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Healthcare is a very promising field for career-minded individuals, with employment growing at a rapid pace. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the rate of job growth in the healthcare occupation to be much faster than rates in any other occupational category. Of course, not everyone is cut out for a career in clinical areas of healthcare, but you don't have to be a physician or nursing professional to take advantage of the healthcare boom. Administrative positions – such as Medical Secretary – are expected to be plentiful as well.
Medical Secretaries are members of the administrative staff in healthcare settings. Much like secretaries in other industries, they perform clerical, administrative and supportive functions. Unlike other secretaries, they must have knowledge of medical terminology, medical procedures, and business practices specific to the healthcare industry. Medical Secretaries are also commonly referred to as Medical Office Specialists, Patient Relations Representatives, Medical Receptionists or Medical Administrative Assistants.
The day-to-day duties of a Medical Secretary can vary greatly from one employment setting to another. However, there are some general duties that most individuals who hold this position are expected to perform, including:
Medical Secretaries work in a range of areas within the healthcare industry. According to BLS data , Medical Secretaries held 556,820 jobs in 2016. Their most common employment setting was physicians' offices, which accounted for 179,580 of those jobs. The next largest employer of Medical Secretaries was general medical and surgical hospitals, which accounted for 138,950 jobs. Dentists' offices employed 82,460 Medical Secretaries, various other health practitioners accounted for 51,120 jobs, and outpatient care centers employed 27,650.
Like most areas of the healthcare industry, employment in administrative support positions like Medical Secretary is expected to rise at a faster pace than that of the average of all occupations by the year 2026. While BLS does not provide growth rate predictions for Medical Secretary positions specifically, it projects an 18 percent rise in the number of jobs in the healthcare field in general, and a 22 percent rise in healthcare support occupations.
BLS credits this expected job growth to several factors that affect the healthcare industry. Among the most important, according to the agency, is increasing demand for health services due to the aging of the baby-boom generation. Demand for preventive health services in particular is expected to continue to rise through 2026. Physicians are most often the providers of these types of services. As demand for physicians' services rise, so too will demand for support staff, including Medical Secretaries. Demand for services from group practices, clinics, outpatient care centers and other healthcare facilities is also expected to rise during this period, leading to a greater need for support staff in these employment settings as well.
All-in-all, these projections indicate a favorable career outlook for those considering a career as a Medical Secretary. That said, it is important to note that job market data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook is intended to provide insight on occupational opportunities and is not to be construed as a guarantee of salary or job title. Neither BLS nor Bryant & Stratton College can guarantee employment in this or any field of employment.
Becoming a Medical Secretary means acquiring a foundation of the skills necessary to excel in administrative roles in healthcare settings. These include a good working knowledge of technology specific to the healthcare field, including computer applications, and medical software. Good verbal and written communication skills are essential, as are administrative, organizational, managerial and financial skills. Prospective Medical secretaries will also need to have a good understanding of medical procedures and terminology to perform well in this field. Earning a medical office assistant diploma with Bryant & Stratton College will provide you with that foundation, preparing you to get your start in building a career as a Medical Secretary.
The medical office assistant diploma provides you with the skills and knowledge you need for entry-level administrative positions in the healthcare industry. This, of course, includes Medical Secretary positions, as well as numerous other positions in the clerical/administrative/financial/legal side of healthcare. Additionally, once you are a graduate of this program, you can apply its courses and earned credits toward the medical administrative assistant associate degree at Bryant & Stratton College, providing you with a head start on earning a degree for career advancement.
A career as a medical secretary may involve meeting certain licensing, training and other requirements that can vary by vocation and state. Bryant & Stratton College’s programs are education programs and the college makes no representations regarding whether a particular program will qualify a graduate for employment in any specific position, is necessary for attaining any such position, or whether potential employers may require additional training, certification or education. Before enrolling in a program, applicants are encouraged to consult with any relevant agency or employer with which he/she may wish to seek employment for a complete list of position requirements and pre-requisites.
For more information on the health services field, visit the healthcare degree section on the Bryant & Stratton College blog for further career insights.