Medical Secretaries: The welcoming face of healthcare

Medical Secretaries are the friendly face that welcomes you to your physician’s office. Every day, they liaise with healthcare professionals to ensure patients receive the quality care they deserve.

Texas has the highest employment of Medical Secretaries in the country and is expecting 30% more opportunities over the next three years. That’s over 3,500 new job openings every single year! But what skills do Medical Secretaries need and how can you get them?

What do medical secretaries do?

Medical Secretaries and Medical Receptionists perform similar duties, and in an upcoming blog post, we will discuss the differences between the two and those who work in a general office environment.

The big difference between secretaries that work in healthcare and those who don’t is the specific knowledge you need for the job. For Medical Secretaries, these include an understanding medical terminology, insurance billing and coding, electronic records, and medical transcription.

hc-spot-ms-3Medical Receptionists mainly work in physicians offices and other healthcare practices where they are required to provide front-of-house services such as greeting patients, answering telephones, scheduling appointments, and organizing, compiling and recording patient information. Medical Secretaries perform front-office clerical duties in a more wider variety of settings, including hospitals and other large healthcare organizations, and tend to spend less time on the front desk answering phones.

In some environments, you may be required to enter data and type handwritten and recorded notes for medical charts and reports. An understanding of medical billing and coding is also essential, as you may have to communicate with insurance companies and ensure the accuracy of medical records. To be a Medical Secretary you need to be able to handle multiple tasks and remain calm under pressure. Attention to detail and quality customer service are crucial as is the ability to maintain the confidentiality of personal patient information.

What skills will I need to begin my career as a medical secretary?

If you want to work in healthcare administration, then you have to have a variety of industry-specific skills.

While 70 percent of Medical Secretaries do not have a college degree, most employers require their staff to have formal training in medical terminology, basic anatomy, and physiology. On-the-job experience is also highly sought after.

A survey of 570 Medical Receptionist showed they were required to have a wide-ranging skill set. An understanding of medical terminology, electronic health records, and insurance was associated with above-average wages.

When choosing a school to prepare you for a Medical Secretary position, you need to ensure they offer a solid foundation for your healthcare administration career. CCI Training’s allied healthcare career training provides you with an understanding of:

  • Computer Fundamentals
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Medical Terminology
  • Medical Coding
  • Electronic Medical Records
  • Medical Law, Ethics & Professionalism
  • HIPAA Privacy
  • CPR
  • Insurance Billing & Reimbursement

Qualifications are always highly sought after by employers, so training that prepares you for certification exams will give you the edge against other, less qualified, applicants. For example, the Health Information Program provides training to prepare you for three National Healthcareer Association certifications:

Are there medical secretary jobs available in Texas?

With 96,290 Medical Secretaries, Texas has the highest level of employment in the U.S. and is home to one out of five Medical Secretaries. Texas also has the second highest concentration, after Delaware, with 8.2 medical secretaries per 1000 jobs held.

It also holds the first, second, and seventh position for highest employment in a metropolitan area: Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth. The Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX Metropolitan Division, has 19,800 Medical Secretaries representing 8.15 per 1000 jobs. This concentration is even higher in the Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metropolitan Division, with 8.47 Medical Secretaries for every 1000 jobs held.

This high rate of employment isn’t expected to change anytime soon, with aging populations and ongoing health insurance reforms driving employment opportunities. In the U.S. as a whole, employment is tipped to increase by 21% with 635,800 Medical Secretaries expected to be employed by 2024. This increase is even more in Texas, where a 32% increase in employment is projected to create 3,580 new job openings every year and employment of 110,800 people by 2024.

There’s also ample opportunity for career progression, with many Medical Secretaries going on to specialize in insurance billing and coding, health information, transcription, medical assisting or practice management. 

So how can I find medical secretary positions?

When searching online, it pays to try a few different search terms. At the time of writing, Monster had thousands of Medical Receptionist and Medical Secretary positions listed for the DFW area. Glassdoor was advertising 600 Medical Receptionist positions, while Indeed had 545 jobs available.

Just some of the other job titles you should search for include:

  • Medical Office Specialist
  • Unit Secretary
  • Unit Support Representative
  • Admissions Coordinator
  • Billing Coordinator
  • Health Unit Coordinator
  • Medical Office Specialist
  • Patient Coordinator
  • Physician Office Specialist
  • Ward Clerk

For more information on how CCI Training can help you prepare for a career in healthcare administration, fill out the form on this page and we’ll get in touch.