Medical Secretaries are categorized under the Conventional Theme Code Category of the Strong Interest Inventory® Test. Since 1927, this inventory has been used to match thousands of individuals with fulfilling careers by first analyzing their personal interests and professional, workplace preferences. The Conventional Theme Code, one of a total of six Theme Codes, contains careers which involve high degrees of organization and accuracy. People who have an affinity for Conventional careers tend to be detail-oriented. They benefit from strictly structured work environments in which they are required to follow precise procedures to achieve specific, defined end goals.
Medical Secretaries are responsible for assisting doctors and other medical professionals with clerical and customer service tasks. Such responsibilities may include greeting, assisting and directing visitors, as well as answering telephones, screening calls, and directing them to appropriate centers or staff members. They also schedule and confirm appointments, and communicate with doctors to ensure that medical consultations, tests, procedures, and surgeries are appropriately planned and executed.
Due to the importance of medical records, Medical Secretaries are careful to ensure that records remain up-to-date and organized. This may include compiling and recording medical charts or other forms of correspondence, such as x-rays and other test results. They may transcribe recorded or written notes for easy access at a future time. They often also need to use software applications to prepare reports, financial statements, invoices, and other documents necessary to ensure the smooth functioning of a medical office. When medical records need to be provided to other medical offices, Medical Secretaries ensure that this is completed according to procedural and lawful guidelines.
Medical Secretaries use many different kinds of hardware and software, particularly office equipment such as fax machines, telephones, pagers, copiers, scanners, computers, and smartphones. Software applications may vary from office to office, but most often includes accounting software, such as Intuit QuickBooks or QuickBooksPro; data entry software such as Microsoft Access; medical software, such as MEDITECH medical and practice management MPM Suite; and Microsoft Office Suite.
Due to the fact that Medical Secretaries are almost always the first point of contact for patients, their personal and customer service skills are of the utmost importance. Also significant is their proficiency in English or other languages spoken by their patients Their efficiency and organization in completing clerical and administrative tasks are essential. Perhaps most important of all are Medical Secretaries’ dependability, integrity, and attention to detail. This job requires someone who is detail oriented, and who can maintain a positive, cooperative attitude even when working in a high stress environment.
Most Medical Secretaries have an intermediate level of education, with 41% having completed some college, though not necessarily with an awarded degree, and 37% having received only a high school diploma. 20% hold a post-secondary certificate or have a certification from a vocational school. Generally, some level of work experience is necessary before being hired as a Medical Secretary, due to the degree of organizational skills needed to maintain high quality patient care. Doctors and other medical professionals tend to prefer Medical Secretaries who can function with a fair degree of independence. This allows Doctors to function in their role without too much distraction from clerical tasks.
Medical Secretaries’ salary can vary significantly in different states across the country, with Washington leading the nation with an average wage of over $40,000 per year, and the best-paid Medical Secretaries earning salaries of near $60,000 annually. These variations are largely due to degree of experience and the local living expenses in one’s area of employment. Less costly states, such as those in the Deep South, have Medical Secretary salaries under $30,000. The rates of employment of Medical Secretaries is expected to skyrocket before 2024, with over 100,000 jobs being added nation-wide, and nearly 30,000 in the state of Texas alone.
Below are some employment trends for Medical Secretaries
- Median Medical Secretaries Salary: $15.89 hourly; $33,040 annually
- Employment: 528,000 employees
- Projected growth (2014-2024): Much faster than average (greater than 14%)
- Projected job openings (2014-2024): 163,800
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- Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2014-2022 employment projections Onetonline.org