Inside Medical Administrator Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"There Was More Opportunity In Several Different Areas...
This career path has many sub opportunities within it. There are choices and variety within many settings to choose from." (Nurse Administrator; 2014)

Career: 13 years of experience, currently based in Pennsylvania, female
School: Studied Healthcare at University Of Northern Colorado in Colorado; completed Bachelor degree in 2000

"Able To Use My Own Skills To Come Up With New Solutions...
Working for human resources doesn't sound exciting, but the job is definitely challenging. I enjoy all the problems I get to solve. Every day has a new challenge. It's more than just paperwork. When you think about your daily tasks you are intimately affecting other peoples work and their lives. There is great responsibility because people are depending on you and your department to make their job run smoothly. I was surprised with the amount of independence I had in my job. Of course there are standards and preferred ways of working, but there is a great deal of personal choice and ways of thinking to accomplish your tasks." (Middle Management Health Care Support Human Resources; 2013)

Career: 4 years of experience, currently based in North Carolina, male
School: Studied Speech Communication at University Of Illinois At Champaign-Urbana in Illinois; completed Bachelor degree in 1994

"Thinking On Your Feet...
Most people would be surprised to know how dynamic this career actually is. There are many situations throughout any given day in which you have to think fast on your feet and make a decision. Its a lot of work but can be satisfying." (Human Resource Manager; 2013)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in New York, male
School: Studied Business Administration at Pace University in New York; completed Master degree in 2004

"I Found A Job That I Love In An Industry I Never Knew Existed...
I was honestly not aware that my job even existed. I'm an administrator for a family medicine residency. I hadn't ever really thought about the in-house training that young residents do before they become doctors. I found my job by chance and I really enjoy the industry." (Graduate Medical Education Department Manager; 2014)

Career: 7 years of experience, currently based in Pennsylvania, female
School: Studied Business at Indiana University Of Pennsylvania in Pennsylvania; completed Bachelor degree in 2009

"I was surprised to find that a clinical coordinator and medical staff assistant has so many job responsibilities. I am basically the doctor's right hand man. I speak to parents about appointments, take vitals, score testing, take medication calls, call in refills to pharmacies, and do administrative work as well." (Clinical Coordinator; 2013)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in North Carolina, female
School: Studied Psychology at Appalachian State University in North Carolina; completed Bachelor degree in 2008

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Medical Secretary: "The worst part of the job is that I have to sit at a desk for 8 hours a day - it can be very long and hard on your back and arms with typing all day. You have to learn to get up and stretch every once in a while. The best part of the job is that it is rewarding to be part of someone's medical care. You get to know the patients that come in and out all the time, and the other nurses and women in the office are like a second family to me now." (2011)

Medical Records Clerk: "The best part of my job is it is highly flexible so that I don't necessarily need to be in the office during "office hours". Most of my work can be done after the office is closed and at home. The worst part of the job is contacting the patients only to find out that they have never followed up on the doctor's orders." (2011)

Medical Administrator: "The best part of my job is definitely helping people. Sometimes patients need help to understand insurance plans and how they work. Understanding your plan makes it much easier for patients, especially if their health in not very good. This makes the patient worry less about their finances while recovering. The worst part of my job is when a patient passes away. We become friends with patients when they are seen on a regular basis. If a patient is very ill we either see them get better or worse. Sometimes we never see them again. I hate this part." (2011)

Medical Secretary: "The best part of my career is that I get to meet each individual patient and I have come to realize that they are not just names and faces, but they are people who have something to offer to the world. It is so amazing to see and hear about each person's life and to be given the opportunity to watch them get better week after week due to the therapy that our office provides. I think that if there was a worst part about my career, it would be that in the physical therapy world, patients stop coming when they get better, so it is sometimes sad to see them leave. Although I know it is such a wonderful time for them because our office has helped them, it is also a bittersweet goodbye." (2011)

Medical Office Manager: "The best part of my career is having staff that works hard and strives to meet their goals. My administrator is very cold, but when you have a career, you aren't going to get alone with everyone. You have to be civil and maintain a good working environment. The pay is great and the benefits are good, too. Unfortunately, when you work for a specialty office, the hours can be very long and you should not expect to work 9-5." (2011)

