Medical Secretary  What They Do

Just the Facts

Performs secretarial duties using specific knowledge of medical terminology and hospital, clinic, or laboratory procedures. Duties may include scheduling appointments, billing patients, and compiling and recording medical charts, reports, and correspondence.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Health Informatics pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Answers telephones and directs calls to appropriate staff.
  • Schedules and confirms patient diagnostic appointments, surgeries, or medical consultations.
  • Operates office equipment, such as voice mail messaging systems, and uses word processing, spreadsheet, or other software applications to prepare reports, invoices, financial statements, letters, case histories, or medical records.
  • Maintains medical records, technical library, or correspondence files.
  • Compiles and records medical charts, reports, or correspondence, using typewriter or personal computer.
  • Greets visitors, determines purpose of visit, and directs them to appropriate staff.
  • Receives and routes messages or documents, such as laboratory results, to appropriate staff.
  • Transmits correspondence or medical records by mail, e-mail, or fax.
  • Performs various clerical or administrative functions, such as ordering and maintaining an inventory of supplies.
  • Interviews patients to complete documents, case histories, or forms, such as intake or insurance forms.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Dental Office Administrative Assistant -- Performs administrative duties in a dental office.
  • Health Information Coder -- Gathers information from each patient record for coding under a special system used by hospitals and doctors' offices.
  • Medical Administrative Assistant -- Provides administrative assistance to trained medical staff where basic medical terminology, billing and coding, handing electronic medical records, HIPAA requirements as well as general customer service is needed.
  • Medical Records Clerk -- Compiles, verifies, types, and files medical records of hospital or other health care facility.
  • Medical Terminologist -- Has training in the vocabulary related to the anatomy of the human body and the diseases that affect various organ systems.
  • Patient Services Representative -- Helps patients understand the health services, procedures and policies available to them.