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Medical Secretary: The Ultimate Guide

A Medical Secretary is an important member of any medical office. They perform a variety of tasks that keep the office running smoothly.

Medical Secretaries must have good computer/IT skills and have excellent organisational skills. They need to be able to handle a lot of paperwork, stay organised in a busy office environment and be able to manage multiple tasks simultaneously. They also need to be good with people, as they often deal directly with patients, doctors, GPs and other medical staff and colleagues under stress.

Other tasks include handling patient records, scheduling appointments, and preparing reports. They also play an important role in patient communication by answering phones and responding to emails. Good communication skills are therefore essential, as is a willingness to learn new things.

Duties of a Medical Secretary

Medical Secretaries have a wide range of duties, which can be divided into three categories: clinical, administrative and secretarial.

Clinical duties include tasks such as preparing patients for examination and treatment, updating medical records, and ordering and stocking supplies.

Administrative duties involve managing the office budget, scheduling appointments, and handling correspondence.

Secretarial duties include typing letters and reports, formatting documents, and making travel arrangements.

Skills Needed

Organisational Skills – Medical Secretaries are responsible for managing a great deal of paperwork. They must be able to keep track of patient records, schedules, and appointment information. They also need to be able to stay organised in order to keep the office in good working order. Good organisational skills are essential for this position.

A good typing speed – The average medical secretary types at 45 words per minute with 80% accuracy or better. Medical secretarial duties include creating, editing, and formatting patient records and summary reports, scheduling appointments, writing correspondence and responding to email messages, generated by medical staff. Also, they create medical PowerPoint presentations, manage office spreadsheets and in general lift the administrative burden.

Courteous attitude – It is important that Medical Secretaries are friendly and have a courteous manner when interacting with patients. They are on the frontline working directly with patients so it is important that they are helpful and promote a positive image.

An effective communicator – Of course, it takes more than being able to answer the phone to communicate professionally with patients and the rest of the people outside the clinic. Medical Secretaries will also need to organise and coordinate so that the practice, clinic or hospital department runs smoothly.

Salary and Career Path

The average annual salary for a Medical Secretary is £23,025*. However, this number can range from £20,801 for entry-level positions to £27,677* for more experienced Medical Secretaries. The career path of a Medical Secretary is relatively straightforward. (*As at July 2022)

They usually start out as a receptionist or assistant and work their way up the ladder. There are many opportunities for advancement in this field. Medical Secretaries can become Managers, Trainers, or even owners of their own businesses.

How to Become a Medical Secretary

If you want to become a Medical Secretary, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of success. First, get some experience in the medical field by volunteering or working as a medical assistant.

Next, get certified by taking a course from an accredited training organisation to help teach and develop all the skills needed to become a Medical Secretary and so that you have formal recognition of these skills in the form of certificates.

Qualifications Needed

One of the most important qualifications is having excellent computer/IT skills. Most of the work in this field is done on computers. You will be required to use a variety of software programs such as Outlook, Excel, Word and PowerPoint, to complete your tasks, so it is important to be comfortable with these as well.

Another important qualification is being able to type quickly and accurately. As a medical secretary, you will be responsible for entering patients’ details accurately.

Finally, it can be helpful to have a good understanding and knowledge of medical terminology as you will be dealing with medical terminology in all sorts of documents and situations when working as a Medical Secretary.

Here at Lewis College, we offer two Medical Secretary Diplomas – a full course and then a short course which purely focuses on the main skills needed to become a Medical Secretary.

Both are fully accredited by NCFE, a UK awarding body that provides nationally recognised qualifications and awards in vocational skills. NCFE is recognised as an awarding body by the qualification regulators, the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual).

0% finance available on all courses with our ethical funding partner, Knoma.

For more information on either course, you can visit our Medical Secretary course page.

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19 Responses

  1. The Level 3 medical Secretary Diploma with the Lewis College is easy to follow, full of useful information and very informed and supportive staff to help you through your course.

  2. I am really enjoying the medical secretary course at Lewes college. The tutors are helpful, supportive and approachable. Not only will the course help me in my future job role but much of it are life skills too. It is interesting to read the above job description and I feel becoming a medical secretary will suit me perfectly.

  3. I have found the course ever so helpful so far in addition to the support from the tutors. This guide is also really useful to read over as a refresher. It’s a really precise overview of what to expect in the job and what is expected of you.

  4. I’m really enjoying this course so far, especially the Medical Terminology part. There is a lot to learn but the supportive staff and long deadline gives me the confidence to know I can succeed.

  5. i found this course very informative and interesting. The amount of support and kind guidance i received from the tutors was exceptional.
    though i was bit rustic but with help and support of staff i made it into the shallow waters.

  6. I am really enjoying the Medical Secretary course at Lewes College.
    The tutors are really nice and supportive. You can always contact them and they help you with anything.

  7. i am half way through the course and finding it very information and educational – great course to do if you a medical secretary or planning to be one.

  8. I am really enjoying my course and learning to be a Medical Secretary.

    All the tutors are extremely helpful and respond quickly to enquiries.

    Would highly recommend.

  9. I am currently in the middle of studying the Medical Secretary level 3 diploma. I am taking it at my own pace, working it around my current full time job and family. I am feeling absolutely no pressure or stress so far, only enjoyment. I’d say I am managing to complete a unit every few weeks. None of them so far have been too out of my comfort zone or ability and I am a beginner! The Tutors are very knowledgeable and supportive, always at the end of an email. They do a great job in covering the course material and engaging you. I highly recommend!

  10. I am currently doing the Medical Secretary Diploma course and I highly recommend it as the tutors are helpful and you can complete the course at your own pace.

  11. I am now taking the Medical Secretary course, which is professionally delivered. The tutors are responsive and always provide prompt feedback.

  12. I am currently doing the Medical Secretary Course. It is amazing to be able to carry out such an extensive course in your own time and with friendly tutors that are on hand to help at all times. It covers a wide variety of areas that are essential for anyone wanting to go into this area of work.

  13. I am currently enrolled in this course, and I learn a lot, especially if you want to further your knowledge in the medical field as well as being an administrator. The tutors have been very helpful and responsive throughout your course.

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