Job Specifications

  Class Code:




Date Originated:


Dates Revised:




Under direction of the Chief of Psychiatry, the Health Officer, or, in their absence, the Director of the Health Services Agency, provide medical supervision and direction to mental health and substance abuse services; provide medical care and psychiatric care in various clinical settings; provide on-call services; and perform other work as required.


This class is a physician class with psychiatric medicine experience. Incumbents serve as the medical director for various psychiatric clinical programs. Assignments may rotate depending on agency requirements and specialty training. Incumbents are responsible for the medical quality assurance and medical management of one or more clinical programs or medical groups, provide medical and technical advice to staff and the local medical community and may serve as the Health Officer or Chief of Psychiatry in their absence.


Serve as Medical Director of clinical programs engaged in psychiatric care; provide medical supervision and administrative direction to subordinate medical and support staff; develop protocols and standardized procedures; conduct medical and physical examinations or psychiatric evaluations; make diagnosis and prescribe medical and rehabilitative treatment; supervise and direct the medical aspects of treatments; provide night, weekend, and holiday medical triage and treatment authorizations via the telephone; prescribe medications; provide medical supervision to mid-level practitioners; act as physician member of a multi-disciplinary patient care team; confer with staff and patients and their families regarding diagnosis and treatment; recommend hospitalization or other indicated services; make referrals to specialists as appropriate; ; may conduct assessments and provide testimony in court proceedings; provides clinic assessments and crisis interventions for psychiatric emergencies;may serve as the Health Officer in the latter's absence; plan and prepare standardized procedures and protocols; conduct in-service training; assure that medical care meets quality assurance standards; may supervise resident physicians, physicians assistants and nurse practitioner students; assure that quality primary outpatient medical care is provided for high-risk patients at the lowest cost; perform outpatient surgical procedures; read X-rays, order laboratory tests and evaluate results; assure that patients medical charts and records are accurate and meet legal and medical requirements; may provide medical consultation to private physicians, health care professionals and community groups on public health matters; prepare records and reports; input, access and analyze data using a computer; attend/facilitate meetings; assist in the preparation and monitoring of divisionís budget; and ensure that revenue projections are on target.


Knowledge of:

Thorough knowledge of:

  • Current principles and practices of medicine.
  • Current principles and practices of psychiatric care.

Working knowledge of:

  • Community collaboration with key health stakeholders, other divisions of the Department, and other County departments.
  • Principles of Personnel supervision, evaluation and training.
  • Program management and program direction.
  • Productivity management.
  • Customer Service Delivery

Some knowledge of:

  • Functions and services of public health roles and functions.
  • General functions of the State Department of Health Services and/or State Department of Mental Health.
  • Principles of health administration.
  • Principles of budget monitoring and revenue generation in a health setting
  • Clinical Information Systems


Ability to:

  • Provide medical and administrative direction and supervision to subordinate professional, technical and clerical staff.
  • Perform medical diagnosis and treatment.
  • Evaluate and review the work of subordinate or other medical providers for appropriate diagnosis, treatment and chart documentation.
  • Plan and prepare protocols and standardized procedures.
  • Manage specialty contracts with specialty medical physicians.
  • Work effectively with departmental staff, private physicians, clients and others contracted in the course of work.
  • Maintain effective relationships with other County Departments, County policy makers and community health stakeholders
  • Participate in the analysis, evaluation and planning of health or mental health programs.
  • Prepare clear and concise written and oral reports.
  • Analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action.
  • Conduct in-service training programs.
  • Secure State certification to supervise and direct mid-level practitioners.
  • Use standard computer systems.
  • Provide mental health court testimony on conservatorship if specializing in psychiatry.
  • Manage division productivity to ensure that the budget targets are met.
  • Review appropriate paperwork for documentation of clinical services and medical assessments.
  • Work nights and weekends, on call.


Education and Experience:

Any combination of education and experience that would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying, unless otherwise specified. A typical way to obtain these knowledge and abilities would be:

  • License/Certificate Requirements: Possession of a valid Physicianís and Surgeonís Certificate issued by the State of California (if licensed in another state, candidates may participate in the recruitment and examination process, however, possession of a valid Physicianís and Surgeonís Certificate issued by the State of California is required at the time of appointment); possession of a State and/or Federal narcotic license for administration of narcotics; possession of a valid California class C driver license; plus
  • Four years of experience as a practicing psychiatrist. Certification by an American Specialty Board in a specialty closely related to mental health care provided by the County of Santa Cruz may be substituted for two years of experience.


Special Requirements/Conditions:

  • Background Investigation: Ability to pass a background investigation, and fingerprinting is required.
  • Must be able to work at nights, on call and on weekends when necessary.
  • Special Working Conditions: Exposure to: Odors such as vomitus, feces, urine and draining abscesses; fumes from cleaning supplies and solvents; and infections which might cause chronic disease or death.


Bargaining Unit: 11
EEOC Job Category: 02
Occupational Grouping: 61
Workers' Comp Code: 0290