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What Does a Medical Secretary Do?

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Medical secretaries -- sometimes called medical administrative assistants -- are often the right hand of the physician who needs to focus on practicing medicine. With educational preparation that varies from a high school diploma and on-job training or post-secondary certificate to a bachelor’s degree, medical secretaries handle clerical and financial tasks in a medical office, clinic or hospital.

Juggling Multiple Balls

The medical secretary is typically responsible for all clerical tasks, which can include patient scheduling, medical record management, transcribing medical dictation, and arranging for patients to have surgery or to be admitted to a hospital.

In addition, she might perform typical secretarial tasks such as filing, typing letters, or ordering office supplies. In some medical offices, the secretary also performs billing tasks. She might also act as the office receptionist, especially in a small practice.

The job outlook for medical secretaries is excellent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a projected growth rate of 18 percent through 2030 -- more than three times as fast as average. Medical secretaries earned an average annual salary of $35,815 in 2020, according to the BLS.

Receptionists salary

  • Top 10% Annual Salary: More than $45,150 ($21.71/hour)
  • Median Annual Salary: $31,110 ($14.96/hour)
  • Bottom 10% Annual Salary: Less than $22,030 ($10.59/hour)

Beth Greenwood is an RN and has been a writer since 2010. She specializes in medical and health topics, as well as career articles about health care professions. Greenwood holds an Associate of Science in nursing from Shasta College.

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