Advice, Tips

Tips for Becoming a Successful Medical Secretary

Medical secretaries work in medical facilities, such as medical offices and hospitals. A secretary may focus exclusively on performing administrative tasks. Some secretaries are administrative assistants who perform clerical tasks and supervise other staff.

Technology has impacted the administrative field, reducing demand for qualified secretaries and administrative assistants. Despite this, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that jobs for medical secretaries and administrative assistants are expected to increase by ten percent between 2019 and 2029. Whether you’re a legal secretary looking to transition to the medical field or hoping to start your career as a medical secretary, using these tips will help you become a successful medical secretary.

Pursue postsecondary training.


Complete a medical secretary program that the American Medical Certification Association recognizes. This association offers national certifications for several medical careers, including electronic health record professionals, medical administrative assistants, and medical coders and billers. Medical secretary training includes a range of courses that prepare graduates to pursue all of these careers. Classes cover critical information about medical coding and billing, updating patient records, accounting, and processing patient copays. Medical secretary training ensures you have the core skills required to be an effective medical secretary.

You’ll need a high school diploma or GED to qualify for admission to a program for medical secretaries. Many programs also have an entrance exam and require applicants to complete an interview before being accepted into the program. Preparing for the exam and interview will ensure you’re admitted to a postsecondary program.

Supplement your skills with additional credentials.


Professionals in all fields must compete against other applicants for job interviews or advancement opportunities. Expanding your training and completing additional certifications demonstrates motivation and aptitude for new roles and advancement.

A soft skills certification program develops your core communication skills, ensuring you have excellent social skills. Completing a professional instructor certificate program equips you with the skills needed to assume leadership roles. You could use those skills to become an instructor or advance to a supervisory role as a medical administrative assistant.

A financial literacy certificate program will ensure you understand credit scores, know how to develop a budget, and process insurance claims. This training equips you with the skills and knowledge needed to advance in a medical coder and biller career.

Familiarize yourself with medical terminology.

Medical terminology courses cover a wide range of medical terms. Medical secretaries benefit from familiarizing themselves with medical terms to ensure accuracy when transcribing notes. Medical professionals use medical terminology to ensure accuracy and clarity when communicating. Doctors, paramedics, nurses, physical therapists, and psychiatrists all use medical terminology.

Develop essential administrative assistant strengths.


Clerical staff must have strong organizational skills. Their organizational abilities ensure they can promptly locate files, documents, and other critical items. A disorganized office may fail to process payments, pay vendors, or overbook appointments. These issues will prevent the office from operating effectively and can cause financial issues and customer service complaints.

Medical secretaries must make effective decisions and prioritize work correctly to ensure critical tasks are completed first. These secretaries also benefit from solid writing skills, ensuring they relay information professionally and accurately.

Consider a wide range of career options.


Many medical secretaries may work for doctors or hospitals, but these aren’t the only opportunities medical secretaries can explore. There are opportunities working for other medical care providers, including speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and audiologists. Medical secretaries may also process bill payments for health insurance companies.

There are also opportunities, such as working for a therapist in Baltimore. Counselors are mental health providers who work with patients who have mental illnesses or personal issues. Counselors may hire receptionists to schedule appointments, update patient files, collect copays, file insurance claims, and greet patients. Familiarizing yourself with mental health terminology will increase your career options and ensure you’re capable of providing optimal patient care in any medical office.

Becoming a medical secretary involves postsecondary training to ensure you have the skills and knowledge needed to succeed. You can expand your opportunities by pursuing supplemental credentials, learning medical terminology, developing crucial strengths required to be an administrative assistant, and pursuing opportunities in a wide range of medical offices.

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