Physician Office Specialist

Physician Office Specialist

What is a Physician Office Specialist? 

A physician office specialist is an administrative professional responsible for basic office duties in a doctor’s office. Any time you visit a physician’s office, you interact with this type of professional, though job titles may vary. This specialist greets you when you enter the office and helps you sign in for your appointment. Though this is not a position where one would treat patients medically, physician office specialists have a great deal of interaction with patients. 

Working in the front of the office, it’s important for professionals in this role to maintain a pleasant demeanor and helpful attitude. They may need to answer basic patient questions, assist with scheduling or rescheduling appointments, help patients understand the basics of their insurance coverage, and offer information on approximate wait times. 

Physician office specialists should enjoy working with people and have a great deal of patience and professionalism. It’s understandable that patients may feel distressed if appointments are not taking place on time when they’re ill or uncomfortable. At the front desk, the office specialist is responsible for doing whatever is possible to keep patients happy, comfortable, and well-informed on what’s happening. 

Job Responsibilities: 

  • Patient check-in 
  • Scheduling appointments 
  • Answering phone calls, emails, and other communications 
  • Directing vendors in the appropriate place to go 
  • Processing billing 
  • Handling insurance forms 
  • Transcribing physician recordings 
  • Maintaining medical records 
  • Communicating with medical staff 

Where Do Physician Office Specialists Work?

Physician office specialists work in physicians’ offices. This may include specialty offices, such as a podiatrist, pediatrician, or dermatologist. If you have an interest in one of these fields, you may enjoy the opportunity to work more closely within an area of treatment. However, most of this work is done in the front office and doesn’t vary much from one office to another. 

This environment typically provides a steady weekday schedule. However, you may have to work the occasional evening or weekend shift if the office offers extended hours. Most professionals in this field are employed full-time. 

What is the Job Outlook for Physician Office Specialists?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn’t collect information specific to physician office specialists. However, it does maintain data on medical records and health information technicians, who have a similar job. 

 Employment of medical records specialists is projected to grow 8 percent from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations.  

About 15,000 openings for medical records specialists are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire. 

An increasing share of the population is entering older age groups, which typically require more medical services. In addition, there is a growing prevalence of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. As a result, more medical records specialists will be needed to translate patient information and services delivered into standardized codes to be used for insurance reimbursement and other purposes. 

What Training and Education Do I Need to Become a Physician Office Specialist?

Though there are no formal requirements to work as a physician office specialist, most employers prefer to hire applicants with a solid background in a related field. The Medical Administrative Assistant Associate degree from Bryant & Stratton College is a great choice that will give you a well-rounded background to help you prepare for a successful career as a medical or physician office specialist. 

This degree program includes courses on healthcare terminology, anatomy and physiology, medical office procedures, electronic health records, medical insurance and billing, and more. It covers all the essentials that you should need to successfully maintain order and organization running the front desk in any physician’s office. 

What Can I Do with an AAS Medical Administrative Assistant Degree? 

An AAS Medical Administrative Assistant degree will prepare you for a variety of jobs in healthcare. Physician office specialists can go by many names. In addition to physicians’ offices, this same type of professional is also needed in hospitals, nursing care centers, urgent care centers, and other locations. As you’re conducting your job search, keep an eye out for job titles such as: 

  • Medical office specialist 
  • Medical secretary 
  • Admissions coordinator 
  • Billing coordinator 
  • Patient coordinator 
  • Unit secretary 
  • Ward clerk 

Diversifying your search will give you the best chance of landing a great job after graduation with your AAS Medical Administrative Assistant degree. 

For more insights into your career opportunities in this and similar jobs, check out the healthcare degrees section of our blog. Here, you’ll find a wealth of information to help you plan your future.

While these projections can help career-minded people evaluate potential employment fields, it is important to note that job market data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook is only intended to provide insight on occupational opportunities. It should not be construed as a guarantee of salary or job title. Neither BLS nor Bryant & Stratton College can guarantee employment in any field.

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