As the name suggests, a medical secretary fulfils an indispensable role in any office, clinic, laboratory, or health centre. It is usually the first contact that a person who comes to the office has and for this reason, must be trained to carry out their tasks with total professionalism: we must not forget that people who go to the doctor do so for their health needs.

The medical secretary has several functions, both administrative, financial and human relations:

  • In charge of welcoming people;

  • Pick up the phone;

  • Clarify doubts to patients;

  • Organise the information of the doctor or doctors;

  • Manage shifts and appointments;

  • Provide all kinds of information about the service provided.

They don’t only have contact with patients, but also with medical representatives and other health professionals. The secretaries and assistants of doctors also carry out numerous roles that many times we do not imagine. All of them must be carried out with effort, affection, and dedication since they work in front of the public most of the time.

Another medical secretary’s task is to verify and update the patient’s data in the medical records or history system. Many times, some data, such as the address or telephone number, can change. It is crucial to keep the data updated continuously to contact a patient when necessary.

These tasks are learned in the Medical Secretarial course, which is the most important training that can be completed to aspire to an office clerk job.

Training and education of medical secretaries

All medical secretaries, assistants and health aides must be appropriately trained. For example, when it comes to medical secretaries working in an emergency service, they must be prepared to recognise a challenging situation or to be able to notify the nursing staff or doctor if a patient’s condition is getting worse while waiting his turn. Even those who work in doctors’ offices must be trained to take each patient’s vital signs, weight, and height before being evaluated by the doctor. Those who want to be a doctor’s secretary, both in an office and in a health centre, must be backed by a solid knowledge of health, diseases, symptoms, pharmacology, medical care, social works and billing methods for social outcomes.

Medical office management

The secretaries are also in charge of each patient’s payment method, and the verification and data collection of the social work or medical mutual. Similarly, once the patient has been treated, you must be careful to register a new appointment or a medical examination (such as X-rays, blood tests, biopsies, etc.), and verify if this involves any extra cost. Similarly, the secretary is in charge of calling each patient to notify the medical appointment’s suspension and reschedule a new shift for each of them, using computer tools or the classic paper cards for this.

The medical secretary is also in charge of organising each patient’s shift, both in the file and personally. Many times, it’s arranged in the order of arrival and appointment time. They also keep records of those patients who did not show up for the appointment. They are often also responsible for calling the patient out loud when it is time to be seen by the doctor and verifying that, if necessary, he has the correct and updated medical history at hand.

In this sense, one aspect is of utmost importance because the medical secretary must be extremely professional since she has access to each patient’s medical history and laboratory results, which is strictly confidential. These are some of the fundamental tasks that a medical secretary performs in her daily routine. However including all the functions of the doctor’s secretary or receptionist in a single article would be practically impossible, since, in addition to everything mentioned above, she must be assertive, with the ability to prioritise tasks, work in a team and work under pressure, while maintaining a smile for the public.

What do you have to study to be a medical secretary?

One of the advantages of this course is that there is no age limit to study it, and you do not need to have finished high school. The ideal is to do the Medical Secretariat course, which can be done in person or remotely. This course will teach you the tools that every secretary must handle to be in charge of an office, including knowledge of the human body, fundamentals of pharmacology, health and disease.

It doesn’t take much to become a medical secretary, and the work is gratifying. You may be interested in a management position, an exciting medical specialisation, or want to teach. If you are looking for a stable and impressive job in one of the most dynamic industries, look no further than this fantastic position! If you believe you are sufficiently qualified and have the relevant skills, such as good interpersonal skills, send your applications to Doctors Secretarial Agency, a leading medical recruitment agency specialising in staff placement services in Melbourne.