The Medical Director is responsible for all onboard health services. He or she reports directly to the Captain, and belongs to the hierarchical inner circle of First Officers. In order to perform his or her duties, the Medical Director must possess an adequate background and clinical expertise, particularly with regard to the aspects of Emergency Medicine and Maritime Hygiene. The Medical Director collaborates with the nursing staff, and on most ships is assisted by another medical colleague, the 1st Doctor. In order to fulfil this role, it is necessary to have obtained the title of Onboard Medical Doctor following a specific selection held by the Ministry of Health, or be enrolled on a special ministerial list. The Medical Director not only performs the Company’s assignment, but also functions as a Government Official directly on behalf of the Minister of Health. Therefore, he or she deals with the health authorities of the countries in ports of call. Because of the multiplicity of skills required, both operational and organizational, the Medical Director must be a person with extensive professional experience, excellent interpersonal and organizational skills, and also be adaptable to emergency situations that require the rapid ability to control and adjust to unexpected circumstances.