Medical Assistant

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Medical Secretary Job Description

Medical secretaries perform many of the duties associated with traditional secretaries or administrative assistants, but may also have additional responsibilities specific to doctors’ offices and medical facilities. A good knowledge of medical and pharmaceutical terminology is highly valued.

Traditional duties usually include:

  • Scheduling appointments
  • Billing patients
  • Handling incoming and outgoing mail
  • Preparing electronic and written correspondence

Additional responsibilities may include:

  • Taking and documenting medical insurance information
  • Processing medical insurance submissions
  • Maintaining patient records
  • Medical transcription

Working Conditions

Medical secretaries, one possible medical assistant career path, may work in public view or "behind the scenes" in close cooperation with office managers or directly with physicians. Offices usually are clean, well-lit and air conditioned. Medical secretaries 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 medical secretaries is expected to be "much faster than average" for the 2010-2020 period. ("Much faster than average" defined as 20 percent or more over 10 years.) Between 2010 and 2020, employment growth for medical secretaries nationwide is projected to grow from 508,700 to 718,900, an increase of about 210,000, or 41 percent.* 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, Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/secretaries-and-administrative-assistants.htm (visited May 17, 2013).


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