Medical Secretary

The career of a medical secretary implies working in a medical office and performing various clerical activities and duties. A typical medical secretary would have to type, maintain files or manage billing. Another important aspect of this job is the public interaction, as a medical secretary is the one who makes phone calls and arranges appointments and it is also the one who meets patients.

Job Overview

A medical secretary is vital to the well-functioning of any medical facilities. It is the person who maintains contact between the physicians and the patients, who organize and manage appointments. A medical secretary is also responsible for all aspects related to paperwork such as billings and managing everything of clerical nature.

Medical secretaries are required to use a wide range of office devices such as computers, fax machines or scanners. They must also be well versed in medical terminology and know all health insurance rules and other procedures.

This being a job in high demand, the United states had 509,000 medical secretaries in 2011, and they are employed in many fields, as they can work in physicians’ offices or various other offices of health practitioners. Medical secretaries are also quite common in hospitals, medical centers or outpatient care centers.

With the employment growth rate expected to significantly increase compared to the average of all occupations, opting for a medical secretary career can be quite promising. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistic, medical secretary is the career with the fastest growing rate among the ones which require only a high school diploma.


In 2011, a medical secretary had a median annual salary of $31,060, with the highest paid jobs reaching $45,860. The areas which paid the highest salaries were San Francisco, Seattle and Boston, but due to the predictions in growth rates, medical secretaries are expected to see increased in salaries as well.


In order to qualify for a career as a medical secretary, one must have at least a high school or an equivalent diploma. Also, a person aspiring for a medical secretary position should have extensive knowledge of medical terminology and should be able to use it constantly throughout the day. Also, other office skills might be needed depending on the specific position, although some might offer on the job training or through classroom instruction. There are many institutions such as community colleges, vocational schools and sometimes even high schools who can provide training programs.

Since this is the 21st century, applying for a medical secretary job requires excellent computer skills. Besides using the computer for basic things such as sending emails or using spreadsheets and word processing software, a person working as a medical secretary will also need to know how to use specialized software in order to keep record and billings. Medical secretaries should also possess excellent communication skills as they will be required to interact with both patients and doctors on a daily basis.

Reviews & Advice

Although medical secretaries sometimes do not get the recognition they deserve, they are the silent helpers that allow medical institutions to function properly. Having strong interpersonal skills is very important in this job, in addition to multi tasking capabilities, good knowledge and use of medical terminology, as well as excellent computer skills.

Since working as a medical secretary implies not only managing the office and all the clerical duties, but also communicating to patients and physicians alike, strong communication skills are a must in this job. Also, being a secretary would imply a lot of mediating between different persons of different personalities, which is why a balanced and tolerant personality is desired. Being a medical secretary also leaves the way open to advancement, as there are many positions which can later be reached.

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