Medical administrative assistants (NOC 1243)

High opportunity occupation

About this job

Medical administrative assistants carry out a variety of administrative duties to help doctors’ offices, dentists’ offices, hospitals and medical clinics run smoothly.

Watch the video below to see what a day in the life of a medical office assistant is like.

Common job titles
  • case load planner - home health care services
  • secretary, medical
  • stenographer, medical

Duties

Medical administrative assistants:

  • Schedule and confirm medical appointments
  • Manage communication between medical staff and patients
  • Enter and format electronic medical reports and correspondence
  • Prepare spreadsheets and documents for review
  • Interview patients to gather information for forms and case histories
  • Complete insurance forms and other claim forms
  • Manage confidential medical files and records
  • Prepare exam rooms between patients
  • Draft agendas and minutes for meetings
  • Prepare financial statements and bills
  • Set up and maintain systems for document tracking, filing, monthly reporting as well as other office procedures
  • Order supplies and manage inventory
  • May supervise and train other staff

Work environment

Medical administrative assistants work in the offices of health care professionals. Hours usually match clinic hours, which may include evenings and weekends. Administrative assistants in hospital wards may work shifts.

Medical administrative assistants sometimes deal with difficult patients. Tact and strong people skills are important, as is the ability to work well under pressure.

The work of a medical administrative assistant mostly takes place on a computer. Individuals may get back or neck pain from sitting at desks for long periods, or eye strain from viewing computer monitors.

In addition, because they are in contact with patients, they must take steps to protect themselves from illness.

Insights from industry

As the population expands and ages, more health-care workers are needed in B.C. The majority of job openings in this field, though, come from retirements. Workers with related experience and post-secondary education are in the highest demand.

Technology has become more central to this work. Electronic medical records are replacing paper, and workers must stay up to date with these advances. This shift has also brought more jobs in scheduling and medical billing. It has also led to a high demand for workers with strong skills in computer software and information management technology.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Medical administrative assistants often start as receptionists for general practice clinics or as records clerks for hospitals. With experience, they may find jobs in specialist practices or move into supervisory positions, such as office manager or clinic manager.

Additional resources