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Oswego Career Ladders - Medical Office Staff

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Medical Office Staff

Industry: Healthcare
Area: Business

Medical office support personnel perform a variety of administrative and clerical duties in an effort to support the professionals that work in health related fields. They perform tasks such as answering phone calls, handling and preparing correspondence, keeping accurate and up-to-date records, making appointments, transcribing dictation, and completing insurance and other medical forms. One of the main responsibilities of a medical secretary is to make sure that the office runs smoothly. They must be well organized in order to maximize the efficiency of their employer's time. These secretarial positions require excellent computer skills in word processing, database management, and spreadsheets. Medical secretaries are often required to recognize and understand scientific as well as medical terminology. Duties vary depending on the size of the institution that one is employed. In smaller offices, they may be required to greet patients, keep medical records, or act as a receptionist. In larger institutions, they might be personal secretaries to a department head or work in the medical records department with several other administrative staff. Anyone interested in becoming a medical secretary should have good communication skills and enjoy working in the health care field.

Work Settings

Medical office support personnel can work in a number of different health care delivery facilities. Some of the most popular places of employment are hospitals, clinics, insurance companies, doctor's offices, local or state health departments, group medical practices, and medical research departments.


Individuals interested in medical office support need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Since medical secretaries need to have a certain degree of medical knowledge, employers usually prefer an individual with an associate's degree. Training and educational courses should include medical terminology, insurance billing, and dictation and word processing skills. Students interested in this line of work should contact schools for information on admission and course of study.

Job Outlook

Employment opportunities for are expected to grow by more than 36% through the year 2012. It is projected to be the fastest growing occupation over the next 10 years.


Average annual income is $24,100

Work Schedule

Medical office support personnel generally work 40-hour weeks, which may include weekends. Work schedules are often flexible.

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