting, distribution, and accounting for all utensils to prevent their use as weapons; inspecting facility to identify security breaches that could lead to forensic client, patient, or inmate escape; and observing and intervening in forensic client, patient, or inmate behavior that may signal an impending escape attempt.

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 Completion of an internship in an approved hospital. (Applicants serving an internship will be admitted to the examination, but they may not be appointed until they meet the other requirements stated above.)

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: Methods and principles of general medicine and skill in their application; methods and principles of surgery and skill in their application; recent developments in general medicine and surgery; hospital organization and procedure; gross pathology and interpreting autopsy findings; psychiatric social work, physical therapy, and the various rehabilitation therapies; methods of diagnosing and treating elementary mental disorders; principles of effective supervision; directing the work of medical personnel.


Ability to: Interpret autopsy findings; examine, diagnose, and treat physical and elementary mental disorders; interpret laboratory analyses and x-rays; direct the work of medical personnel; instruct in the principles and practices of general medicine and surgery; prepare and supervise the preparation of case histories and the keeping of hospital records; analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action.

Special Personal Characteristics

Willingness to work at developmental centers, State hospitals, or correctional facilities contracting with the Department of Mental Health for diagnostic and treatment services; demonstrated leadership ability; sympathetic and objective understanding of the problems of developmentally or mentally disordered offenders; tact; patience; and emotional stability.

Special Physical Characteristics

Incumbents must possess and maintain sufficient strength, agility, and endurance to perform during physically, mentally, and emotionally stressful and emergency situations encountered on the job without endangering their own health and well-being or that of their fellow employees, forensic clients, patients, inmates, or the public.

Drug Testing Requirements

Applicants for positions in this class are required to pass a drug- screening test. (The drug-screening test will be waived for employees who are currently in a designated "sensitive" class for which drug testing is required under State Personnel Board Rule 213.)

  Updated: 6/3/2012
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