Medical Secretary Careers

Medical Secretary Careers are increasing at a faster rate than secretarial careers in general industry. With some specialized training, one of these medical secretary jobs could be right for you.

Nature of the Work

Medical Secretaries perform a number of traditional secretarial duties all intended to keep an office running smoothly and efficiently. They plan and schedule meetings and appointments, maintain and organize paper and electronic files, convey information by using the telephone, mail, internet, and e-mail, and they can manage projects. They may also arrange travel and other accommodations for guests.

In addition to those duties, those in Medical Secretary jobs must also be familiar with specific medical terminology and hospital, clinic, or laboratory procedures. They schedule appointments, transcribe dictation, prepare correspondence, and assist doctors with reports, speeches, and articles. They also record simple medical histories, arrange for patients to be hospitalized, and order supplies. Most medical secretaries need to be familiar with insurance rules, billing practices, and hospital or laboratory procedures.

Training and Qualifications Needed

A high school diploma is minimally needed for most entry level jobs. Those with a bachelor’s degree will be in great demand to act more as managerial assistants and to perform more complex tasks. A degree in the healthcare industry may be an advantage in the application process. Once employed, secretaries often must take courses to update their skills.

Word processing, writing, and communication skills are important for all secretaries. However, employers are increasingly expecting knowledge of a variety of software applications, such as desktop publishing, project management, spreadsheets, and database management.

Organizations like the International Association of Administrative Professionals can provide testing and certification in specific office skills. As secretaries gain experience, they can earn several different certificates, such as the Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) and the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP), which can be earned by meeting specific experience or educational requirements and by passing an exam.

Medical Secretary Careers  also require a solid knowledge base of the healthcare industry. Qualified applicants will have coursework or knowledge of basic anatomy, medical terminology, medical billing and coding, and medical shorthand and transcription. These may be part of an associate or bachelor's degree, or individual courses which provide these skills.

Medical Secretary Careers : Opportunities For Advancement

The typical career advancement path for Medical Secretaries is to be promoted to other administrative positions with more responsibilities. With increased knowledge and skills, medical secretaries may be promoted to senior or executive secretary, clerical supervisor, or office manager.

Long Term Job Outlook

The long term job outlook is excellent, since the health care industry continues to expand. This should lead to faster than average growth for medical secretaries.

Salary and Earnings Potential

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary (presuming a 40 hour week) for Medical Secretary Careers is $33,530, with the middle half of medical secretary jobs earning between $26,580 and $38,600 a year.

Industries with the highest level of employment for medical secretary jobs are as follows:

  • Offices of Physicians:  $32,340
  • General Medical and Surgical Hospitals: $33,800
  • Offices of Dentists: $37,920
  • Offices of Other Healthcare Providers: 29,850
  • Outpatient Centers: $32,710

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

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