Home A Career as a Medical Administrative Assistant

A Career as a Medical Administrative Assistant

What does a medical administrative assistant do?

Medical administrative assistants have numerous office duties, in addition to other job duties, that they must perform throughout each day. For many, working at a front desk and helping to both check in and check out patients is the main requirement of their day. There may also be times in which you will need to personally set appointments for patients by checking the overall schedule and making sure there are no conflicting times or previous appointments.

Other duties can include creating and organizing medical records and charts for each patient, transferring the results of lab work to the appropriate office, processing several insurance payments, using office equipment and maintaining the overall office.

Where can a medical administrative assistant work?

There are three main locations that most medical administrative assistants choose to work in. The choices are a private practice, clinic, or hospital.

1. Private Practice

A private practice is a bit harder for some to work in because of the fact that it is not as clearly laid out as a hospital setting. This means that your actual role in the practice may not be as clear as you would like. You may work simply as an administrative assistant only for a few days and turn around and work as a medical assistant on another day.

While this may not be for everyone, there is an important aspect of private practices that is clear. Teamwork plays a pivotal role on a daily basis. The office is overseen by all assistants and kept organized, as well as clean. Your job duties can be to work at the front desk, checking in patients, and checking them out, but also to speak with them privately to help them answer any questions you or the doctor may have for them. Keeping patient records organized and updated are also critical tasks that may be performed constantly in a private practice.

2. Clinic

Working within a clinic will be very different from hospitals or private practices. There is usually a limitation to the types of specialties that will be available at a clinic. Also, the hours are not like working at a hospital because they follow normal business hours for their times of operation.

Appointments are usually more organized within a clinic because most are scheduled well in advance. Usually, the basics such as walk-ins, screenings, and regular appointments are provided in a clinic, instead of urgent care that is provided by hospitals and even some private practices.

3. Hospital

When choosing a hospital as the setting for your work, you have quite a few job duties that come with it. However, when choosing a hospital setting you are also making it a bit easier to define the exact area you wish to work in as an administrative assistant. The hospital has to live up to very strict standards which mean that the staff will have their role clearly explained to them so that they will know exactly where to go, how to direct patients, and how to keep everything organized throughout each day.

Also, another reason that many assistants choose to work in hospitals is that they are given a better chance at advancing forward in their career. There are also some downsides to working in a hospital setting. One of these drawbacks is that hospitals are open every day, all day. This means that you may have to have an open schedule or you may have a set schedule. It is not always clear which you will be handed so it can make it difficult if you need a specific type of schedule.

Educational Requirements

For some positions as a medical administrative assistant, all that is needed is a high school diploma with a little on the job training. There are other positions that may require professional level experience and proof of skills that are already present.

Skills Needed

There are definitely quite a few skills that will be needed when you enter the position of medical administrative assistant. Considering the different types of locations you could work in, it is a good idea to keep all of these skills close at hand.

1. Organization. A lot of your daily work will involve keeping patient’s information organized in records and updated as needed. The organization is a fundamental part of making sure there are no errors or that the errors that are found are corrected and organized accordingly.

2. Patience. Working with so many different people that have different ailments or problems, in general, will require quite a bit of patience.

3. Open Schedule. Working on an open schedule will definitely come in handy in this field because each location has a different set of rules by which they follow when it comes to making a schedule for their employees.

4. Fast Learner. Since your job duties can change quickly, you should be able to learn new job skills fast. This is particularly important in a private practice setting where you may carry out countless jobs that may not always be in the category of administrative assistant.


The average income for a medical administrative assistant position is approximately $34,000 to $45,000 depending on experience and location.

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