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What Does a Medical Secretary Do?

Update Date: Oct 28, 2019 10:53 PM EDT
What Does a Medical Secretary Do?
(Photo : What Does a Medical Secretary Do?)

Do you like to interact with people? Are you friendly and empathetic? Do you get bored if you aren't in a fast-paced environment?

Becoming a medical secretary might be the perfect fit for you. You don't need extensive knowledge of medicine, but you do need excellent people and organization skills. 

Looking for a dynamic and interesting career that allows interaction with many people? Read on to learn about the role of a medical secretary and how to become one. 

Patient Care

Defining the role of the medical secretary will greatly depend on the size of the medical office you work in.

In a large office with many doctors and other staff members, the position becomes more focused. In a small office, you might work directly with the doctor and cover many different kinds of tasks related to making the office run smoothly.

First and foremost, your role is meeting the needs of the patients in an administrative manner. You might not be diagnosing or prescribing medications, but the patients need you too. 

A medical secretary is often the first person patients interact with on the phone. They need to schedule appointments and follow up on results with you. Often the medical secretary is also the first person representing the office when a patient comes in. 

When patients enter the office, they often are not feeling well. You'll need to have patience in your interactions and show empathy to their situation.

Duties and Responsibilities

Again, while this will vary depending on the size of the medical office, most medical secretary duties will include:

  • Answering phones and taking messages with detailed information if the doctor needs to return a call

  • Greeting patients who sign in for appointments

  • Scheduling appointments, surgeries, and follow-ups

  • Maintaining the patient database

  • Handling files and charts with patient information

In many cases, there is a staff member who handles billing and working with insurance companies. However, in a small office, this could also be part of the secretarial duties.

Training and Pay

While there are some specific skills involved with this position, many of those can be taught on the job.

In some cases, a high school diploma will be all that is needed. As long as you have good communication and organization skills, as well as basic technology skills, that level of medical secretary education is enough. 

However, many competitive applicants have at least an associate's degree. If you want to be more specialized and prepared for work in the medical field, you might choose to pursue a degree in:

  • Medical Administrative Assistant

  • Medical Billing and Coding

  • Health Information Technology

Medical secretaries pay will vary depending on the depth of your duties and the breadth of your experience. The median salary for a medical secretary in 2017 was $34,610. 

If you have more specialized training, like the ability to handle billing and coding for insurance companies, your salary might be higher. 

Being a Medical Secretary: Is It Right For You?

Even if you don't know much about medicine, the role of the medical secretary is critical to successfully running a medical office. They take care to ensure that the office runs smoothly and patients' needs are met with compassion and professionalism. They also manage the doctor's time optimally so he or she can be work efficiently with all their demands. 

For more information about the medical world, make sure to check out the rest of our site.

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