In Summary - Medical Secretary
The Work - Medical Secretary
The Secretary is responsible for organising the office, arranging efficient filing systems, retrieving medical reports and dealing with correspondence. They arrange patient appointments and arrange home visits; establish priorities and emergencies; keep records and deal with telephone enquiries. Medical Secretaries may also be involved in typing reports for conferences and specialist journals. In some cases medical secretaries may be required to reassure anxious patients and their relatives.
They take personal details and answer their questions and keep records of patients' visits for future reference.
They are based in an office, working office hours. They look after the budgets of the practice. A consultant might dictate information or notes onto a tape, for documents, patients' records, letters etc.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Answer telephones and direct calls to appropriate staff.
- Schedule and confirm patient diagnostic appointments, surgeries, or medical consultations.
- Operate office equipment, such as voice mail messaging systems, and use word processing, spreadsheet, or other software applications to prepare reports, invoices, financial statements, letters, case histories, or medical records.
- Maintain medical records, technical library, or correspondence files.
- Greet visitors, ascertain purpose of visit, and direct them to appropriate staff.
- Compile and record medical charts, reports, or correspondence, using typewriter or personal computer.
- Receive and route messages or documents, such as laboratory results, to appropriate staff.
- Transmit correspondence or medical records by mail, e-mail, or fax.
- Perform various clerical or administrative functions, such as ordering and maintaining an inventory of supplies.
- Interview patients to complete documents, case histories, or forms, such as intake or insurance forms.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Performing Administrative Activities Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Scheduling Work and Activities Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Interests - Medical Secretary
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.
Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
As a medical secretary, you will need word processing skills, possibly shorthand and audio typing skills, and good English language ability.
Strong organisation skills are essential - you must be able to plan and prioritise your workload. Secretaries must be efficient and accurate, capable of paying close attention to detail and using a very methodical approach to their work.
Medical secretaries need strong communication and interpersonal skills, to deal with patients and their relatives, as well as a wide variety of medical staff. You should have a good telephone manner, and a polite and helpful approach to patients and relatives. You also need to think quickly and stay calm under pressure. Medical secretaries must be able to reassure anxious patients or their relatives.
You must have a respect for confidentiality and medical ethics, because you will deal with personal, confidential and sensitive information.
Entry Requirements - Medical Secretary
Pay & Salary - Medical Secretary
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 25k - 45k
Last Updated: February, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Medical Secretary
Although large numbers are employed in this occupation, growth is on a par with the national average. There are over 7,000 job ready job seekers previously employed in this occupation and it also features strongly in the recent job hires analysis indicating issues with job churn.
National Skills Bulletin 2018
Useful Contacts - Medical Secretary
Health Service Executive (HSE)
Irish Medical Organisation
Health Management Institute of Ireland