Inside Medical Secretary Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"Very Rewarding Job And A Lot Of Fun...
very enjoyable job" (Medical Secretary; 2013)

Career: 20 years of experience, currently based in Minnesota, female
School: at Dakota County College in Minnesota; completed Associate degree in 1987

"Being On Call On Every Other Weekend OK Because I Love What I Do...
Everyone was part of the team whether you were in our department or not. The surprise for me was the team nurses who were so busy were never that busy to come help with medical records or any questions we had. I thought it might be more patient care but found out it was caring from every office that we dealt with." (Hospice Medical Secretary; 2013)

Career: 4 years of experience, currently based in New York, female
School: Studied Medical Transcription at Dutchess in New York; completed Associate degree in 2000

"What has surprised me about my career, is that I thought that I would pretty much be in the background and wouldn't have much contact with the patients. I have found in my most recent position that I have a lot of contact with the patients. It is quite rewarding to see the patients everyday and talk to them and so many of the patients seem to enjoy our conversations" (Medical Secretary; 2013)

Career: 25 years of experience, currently based in California, female
School: Studied Medical Secretary at Humphreys College in California; completed Certificate degree in 1976

"Healthcare: Expanding Your Education...
Most people are surprised at the educational opportunities this position offers. Working as part of the administrative team allows you to acquire amazing social skills. The opportunity to learn about disease and prevention, and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle is also among the many benefits when working hand in hand with doctors, nurses, and educators." (Medical Office Associate II; 2014)

Career: 4 years of experience, currently based in Virginia, female
School: Studied Medical Administrative Technology Services at New River Community College in Virginia; completed Associate degree in 2010

"Numerous Responsibilities For Medical Secretaries...
I was surprised at the amount of responsibility put on medical secretaries and how they have to mediate between patients and doctors." (Medical Secretary; 2013)

Career: 10 years of experience, female
School: Studied Psychology at University Of South Florida in Florida; completed Associate degree in 2001

"Working Conditions Are Many Times Unsavory...
I was surprised at how hostile many workers within the hospital were. There is also a bit of dysfunction regarding working experience within different areas of the hospital." (Health Care Service Provider; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Kansas, male
School: Studied Psychology at Wichita State in Kansas in 2012

"Psych Training Useful...
I was surprised at how much psychology training I have used as an administrative employee. People get VERY stressed (understandably) when dealing with their health and the health of their loved ones. Sometimes I know that something is not a big deal, but I have to remember that the patient believes the situation is an emergency." (Health Information Specialist; 2013)

Career: 11 years of experience, female
School: Studied Medical Administration at Kennesaw State University in Georgia; completed Associate degree in 2006

"Charts Get Lost...
I was surprised at how much paperwork a medical chart has. I expected a lot, but there are patients with 3 or 4 volumes. I was also surprised at how easily charts can get lost. You would think there are only one or two places to find a chart, but the primary doctor could have given it to the nurse, or the lab, or another doctor." (Medical Records; 2013)

Career: 15 years of experience, currently based in Florida, female
School: Studied Medical Records And Coding at Southwest Florida College in Florida; completed Certificate degree in 1998

"Physicians Make Mistakes...
I am surprised at the amount of mistakes that physicians make when they write in medical records." (Medical Records Retention; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Florida, female
School: Studied Health Information And Informatics Management at University Of Central Florida in Florida; completed Bachelor degree in 2012

"I was surprised when I first started working in this career that the skills I learned were all technical. I learned typing, shorthand, medical terminology, business math and English, business machines, accounting, etc. Although these were all necessary in order to go into that field, the most valuable skills were learned on the job such as working with others, being flexible, managing time, etc." (Medical Secretary; 2012)

Career: 15 years of experience, currently based in New York, female
School: Studied Medical Secretary at Central City Business Institute (Now Bryant Stratton) in New York; completed Diploma degree in 1975

Career Background

Medical Secretary

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Career Video

Career Tips

"Small Leads To Big...
If you want to be successful in the healthcare industry as an administrative assistant, start out small and work your way up. Even if starting in a smaller office, you will build the skills required for larger offices without the stress a larger office has. You will build your confidence and easily slide into a larger role." (Medical Office Associate II; 2014)

"What My Healthcare Career Means Is Beyond What I Was Thinking It Would Be...
You definitely can have a fulfilling career in healthcare as long as you give different aspects of it a chance." (Hospice Medical Secretary; 2013)

"Job Security Is Not Guaranteed...
You can obtain good positions within hospitals, there is a lot of turnover so jump on opportunities to move up positional ladders. There is also the chance of outsourcing that could make employment uncertain at times. Be prepared for some hostility due to long hours." (Health Care Service Provider; 2013)

just study hard" (Medical Secretary; 2013)

"Attention To Detail...
Make a habit of paying close attention to detail in your school work so that it carries over as a habit into your real work." (Medical Records Retention; 2013)

"Multi-Tasking And Interpersonal Skills Critical To Being Medical Secretary...
Interpersonal skills and multi-tasking come in very handy as a medical secretary." (Medical Secretary; 2013)

"Computer Skills...
Since so many places are going to electronic medical records, you need to have a strong computer background. If you want to make decent money, I would go on and get a licensed position, which requires at least a Bachelors degree." (Medical Records; 2013)

"Good Alternative To Clinical Job...
Medical administration is a good way to get a career in the medical field without the clinical side of things. I have learned a lot and love the relationships I have formed with my patients." (Health Information Specialist; 2013)

"Stay Abreast Of Changes...
A tip that I would give a student that might be interested in a career such as the one I've chosen, would be to make sure and keep up with all the changes that can affect this type of job. In other words if technology changes, then you would need to learn how to cope with the changes and probably take classes to efficiently learn these changes." (Medical Secretary; 2013)