A medical secretary is a member of staff in health care facilities like hospitals and doctors' offices who performs administrative and supportive functions. In addition to having administrative skills, medical secretaries should have knowledge of medical terminology, the general language of the medical profession and be familiar with various medical procedures and business practices. This is because of the uniqueness of the health facilities work environments.
On a typical day, healthcare facilities are busy attending to the many patients who seek their services. Secretaries play an important role of receiving patients, assisting them with filling out forms, maintenance and retrieval of medical files, transcribing and typing of medical reports. Generally, they organize the huge amounts of data that the facilities generate every day.
A medical secretary performs a range of duties, which helps to streamline the operations of a medical practice, hospital etc. Being among the first persons that patients interact with when they arrive or call the facility, medical secretaries form an important link between patients and physicians. Often, the size of the facility determines the structure of hierarchy and the specific duties assigned to the secretary. In a smaller private clinic for example, the secretary may report directly to the physician. Larger establishments on the other hand, may have a structure of hierarchy in which the secretary reports to the department's head and may specialize on a specific function.