How Can I Become a Medical Secretary?

How Can I Become a Medical Secretary?If you’re interested in working within the thriving healthcare field without putting in years of post-secondary schooling, you may want to become a medical secretary. Medical secretaries perform administrative assistant work to create a friendly, inviting front office for patient care. Medical secretaries are given clerical duties for keeping health-related treatment centers well-organized and regimented. Typically, medical secretaries will be responsible for interacting with patients, answering phone calls, scheduling appointments, updating patient records, compiling reports, and coordinating billing. They keep the day-to-day activities of healthcare facilities running smoothly to ensure timely treatment. The demand for these professionals is expected to grow rapidly by 36 percent through 2022. Read the step-by-step guide below to find out how you can become a medical secretary.

1. Earn a High School Diploma

At the minimum, medical secretaries will have to hold at least a high school diploma from an approved public or private secondary school. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that nearly 54 percent of medical secretaries only have a high school diploma. Having a GED equivalent could also be sufficient. Taking high school coursework in English, biology, and technology will be helpful career preparation. During high school, aspiring medical secretaries should consider volunteering in a healthcare center to begin getting their feet wet.

2. Pursue Post-Secondary Training

Formal post-secondary education isn’t always required, but some employers will prefer hiring job candidates who have attended a community college or vocational school. Earning a Medical Assisting Certificate will introduce you to essential medical terminology and front office operations. Most two-year programs will lead to an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree in Medical Office Management or Health Administration. Take classes in health informatics to learn about maintaining electronic health records. Studying medical coding and billing could also benefit future medical secretaries who need to understand insurance reimbursement.

3. Gain Office Management Experience

Next, you’ll need to build an impressive resume with work experience related to controlling the busy happenings of the medical front office. Medical secretary positions can be found in hospitals, clinics, physician offices, outpatient surgery centers, nursing homes, and other health-related organizations. Any full-time or part-time job where you’re managing the administrative duties for a health practitioner will provide valuable practice. According to the BLS, medical secretaries hold 516,050 jobs nationally and bring home an average yearly salary of $33,530.

4. Consider Professional Certification

Being a medical secretary comes with plenty of room for upward mobility. Advancing into the position of office manager or supervisor will likely require professional certification. Becoming certified shows employers that you have the knowledge, integrity, and skills to handle greater responsibility. Through the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), you could become a Certified Administrative Professional (CAP). This will require at least two years of experience and a passing score on an exam. Moving into the role of Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) could expand your responsibilities also.

Overall, medical secretaries usually don’t need any fancy credentials to land an entry-level job within this growing field. Simply graduating from high school may be enough to begin performing critical supportive functions in organizing the delivery of healthcare. Medical secretaries spend most of their day working the front office and interacting directly with patients, so being a skilled communicator is the most essential quality to have. If you follow these steps to become a medical secretary, you’ll develop a rewarding career making sure healthcare facilities run without a hitch.

For more information on degrees in health science, please see: Top 20 Most Affordable Health Science Degrees.