Medical Assistant

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Medical Receptionist Job Description

Medical receptionists perform many of the duties associated with traditional office receptionists, but may also have additional responsibilities specific to doctors' offices and medical facilities. Traditional duties usually include:

  • Greeting arriving patients
  • Answering phones, screening calls and taking messages
  • Handling incoming and outgoing mail
  • Preparing electronic and written correspondence
  • Supporting office security by monitoring incoming and outgoing visitors

Additional responsibilities may include:

  • Scheduling appointments
  • Taking and documenting medical insurance information
  • Handling medical insurance co-payments
  • Processing medical insurance submissions
  • Maintaining patient records

Working Conditions

By the nature of their work, medical receptionists are on the "front lines" of medical office operations. Usually seated in visible positions in or directly adjacent to reception areas, their behavior and professionalism determine the "first impression" patients and visitors have about the practice or facility.

Working conditions tend to be very professional. Offices usually are clean, well-lit and air conditioned. Medical receptionists, one possible medical assistant career path, usually work regular, set hours and, if working full-time, have established times to leave for lunch. Overtime is rarely required.

Job Prospects

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for receptionists and information clerks is expected to be "faster than average" for the 2010-2020 period. ("Faster than average" defined as 14 to 19 percent growth over 10 years.) Between 2010 and 2020, employment growth for all receptionists and information clerks nationwide is projected to grow from 1.05 million to 1.30 million, an increase of about 250,000, or 24 percent. More than a third of this growth is expected to come from the health care and social services sectors specifically, according to the BLS.* Job opportunities will naturally vary from city to city depending on demand and local economic conditions.

*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Receptionists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/receptionists.htm (visited May 17, 2013).


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