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Medical secretaries, also known as medical administrative assistants, perform secretarial tasks that require specific knowledge of clinic, hospital or laboratory procedures as well as medical terminology. A medical secretary is responsible for billing patients, scheduling appointments, creating and recording medical reports and charts. Medical secretaries manage the front office.

Medical Secretaries picture    Medical Secretaries image

Medical Secretary Schools

Most medical secretary jobs require a high school diploma and general secretarial skills and knowledge in the field. But as health care becomes a more popular field, medical secretary training is increasingly leaning towards graduation from a postsecondary degree program. An associate degree in medical office administration is one way to prepare for a career as a medical secretary. Medical office administration courses cover topics such as:

  • Accounting
  • Business
  • Customer service
  • Medical terminology
  • Law
  • Ethics
  • Laboratory procedures
  • Record systems

Many Medical Office Administrator degree programs also require students to complete an internship in a physician's office to gain "real world" experience. Most medical secretaries partake in specialized training programs that provide the training in the industry's language. Some employers provide training in medical terminology. Medical administrative assistants should have good word processing and bookkeeping skills. Basic secretary training is often required. Classes are offered at community colleges and vocational schools.

Medical Secretary Certification and Licensing

In addition to medical secretary training degree programs, several valuable certifications are available to help medical secretaries sharpen their skills and become more attractive to prospective employers.

  • Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) - A three-part exam covering office systems, technology, administration and management
  • Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) - An advanced four-part examination which focuses on office systems and technology, office administration, management and advanced organizational management
  • Level 3 Certificate in Medical Terminology - Offered by the Association of Medical Secretaries, Practice Managers, Administrators and Receptionists (AMSPAR), this certificate gives an advantage to those working in any medical specialty.

Resources for Medical Secretaries

Medical Secretaries Skills

Below are the skills needed to be medical secretaries according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Skill NameImportanceCompetence
Speaking43.38
Active Listening3.883.75
Service Orientation3.623
Reading Comprehension3.253.12
Coordination3.122.88

Medical Secretaries Abilities

Below are the abilities needed to be medical secretaries according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Ability NameImportanceCompetence
Oral Comprehension44
Oral Expression3.883.75
Speech Clarity3.883.12
Speech Recognition3.883.12
Written Comprehension3.753.25

Medical Secretaries Knowledge

Below are the knowledge areas needed to be medical secretaries according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Knowledge AreaImportanceCompetence
Customer and Personal Service4.355.07
English Language4.273.73
Clerical4.235.53
Computers and Electronics3.523.9
Administration and Management3.462.93

Medical Secretaries Work activities

Below are the work activities involved in being medical secretaries according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

   
Work ActivityImportanceCompetence
Interacting With Computers4.643.38
Getting Information4.44.04
Documenting/Recording Information4.143.49
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work4.044.48
Processing Information3.994.34

Medical Secretaries Work styles

Below are the work styles involved in being medical secretaries according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

   
Work StyleImportance
Attention to Detail4.39
Integrity4.37
Cooperation4.33
Self Control4.31
Dependability4.3

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Medical Secretaries

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Medical Secretaries jobs , as of 2017

   
Metro AreaTotal EmploymentAnnual Mean Salary
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington29,570 $33,920
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim27,650 $38,360
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land27,510 $35,090
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn12,540 $35,360
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell9,950 $34,440
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale8,980 $36,270
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward8,890 $46,590
San Antonio-New Braunfels8,390 $32,760
Austin-Round Rock8,010 $35,560
San Diego-Carlsbad7,420 $40,300

Compare Total Employment & Salaries for Medical Secretaries

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Total employment and salary for professions similar to medical secretaries

Source : 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; O*NET® 23.1 Database, O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org

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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Medical Secretaries.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.