Medical secretaries perform traditional secretarial work within the fast-paced environment of a healthcare center. About 11% of medical secretaries work in health practitioner offices, with the remainder employed in other outpatient care centers, private practices, and hospitals. Work can be hectic, with some facilities seeing more than 100 patients a day. Medical secretaries maintain a smooth flow of patients and perform related clerical tasks. Common responsibilities include recording medical histories, ordering surgical supplies, assisting with reports, and collecting co-payments.
Due to their unique work environment, medical secretaries need to be able to remain focused, respond promptly and accurately to instruction, and also maintain confidentiality when appropriate. A working knowledge of medical terminology is very helpful as well. Medical secretaries should also be familiar with different insurance policies, as they will have to process patients' visits and may have to discuss the policy with the patient. Above all, medical secretaries need to maintain a positive attitude in a potentially stressful work environment. They are often the first face patients see upon walking into a facility and they can do a great deal to put patients at ease.
Medical secretaries must have, at a bare minimum, a high school diploma. Most then chose to take courses at a vocational school or community college, culminating in an Associate of Applied Sciences degree. Medical secretaries can expect to earn around $32,670/year, with great opportunities for advancement, especially in the administrative side of healthcare. Hiring managers should target applicants with prior experience in the healthcare field, as well as strong candidates with backgrounds in clerical work. Criteria Corp customers hiring medical secretaries usually favor two tests, the first being the Criteria Basic Skills Test (CBST), which measures communication skills, attention to detail, and basic math, all skills and traits that are highly correlated with job success. The second is the Employee Personality Profile (EPP), which is a personality test that helps employers screen for personality traits that typically result in successful administrative assistants and patient-friendly personnel.
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Rank in HireSelect:
17 out of 1,100
Median wage in U.S.:
$33,530/year or $16.12/hr
Expected growth rate 2012-2022:
Number employed (2014): 516,050
Education level of Medical Secretaries: