Fields within the Medical Path – Medical Secretary (Part4)

Fields within the Medical Path – Medical Secretary (Part4)

Do you want aA medical field career, but aren’t sure what you want to do or where you will fit in? Thankfully, there are plenty of career options from which to choose, and not all of them require years of schooling and long residencies.

Perhaps you are interested in dealing directly with people and providing high quality customer service; if so, you might find working as a medical receptionist or hospital intake coordinator appealing. Medical assistants, nurse’s aides, and dental hygienists are just some of the careers that might appeal to those interested in medical field careers without investing years in school. If the idea of long-term training does not deter you, then any number of medical careers exists: physician, nurse, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, physical therapist. Many of these upper level vocations require a minimum of four years in college, with most requiring graduate level work with clinical practice. These careers are challenging in both classroom and real life, but those who have the determination and discipline necessary to succeed in these areas will discover a lifelong, rewarding medical career.

Medical Secretary

An often overlooked medical career is medical secretary. A medical secretary oversees many medical office and hospital duties. She is usually the first person a patient interacts with when entering a physician’s office. When being admitted to a medical or surgical unit in a hospital, the medical secretary is the one who first greets the patients, takes their personal information, makes a copy of their insurance card, and begins putting together the patient’s medical chart. On a hospital unit, the medical secretary helps facilitate communication between doctors, nurses, patients, and their family members. The medical secretary is often the central figure on a medical unit. A well-organized medical secretary knows where all the supplies are and what forms need to be filled out when; in short, the medical secretary is the one who knows how to get things done to help the unit run smoothly.

In a private physician’s office, the medical secretary also plays an important centralized role. She greets patients, handles calls and questions from patients and other physicians, is involved with billing – of both clients and insurance companies, organizes medical charts, orders supplies and takes stock of office inventory, and if they have the specialized training for medical transcription, transcribe notes dictated by the physician. Some medical secretaries also act as office managers for the physicians for whom they work if they’ve garnered enough work experience and have proven their professionalism to the doctor.

Many medical secretaries begin their careers as business secretaries then move into the medical field as their interest develops. Extra training may be required for these secretaries as they need to understand medical terminology, medical procedures performed in the specific office in which they work, and diagnosis codes for insurance purposes. The educational requirements to become a medical secretary are minimal. Some physician’s offices may require only a high school diploma if the candidate is personable, has good people skills, and has previous private practice experience. An associate’s degree in business or certificate from a secretarial school is appropriate for employment. The average salary a medical secretary can expect in the United States is $32,000. Medical secretaries can expect to work full-time, 40 hours a week, unless otherwise negotiated during their hiring process. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the growth rate of the medical secretary occupation to continue to grow along with the national average, to increase about 11 percent between 2008 and 2018 (BLS, 2009). In 2008, medical secretaries occupied 471,000 of the more than 4 million secretarial jobs in the United States. Medical and laboratory assistants often perform many of the clerical functions carried out by medical secretaries, so it’s conceivable that medical secretaries could be edged out of some offices where physicians need to cut costs. Medical secretaries will need to keep up with technological trends in the coming years to stay marketable and competitive in the workplace.

As always, you can count on EresumeX for your free job search portal.

~Dawn Krovicka