Medical Secretary

Find out more about the role of a Medical Secretary

So what exactly does a Medical Secretary do?

Well, it can depend on what type of organisation you work within. For example, if you work in a busy GP practice, you will spend a large amount of time dealing directly with patients and organising the doctor’s appointment schedules. If you work in a hospital, you will probably work for a team of doctors, or consultants, within a specific department, handling all their correspondence and patient records. There are also positions in private clinics which may add on a financial/book-keeping element to the role. So, you can see there is quite a lot of scope for a Medical Secretary in the healthcare industry. 

Typically a Medical Secretary will carry out the more commonly known administrative tasks such as dealing with incoming and outgoing mail, filing etc. but the majority of the role will be centred around more specific medical administration duties, and these will can include:

  • Booking of patient appointments
  • Maintaining up to date and accurate patient records
  • Typing out of correspondence to patients or referrals to other healthcare organisations etc.
  • Coordination of samples to be sent to laboratories for tests
  • Informing patients of their test results
  • Filling in of medical related forms where required

The hours for this type of role are usually a standard 37.5 hour week, though this may depend on the opening hours of the practice or department you are working in. 

It’s quite common that there are many job share opportunities for Medical Secretaries, so it is a great option for those seeking a more flexible career.

What key personal attributes should a good Medical Secretary have?

One of the main attributes you will need to work as a Medical Secretary is discretion, as you will be handling highly confidential patient records and the privacy of the patient is of paramount importance. You will also need an extremely high level of interpersonal skills to be able to deal confidently and sensitively with patients when required.

Other key attributes a potential employer will look for are:

  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Keen attention to detail
  • Good level of written and spoken communications
  • Good level of IT and typing skills
  • Good initiative and ability to make decisions
  • Ability to stay calm under pressure

What skills/training do you need to become a Medical Secretary?

A Medical Secretary is a specialist role and therefore, for the majority of roles, you would be required to have an additional set of skills relating to this sector. As you would be handling correspondence and phone calls about a range of different medical conditions/matters, it would be hugely advantageous for you to have a good knowledge of things like Medical Terminology.

Usually employers will also look for someone with a good level of education and will prefer those applying for a Medical Secretary position to hold either good level of secretarial or typing certifications, or specific medical secretarial training

What can you earn working as a Medical Secretary?

As always, salaries are very much dependant on experience and which region of the country you live in and the type of organisation you work for, hence the large range given, but, as a guide, you could earn anywhere circa €15-25,000. The salaries for this type of position are good in that they grow in line with your experience. If you want to work within the NHS then there are set pay scales that you will fall within and your local NHS provider will detail this.

More information

If you’re thinking about changing careers and are interested in becoming a Medical Secretary, check out our range of Specialist Medical courses and diplomas here

For information on Secretarial jobs in your area, check out total jobs.

If you are looking for a Medical Secretary position within the NHS, click here for more information.

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