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All of our centres are fully open for in centre study and exams. Distance Learning (home study) courses are still available.

Medical Secretary

Find out more about the role of a Medical Secretary

A working medical center needs many staff members to make sure everything keeps running and that its patients are taken care of as promptly as possible. While doctors and nurses are important, medical secretaries form the backbone of hospital and clinic staff.

Tasked with a variety of duties to support major medical personnel, medical secretaries help patients and keep health systems running by performing secretarial and administrative tasks. With good pay and opportunities for advancement into similar positions, a medical secretary's career path could be perfect for you!

medical secretary greeting patients

What Does a Medical Secretary Do?

Medical secretaries do a variety of things depending on the needs of their department or the staff they support. But all medical secretaries take care of administrative and secretarial duties, including but not limited to:

  • Typing up and correcting patient forms
  • Taking minutes, plus attending and arranging meetings
  • Arranging travel itineraries for doctors, directors, and other personnel
  • Taking phone calls and messages
  • Dealing with emails and other forms of postage
  • Managing medical diaries
  • Creating, updating, and managing spreadsheets and medical databases

In short, if there’s a support task that needs doing for the personnel of the hospital or clinic, a medical secretary will take care of it.

How Do You Become a Medical Secretary?

While there are no major entry requirements for becoming a medical secretary, according to the NHS most employers do require:

  • Good literacy and numeracy skills
  • The ability to type competently, as well as use modern word processors
  • IT skills, such as understanding how to use cloud networks, Microsoft Excel experience, etc.

Some employers in the NHS may ask for GCSEs or similar qualifications before you can be employed as a medical secretary. For the best odds of employment, those who want to become medical secretaries should pursue a medical secretary training course. Courses dedicated to medical secretary duties will give you a jumpstart on the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in this career, open doors to more potential employers, and allow you to negotiate for a higher salary.

For example, some training providers offer Level 2 or Level 3 diplomas in Medical Administration. These degrees are very valuable for anyone who wishes to become a medical secretary as they deal with the topics and skills you’ll need to thrive in this field.

Alternatively, you can become a medical secretary with a business administrator advanced apprenticeship. For this path, you’ll need five GCSEs between grades 9 to 4 in English and math.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Medical Secretary?

Depending on the path you take to acquire the necessary qualifications, it could take you anywhere from a few months a year to become a medical secretary from start to finish. However, driven individuals may be able to shorten this time and become medical secretaries even more quickly.

Some training providers offer courses able to be completed in just 6 weeks.

How Much Does a Medical Secretary Make?

Medical secretaries’ salaries can vary based on their position, their experience level, and any certificates or qualifications they may have that might increase their pay grade. However, the average medical secretary makes £25,615 per year. At the upper range, medical secretaries can make as much as £32,000 per year. The lowest-paid medical secretaries make just £21,000 per year.

What Are the Advancement Opportunities Once Employed as a Medical Secretary?

As you can see from the above, medical secretaries earn reasonable salaries for their positions and experience levels. Furthermore, medical secretaries are able to advance to higher paying jobs over time.

Because they are exposed to a variety of skills and knowledge during their careers, medical secretaries can eventually become:

  • Senior secretaries
  • Office managers
  • Clerical supervisors
  • Unit managers
  • Administrative assistants
  • Medical office managers
  • And more

Additionally, medical secretaries or personal assistance may choose to move into related areas in medical administration, such as health records or human resources. The experience and connections you can make is a medical secretary may even allow you to pivot into industries like finance, business, and more.

Benefits of Being a Medical Secretary

Medical secretaries enjoy a number of benefits unique to their position, including:

  • Flexible hours. Medical secretaries do not need to be on call and do not have as rigid schedules as other healthcare professionals. Thus, a medical secretary position could be ideal if you need a flexible career to juggle multiple responsibilities.
  • Less stress than being a doctor or nurse. While medical secretaries' work is important, it is not nearly as stress-inducing as the work of other medical professionals.
  • The opportunity to do good. Medical secretaries perform invaluable services for hospitals, clinics, dentist offices, and other healthcare facilities by keeping the administrative work running. In this way, being in medical secretary will allow you to have a concrete, positive impact on the world.

Ultimately, the medical secretary career path is a flexible and worthwhile option for many. Medical secretaries earn good salaries and do not require a lot of educational benchmarks before jumping in. Even better, medical secretaries with their eyes on the future can potentially rise to even higher-paid positions within the healthcare administration sector.

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Interested in perusing a career as a medical secretary? Pitman Training is an independent and flexible training provider that offers over 250 training courses in qualifications for medical secretaries and other careers. With over 100 years of experience, Pitman Training’s premium courses are your best bet to get the education you need to jumpstart your career today. Contact us for more information or check out our list of premium courses!

View all Medical Secretary & Related Courses from Pitman Training:

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