Chief Medical Officer

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Chief Medical Officer (CMO) is the title used in many countries for the senior government official designated head of medical services, sometimes at the national level. The post is held by a physician who serves to advise and lead a team of medical experts on matters of public health importance. [1]

Physician professional who practices medicine

A physician, medical practitioner, medical doctor, or simply doctor is a professional who practises medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining, or restoring health through the study, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of disease, injury, and other physical and mental impairments. Physicians may focus their practice on certain disease categories, types of patients and methods of treatment—known as specialities—or they may assume responsibility for the provision of continuing and comprehensive medical care to individuals, families, and communities—known as general practice. Medical practice properly requires both a detailed knowledge of the academic disciplines underlying diseases and their treatment—the science of medicine—and also a decent competence in its applied practice—the art or craft of medicine.

Public health preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through organized efforts and informed choices of society and individuals

Public health has been defined as "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting human health through organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals". Analyzing the health of a population and the threats it faces is the basis for public health. The public can be as small as a handful of people or as large as a village or an entire city; in the case of a pandemic it may encompass several continents. The concept of health takes into account physical, psychological and social well-being. As such, according to the World Health Organization, it is not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

The post of Chief Medical Officer dates back to Victorian times. [2] The equivalent title may go under different names across countries, for example known as the Surgeon General in the United States and the Chief Public Health Officer in Canada.

Surgeon General of the United States Head of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps

The Surgeon General of the United States is the operational head of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC) and thus the leading spokesperson on matters of public health in the federal government of the United States. The Surgeon General's office and staff are known as the Office of the Surgeon General (OSG) which is housed within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health.

The Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) is the title of the senior government official on matters related to the health and safety of Canadians. The post is held by a physician who acts as the head of the Public Health Agency of Canada, which was established in 2004 amidst the SARS crisis.

By extension, Chief Medical Officer is also used as a job title, for the physician who is the professional lead of all physicians at a hospital. [3]

See also

The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) is the most senior advisor on health matters in a government. There are four CMOs in the United Kingdom who are appointed to advise their respective governments: Her Majesty's Government, the Northern Ireland Executive, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government. Each CMO is assisted by one or more Deputy Chief Medical Officers, and are complimented by a Chief Nursing Officer.

The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for Ireland is the most senior government advisor on health related matters. It is a government post as the lead medical expert in the Department of Health.

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  1. Department of Health, UK. Chief Medical Officer. Accessed 19 Jan. 2012.
  2. Department of Health, UK. History of the post of Chief Medical Officer. Accessed 19 Jan. 2012.
  3. "Find an expert". Birmingham Children's Hospital. Fiona was the clinical lead in PICU until 2010 when she became the Deputy Chief Medical Officer. In 2015 she became Chief Medical Officer, which is the professional lead for the doctors at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.