A career as a medical secretary requires commitment and a passion to help others. It also requires an ability to prioritize and schedule tasks.
The job description of a medical secretary includes taking messages and answering phone calls, replying to emails, processing medical insurance claims and patient billing, scheduling meetings and handling faxes and mail. It also involves managing the database and the filing system, preparing memos, traffic invoices, and reports. A medical secretary also schedules patient surgeries and appointments besides making follow-up emails and phone calls.
Here is a detailed guide about the medical secretary career path:
1. Get a High School Diploma or Degree
Education is one of the most important steps to a medical secretary career path. Most employers hire high school graduates and then train them on the job. However, to get certified, a medical secretary must complete accredited training offered by various tertiary institutions.
To improve your chances of landing a job as a medical secretary and get paid better, you need both work experience and formal training. The training covers several medical office assistant courses, such as:
- human anatomy and physiology
- medical terminology
- insurance claims processing
- business communication
- database management
- transcription and records management
- computer studies and office practices.
Having the right qualification and certification puts you ahead of the line in your pursuit of a career as a medical secretary.
2. Complete the Readiness Test
To be enrolled into a medical secretary program, some institutions require one to complete readiness tests. The tests are geared towards assessing writing, reading, and math skills for students seeking a career in medical administration. The key is to gauge if you have the requisite set of skills to hack a career as a medical secretary.
There are online training programs that are perfect for students who may not be in a position to attend in-person classes. These online programs are highly popular with working students as they come with a lot of flexibility and convenience. The only caution is that you need discipline and commitment to ace online programs.
3. Get Certified
While a majority of employers do not demand certification, having one puts you ahead of the pack. It shows that you are dedicated to your work and are knowledgeable in the trade. Besides, a professional certificate is testament of your ability to manage a medical office.
4. Prior Work as a Secretary
To improve your chances of getting hired as a medical secretary, any secretarial experience in an office is critical. If most of the medical secretary positions demand secretarial experience, consider applying for related secretarial work.
You could even accept a position as a front desk clerk or an office secretary. Such positions expose you to administrative roles that will come in handy when applying for a medical secretary position.
5. Draft your Resume
When drafting your resume, remember to highlight your best attributes. Showcase your skills, past experience and duties that closely align with the position you are applying for. Clerical, organizational, and interpersonal skills are transferable, and these are critical in a medical secretary position.
To be certain your resume accurately represents your skills, qualification, and experience, you may want to hire a resume expert to help you out. A resume provides a potential employer with a glimpse of what you are capable of based on how you’ve performed in past postings. Make sure every crucial milestone you’ve achieved is included in your resume.
6. Apply for Medical Secretary Positions
Now that your resume is done. Go through it one more to make sure you have not undersold yourself. Make sure it highlights milestones that would make an interviewer want to give you a chance.
Next, apply for an open medical secretary position. If you have certifications that are relevant to the position you are applying, include them in your application. Also, don’t forget to detail any relevant experience you have accumulated in previous postings.
When applying, look for positions that match your experience level and skill set. This is critical since you don’t want to waste your time on openings that are above or below your pedigree. Applying to jobs you qualify for enhances your chances of getting shortlisted.
A career as a medical secretary is highly competitive. It’s also extremely rewarding. Professional medical secretaries are always sought after. To improve your chances of being hired, seek professional certification and gather as much experience as possible. You should consider volunteering in various positions that boost your chances of landing a medical secretary job.
Learn as much of the medical terminology as possible, even if it means burning the midnight oil to immerse yourself in deep study. This is especially critical if this is the first time you are seeking to work in this sector. Lastly, get an expert to help you draft a professional resume that highlights your strengths.