Summary: Medical secretaries have similar job description as secretaries, but they must have a extensive knowledge of medical terminology and procedures, insurance policies and other medical-related programs. Their duties include answering phone calls, billing patients, scheduling appointments, and compiling of medical records.
Duties: Duties of a medical secretary include the following: answer phone calls and direct calls to appropriate personnel; arrange and confirm the patient medical consultations, diagnostic appointments, and surgeries; welcome visitors, determine the purpose of visit, and lead them to appropriate personnel; operate equipment such as the voice mail messaging system; prepare medical records, reports, financial statements, invoices, letters, and case histories; fill up insurance and other claim forms; ask patients in order to complete forms, documents, and case histories; receive and direct documents and messages to the proper personnel; record medical charts, reports, and correspondence; distribute information by mail, e-mail, or fax and keep medical records, correspondence files, and a technical library.
Education and Training Requirements: Medical secretaries must possess a certificate or an associate’s degree. Typically, a certificate program is completed in less than one year. This prepares a student for an entry-level position. Coursework includes human anatomy, medical terminology, medical office management, office technology, machine transcription, medical insurance billing, business math and business communication. It also covers office technology, in particular computer software needed in the medical field. Associate degree programs may also include typing, grammar, composition, customer service and attention to detail, which are all advantageous to the prospective medical secretary.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements: To be a successful medical secretary, one must have the following: knowledge of standards and principles for providing customer services; knowledge of office and clerical procedures and systems; an above-average communication skill, which include a good grasp of the English language; familiarity with computer hardware and software; and knowledge of the data and techniques necessary to diagnose and treat human diseases, injuries, and abnormalities. Having the ability to manage their own time is also essential for medical secretaries.
Working Conditions: Medical secretaries usually work in a doctor’s office, government agency or in any medical institution. Although medical secretaries have fixed working hours, they may also be asked to work for extra hours in case of emergencies. Bigger institutions that admit a huge number of patients normally hire two or three medical secretaries on a part time basis.
Salary: The average salary for medical secretary is $48,000. This average medical secretary salary can differ significantly depending on the industry, company, location, experience and bonuses.