What is a medical secretary?

A Medical Secretary is responsible for handling administrative and clerical tasks at a hospital or clinic. They perform specialized secretarial duties and are necessary to the functioning of any facility that provides healthcare services.

How to become a medical secretary?

You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant subjects include:

  • T level in Management and Administration
  • Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Medical Administration
  • Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Medical Terminology

You can get into this role through a business administrator advanced apprenticeship. This typically takes 18 months to complete as a mix of workplace learning and off the job study. If you already work in a healthcare setting, for instance, as a receptionist or clerical assistant, it may help you move into a medical secretary role if you take a relevant qualification while you’re working.

The Association of Medical Secretaries, Practice Managers, Administrators and Receptionists (AMSPAR) and the British Society of Medical Secretaries and Administrators (BSMSA) offer:

  • Level 2 Certificate and Diploma in Medical Administration
  • Certificate in Medical Terminology

Medical secretary duties

Medical secretary duties are diverse and depend on the employer and specialty, but some responsibilities are common to most:

  • Handle phone calls and take messages
  • Schedule staff meetings, which may include reserving conference rooms and ordering food
  • Prepare and traffic invoices, reports, and memos
  • Schedule patient appointments and surgeries, and send appointment reminders and follow-ups via calls or emails
  • Handle mail and faxes
  • Generate revenues by completing direct patient and third-party billing; monitoring accounts receivables; initiating collection calls and reminders
  • Secure information by completing database back-ups
  • Maintain patient confidence and protect operations by keeping information confidential
  • Maintain office supplies inventory by checking stock; anticipating needs; placing and expediting orders; verifying receipt

Medical secretary skills

To be an effective medical secretary, you’ll need certain skills and competencies. The following are often cited in job vacancies:

  • Familiarity with basic bookkeeping
  • Scheduling
  • Microsoft Office skills
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Comfortable with routinely shifting demands
  • High degree of attention to detail
  • Patience and Discretion
  • Confidence with IT and computer packages

How to find a medical secretary job

These jobs are advertised online, in local newspapers and at your local jobcentre. To find all the medical secretary jobs near you, you need to:

  • Search for medical secretary jobs on popular job websites such as; Indeed, Total Jobs and CV Library
  • Use the DWP’s Find A Job Service
  • Check local newspapers and local Facebook groups, especially groups dedicated to local jobs

Medical Secretary Job Titles

When you search for medical secretary jobs online, be aware that the jobs might be advertised using a different job title. Popular job titles for medical secretary jobs include;

  • Administrative Coordinators
  • Administrative Specialists
  • Administrative Services Manager
  • Administrator
  • Executive Assistant
  • Legal Secretary
  • Medical Administrative Assistant

What does a medical secretary do?

The job of a medical secretary varies depending on the job role and the company you’re working for. Check the duties and responsibilities of medical secretary job advertisements to find jobs that best suit your skills and experience. 

The day-to-day tasks of a medical secretary include;

  • handle questions from patients, staff and consultants
  • organise a doctor’s diary, book consulting rooms and meetings
  • make travel arrangements
  • manage a waiting list of patients
  • update patient records and deal with confidential information
  • send samples for medical testing and record the results
  • type letters, clinical reports, minutes of meetings and do filing
  • monitor an office budget and deal with invoices