How Do I Become a Medical Office Administrator?

A medical office administrator is responsibe for answering phones and handling patient files in a medical office.
A medical office administrator should have knowledge of medical terminology and good business skills.
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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 01 September 2014
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In order to become a medical office administrator, you will need: post-secondary education, and computer and interpersonal skills. A medical office administrator is responsible for the management of a medical office. Business management, accounting, human resources and health system data management skills are all required for this job.

Medical office administrators are typically employed in medium to large medical practices. The practice may be comprised of multiple doctors in the same discipline, such as family doctors, or doctors who provide complementary services, such a dermatologist and a plastic surgeon. A multiple doctor office usually has at least two administrative staff: a medical office assistant and an administrator.

If you want to become a medical office administrator, you will need to complete a one- to two-year medical office administrator program. This program is widely available from both community and career colleges. When selecting a school, check its graduate employment rate and accreditation status.

Every post-secondary institute keeps statistics on the number of students enrolled, number of graduates and employment status three, six and 12 months after graduation. Look at these reports to find a program with a high employment rate in the medical office field after graduation. These reports also provide the average salary, and if the position is full-time, part time or contract.

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An accredited school has met or exceeded the minimum requirements in academic course material, administrative policies and instructor qualifications. Accreditation is provided by independent agencies, who act on behalf of the government. Courses from accredited schools are transferable to other post-secondary institutions and students qualify for government student aid programs.

The courses required to become a medical office administrator include medical terminology, business management, basic accounting and office management. Additional courses in marketing and communication are optional, but can provide new career opportunities upon graduation. Explore the opportunities available to expand your knowledge of health records management, as this is a growing field.

Computer skills are very important to anyone who wants to become a medical office administrator. Throughout your career, invest the time in courses that will keep your skills current at an intermediate level. Continuing education and online courses are available in the evening and on the weekend to help meet this goal.

Conflict resolution, communication, listening and managing are all interpersonal skills that are essential when managing a medical office. People who are gregarious and naturally outgoing find the greatest satisfaction in a medical office administrator position. In this role, almost three quarters of the time is spent dealing with people and one quarter of the time is working with computers and data.

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