As a medical secretary, you will usually work in a medical office, such as the front office of a doctor’s practice. You will be required to take on a range of administrative tasks, and it will be your duty to create a friendly, well-organised, and efficient office space.

Most of your work will be desk-based. The activities you may be required to do on a daily basis include:

  • Welcoming patients
  • Answering the telephone
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Updating patient records
  • Maintaining office equipment
  • Ordering medical supplies (as instructed by the doctors)


In a small medical practice, you may also be expected to handle payments from patients, as well as to maintain basic financial records.


What are the requirements for working as a medical secretary?

Even though there are no formal entry requirements for working as a medical secretary, it is always a good idea to make sure you have the skills you need to be an asset to your employer. Most of the time, medical professionals want to hire medical secretaries who have:

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Administrative skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Time management skills
  • Computer skills
  • Numeracy skills


In addition, most medical professionals will expect their medical secretaries to have a basic understanding of the relevant medical terminology, so that they are able to communicate more effectively in the medical office environment. (The reason for this is that medical secretaries are often required to liaise with patients, nurses, doctors, medical aid representatives, and medical suppliers.)


What about qualifications and experience?

In most cases, medical secretaries are required to have at least a school-leaving certificate, along with some training or experience in administrative or secretarial work, as well as some training or experience in the healthcare industry.

For some positions, a relevant certificate or diploma (such as the National Certificate: N4 Medical Secretary) might be required.


Are you interested in becoming a medical secretary?

If you are keen to start a career as a medical secretary, you could consider studying toward your medical secretary course on a part-time basis from home. This will give you the opportunity to gain some relevant practical work experience while you complete your studies – which will give you an advantage when it comes to applying for a job.


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