Medical Secretary: "The best part of the job is helping patients, being part of the solution to whatever issues the patients have. The worst part of the job is trying to navigate through the various insurance company policies, which tests need prior authorizations or referrals and how to obtain those. Each insurance company has its own set of rules and tools to use and it can be very frustrating trying to get an answer to a basic question." (2010)

Dental Office Manager: "The best part of my job is talking with patients and helping them with their dental needs. I also like it when children come into the office, and if they're scared I try to make them feel better. I even like dealing with insurance companies; it's like detective work sometimes and I really like that. The worst part of my job is being without my dog...but I look forward to going into work each day." (2010)

Career Background

Medical Administrator

  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Tips

"The Best Positions Can Come In Small Healthcare Settings...
Look for many avenues and healthcare settings when applying. You'll be happy to find the best positions in small settings." (Nurse Administrator; 2014)

"Become Familiar With Physician Education Requirements...
If you want to get into a medical education position, be prepared to fully understand the process that a physician goes through from medical school all the way to becoming an independently licensed physician. There are many variables and legalities that you need to be familiar with." (Graduate Medical Education Department Manager; 2014)

"Human Resources Isn't About Paperwork Or Standardized Forms...
If you are interested in pursuing a career in human resources make sure to research all available companies before making a decision. Human resources can be monotonous in some instances, but there are plenty of companies that allow you to be creative and reward you for new ways of thinking." (Middle Management Health Care Support Human Resources; 2013)

"Building Connections...
If you would like to have a successful career in healthcare human resources you need to make connections with your peers and learn from your co-workers. This will help you to learn from people with experience." (Human Resource Manager; 2013)

"A Few Key Courses To Take...
I think if you are interested in a "medical career" but are not sure where you want to end up, I would suggest taking anatomy and physiology classes, or integrated science. They are very good courses that will really let you know whether or not you are interested in the human body as a career. You can also go many places in the medical field by starting with those courses. Also, any courses in computers these days are always helpful as that is what every job just about works on." (Medical Secretary; 2011)

"Begin Career In A Small Office...
When staring out in Medical Records, look for a smaller office rather than a larger medical office. You will get more exposure to the different aspects of the job rather than being hired to do only one thing such as filing. Maintaining patient privacy is critical in this job, so try not to work in your personal doctor's office or those that your friends or family go to as you will be seeing all types of confidential documentation." (Medical Records Clerk; 2011)

"First Work In A Medical Office...
If you think the medical field is where you want to be but don't like the bloody part of it and you would like a rewarding job helping people, this is the job for you. There are many educational opportunities for people today. There are college courses, vocational schools or even online opportunities. It might be a good idea to take a summer job in a medical office to see if this is really for you. I believe you will find it to be exciting, educational and overall very rewarding." (Medical Administrator; 2011)

"Stay Positive...
To make a career out of the administrative field, there are a few tips that one should take into account. You need to have a genuine interest in the field in which you are seeking a position, because otherwise you will not be truly happy with at your job. Also, having a positive attitude helps an office environment - especially the patients who may not be in the best of moods. Finally, being a team player is definitely necessary when working in an office setting because everyone works together everyday." (Medical Secretary; 2011)

"Take Coding And Office Admin Classes...
The best thing to do when getting into medical billing and office management is to take medical office courses. These are generally offered at local community colleges or specialty medical staffing schools. Coding and management classes are also very important to have under your belt. Apply to entry level positions and be patient as you work your way up. The best way to get to the top is to network. Also be sure to never burn bridges." (Medical Office Manager; 2011)

"Start With A PCP...
If you are interested in becoming a medical secretary, I would try to start out in a primary care physician's office. They seem to be the most organized and are set up to deal with most insurance companies, which will allow you to learn how to deal with the insurance plans, since all insurance plans require authorizations to start with the primary care's office. Based on my experience witnessing others in my field, I would become a medical tech instead of an admin. You will learn the basics of patient care and will learn how to take a patient's blood pressure, etc. which will put you at a better pay scale." (Medical Secretary; 2010)

"What It Takes To Run A Dentist Office...
To manage a dentist's office you need to be a people person. And you should have patience and compassion. You'll also need to be able to multitask to some degree. You're the first person the patient talks to so you have to exude good cheer." (Dental Office Manager; 2010)