Do you have an interest in healthcare and a passion for people? If you enjoy helping others and working in a medical facility, but you're not interested in becoming a physician or other clinical specialist, a career as a physician office specialist could be the perfect fit. You'll get to assist patients daily and work closely with other medical professionals. This is a growing job field where you can find many diverse opportunities to suit your needs and interests. Read on to learn more.
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.
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.
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. These professionals can expect job growth of about 13 percent between 2016 and 2026. This is nearly double the national average for all occupations.
Most medical professionals are seeing positive job growth like this. The upward trend in job opportunities is due in large part to the aging baby boomer generation. As this part of the population gets older, they will have an increasing need for medical care. Physicians' offices should expect an influx of baby boomers in coming years, and physician office specialists will be needed to help handle these patients.
Aging baby boomers are also retiring from the workforce, creating many job openings in the medical field as well as other areas. Physician office specialists who are familiar with electronic health records will be equipped to manage another growing trend in health care. Most physicians' offices either currently use or will soon transition to electronic records. As a physician office specialist, you should be comfortable using and maintaining these digital files.
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.
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:
Diversifying your search will give you the best chance of landing a great job after graduation with your AAS Medical Administrative Assistant degree.
Please note that information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is not intended as a guarantee of employment opportunities. This is for general educational purposes only. Trends in the economy and healthcare industry can change at any time. However, understanding the general growth that's expected in this area will help you make the best possible choices about your future career.
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.