Trauma Program Medical Director Job Description & Application

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Job Title: South Dakota State Trauma Program Medical Director

Reports to: Administrator of Office of EMS and Trauma


  1. Board-certified General Surgery.
  2. Member in good standing of the South Dakota trauma community.
  3. Currently licensed to practice medicine in South Dakota.
  4. Currently certified as an instructor in both the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma courses; Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) and Rural Trauma Team Development Course (RTTDC).
  5. Three years of clinical experience in the care of the severely injured patient.
  6. Two years of trauma administrative experience.
  7. Ability to establish and maintain effective interpersonal relationships.
  8. Ability to accept and implement change.
  9. Ability to problem solve and implement effective change.
  10. Demonstrated a history of positive collegial relations with colleagues, support staff, hospital-based providers and administrators, patients, and the South Dakota Department of Health (SDDOH).

Nature and Scope: The South Dakota State Trauma Medical Director (SDSTMD) is responsible for the ongoing development, growth, and collaborative oversight of the South Dakota Trauma Program. He/she must be able to demonstrate effective interpersonal skills and an understanding of the interdependent roles of various allied health professions. The SDSTMD is responsible for promoting high standards of practice through the development of trauma policies, protocols, and practice guidelines, participating in rigorous performance improvement monitoring and data collection along with its interpretation. He/she will guide trauma performance improvement, and administrative issues, and critically review trauma deaths and complications that occur within the state. Decisions affecting the care of trauma patients will be in collaboration with and input from the SDSTMD.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Participate in the research, development, and implementation of trauma policies, protocols, and practice guidelines to ensure optimal patient care.
  • Promote a cooperative and collaborative working environment among the clinical disciplines involved in trauma care.
  • Maintain an effective working relationship with the SDDOH staff, the regional health systems, and their employees with an emphasis on trauma care providers, trauma medical directors, trauma program managers, and other trauma-specific roles.  
  • Participate in South Dakota trauma program marketing activities.
  • Collaborate in an SDDOH needs assessment for trauma-specific equipment, supplies, budget, personnel, and a programming evaluation for the betterment of the severely injured patient in South Dakota.
  • Assist the SDDOH, with a primary focus on the State Trauma Program Manager in developing and meeting the trauma program quality and budgetary goals.
  • Oversee, participate in, and develop projects that ensure the quality of care provided throughout South Dakota to the injured patient.
  • Guide and participate in the site designation process of hospitals in the South Dakota Trauma System.
Program Initiatives:
  • Lead efforts for continued development and growth of the state trauma program.
  • Collaborate with the Trauma Program Manager to establish trauma program goals and objectives consistent with those of the state and ensure that those of the trauma program are being met.
  • Develop and provide input on practice guidelines, policies, and methodologies for medical/surgical trauma care.
  • Participate in state hospital trauma designation visits, if requested.
  • Organize, direct, and implement practices to assure continued compliance with applicable laws including the guidelines established by the South Dakota Statewide Trauma System and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals.
  • Demonstrate positive interpersonal relationships with colleagues, physicians, practitioners, nurses, other hospital personnel, and patients/families to achieve maximum operational effectiveness.
  • Foster collaborative relationships between entities involved in the care of injured patients including prehospital services (EMS/Fire), telehealth entities, hospitals, and health systems.
  • Ensure the trauma-designated hospitals of South Dakota maintain their commitment to the care of the injured patient.
  • Provide trauma care leadership and consultation for emergency, surgery, and intensive care unit departments.
  • Participate in regional and statewide activities affecting the trauma program.
  • Attend local and national meetings and conferences to remain current regarding issues relevant to the performance of duties.
  • Demonstrate the ability to create consistent, efficient, cost-effective, and quality trauma programming for the SDDOH. 
Performance Improvement (PI):
  • Review and implement PI activities appropriate to the statewide trauma program.
  • Oversee the trauma PI program and participate in other quality initiatives that deal with the care of injured patients.
  • Review and investigate statewide trauma PI inquiries in collaboration with the Trauma Program Manager.
  • Monitor compliance with statewide trauma treatment guidelines, policies, and protocols.
  • Develop programming to ensure that the quality and appropriateness of patient care are monitored and evaluated along with the appropriate actions based on findings are taken on a consistent basis.
  • Identify and correct deficiencies in statewide trauma care policies, guidelines, and protocols.
  • Identify appropriate representatives from various disciplines and hospitals to participate in PI activities.
  • Coordinate, schedule, and facilitate the PI peer review process.
  • Chair the statewide quarterly trauma meetings for all regions with an emphasis on system collaboration, process improvement, and best practices.
  • Review all trauma-related peer reviews and initiate action as necessary.
  • Assist the Trauma Program Manager in evaluating the effectiveness of corrective actions resulting from PI processes.
  • Assume responsibility for the accuracy and validity of trauma statistics.
Clinical Education:
  • Develop, assist, and support the requirements for trauma CME by participating in the education and training of hospital personnel physicians, and specialists.
Community Outreach:
  • Maintain relations with community organizations and businesses whose activities relate to trauma care and injury prevention.
  • Participate in SDDOH outreach activities as may be requested by the administration.
  • Develop and participate in trauma education and injury prevention activities.
  • Function as a liaison to other hospitals within the region.
Knowledge and Skill:
  • Lead the SDDOH in trauma quality improvement and program development.
  • Oversee the clinical practice of medical staff.
  • Analyze and interpret complex injury (intentional and nonintentional) information.
  • Determines a course of action based on research, data, standards of care, and general guidelines/protocols.
  • Communicate effectively with a wide variety of intra- and inter-facility staff and administration using both oral and written communication.
  • Possess critical thinking, analytical, teaching/coaching, and research skills.