Chief Medical Officer
|Difficulty: Very Hard|
Supervisor: The Commanding Officer and the Executive Officer
Branches: Expeditionary Corps, Sol Central Government Fleet
- EC: Lieutenant (O-3)
- Fleet: Lieutenant (O-3), Lieutenant Commander (O-4)
Duties: Coordinate the Physicians, Medical Technicians, Laboratory Technician, and Counselor to ensure the health of all crew.
Related Guides: Standard Operating Procedure, Alert Procedure, Guide to Medicine, Guide to Surgery, Guide to Chemistry
The Chief Medical Officer, otherwise known as the CMO, is the ultimate authority when it comes to preserving the health of the crew aboard the SEV Torch. They make sure that the ship's Physicians are treating people effectively, that the Medical Technicians are responding to emergency calls, that the Pharmacist is producing the needed medication, and that the Counselor is keeping the crew mentally healthy.
As the foremost medical professional on the ship, the CMO is expected to have the necessary knowledge and expertise to perform most - if not all - of the operations required by the department. However, their job is not to be the ultimate super-doctor; rather, it is to coordinate the efforts of their subordinates, only taking a direct hand in matters when absolutely necessary. The day-to-day operations of the department are under the purview of the Physicians, whereas the Chief Medical Officer exists to make sure that the Infirmary staff are well-equipped, well-informed, and well-coordinated.
How To Play
First and foremost, any player of CMO should have some degree of experience in all areas of medical. This means knowledge of first response, general doctoring, surgery, and chemistry. However, as stated prior, the CMO is not the ultimate super-doctor. First response falls to the Medical Technicians, surgery and doctoring falls to Physicians, and chemistry is the work of the Laboratory Technician. If, however, nobody is around to do the job required, it is acceptable to pick up the slack by performing surgery, making medicines, or otherwise cleaning up loose ends.
Instead, a Chief Medical Officer's job consists of mainly the following;
- Being a liaison between the medical department and Command.
- Making sure everyone in medical knows their job, and that they are doing their job.
- Delegate, delegate, delegate. Do not allow yourself to do something if someone else can do it. If there's a Physician available, you aren't the one doing surgery. If there's a Laboratory Technician available, you aren't the one doing chemistry. Make sure everyone has something to do, even if it's just watching the sensors before someone gets hurt.
- Communicate. You must not only be able to keep your department up to speed on ongoing situations (such as why an alert change may happen), but you must be able to coordinate your department's efforts with that of command. This can be as straightforward as asking the Pathfinder whether or not they'd like a Medical Technician to accompany them to an exoplanet, or as weighted as coordinating with the Chief of Security to send medical aid to a hostage situation.
- Stay calm. If you aren't sane, your team isn't. In case of a crisis, you need to be clear, direct, and efficient with the information you convey and the orders that you give.
Overall, playing the role of CMO requires a great deal of adaptability, flexibility, and grace under pressure. While on a good day you should have to do no mechanical work at all, you'll probably still be expected to manage your team in order to keep things working at maximum efficiency. The vast majority of playing CMO well requires a degree of experience, not only with medical, but with leadership. This will come with time, and is best achieved working your way up the medical ladder.
Medically Unfit Personnel
The Chief Medical Officer also possesses one of the most important powers on board the Torch; that of being legally authorized to declare any personnel medically unfit for duty, whether physically or mentally.
This requires the support of at least one other qualified member of Medical, if available - a Physician if the declaration regards physical health, or the Counselor if the issue is mental. Otherwise, it is absolute. Any member of crew, or any passenger, declared unfit in this way is immediately removed from their position and stripped of all authority. Even the Commanding Officer cannot overrule such a decision, and, in fact, the Commanding Officer themselves may be removed from their position in this way.
This is obviously one of the most powerful abilities on board the Torch, legally speaking, and should never be used lightly. The SolGov Representative and the Corporate Liaison may attempt to contact their respective higher authorities if they feel it is necessary. Any consequences of this, or of the declaration of unfit status itself, should be handled IC.
- At minimum, a Chief Medical Officer has had around eight years of medical training, more time spent in officer school, and likely a position on another ship prior to being posted on the Torch. Your character, unless they are a medical prodigy, is generally older with a good deal of experience in leadership in their uniformed service of choice.
- Their aforementioned experience in the Fleet or Expeditionary Corps can have a variety of effects on their personality internally, but most CMOs don't make it to the rank they're at without being moderately respectful and professional to those around them. Out of character, people tend to take your play a lot less seriously if your CMO acts rude and dismissive of the medical department.
- Know your systems. And not just medical. This has been stressed repeatedly for a good reason; a CMO who just doesn't get it (whether it be chemistry, SOP, or how to stabilize a patient) inspires negative amounts of confidence, particularly when you're in charge of the department that saves lives.
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