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How Do I Become a Medical Administrative Assistant?

A medical administrative assistant working.
Article Details
  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 03 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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There are four steps required to become a medical administrative assistant: post-secondary training, related work experience, applying for a job, and completing the job interview process. A medical administrative assistant works in a health services office, organizing appointments, following up with laboratories, coordinating with insurance companies, and helping the doctor with correspondence. An efficient medical administrative assistant keeps the office organized, ensures the patients receive excellent customer service, and that payment is received for services provided.

People who enjoy organizing, are excellent communicators, and are able to balance conflicting priorities find this role rewarding and energizing. This is not a suitable role for someone who is shy, prefers to work independently, and finds sick people irritating. Attention to detail and interpersonal skills are all essential for anyone who wants to become a medical administrative assistant.

The first requirement to become a medical administrative assistant is to complete a post-secondary education program. This type of program is available from a wide range of community and career colleges. Training programs are typically eight to 12 months in length for the basic program. Additional courses in computer software programs and technology are often available, but may increase the length of the program.

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Related work experience is typically obtained through a job placement or co-operative learning term that is part of the college program. Any experience working in an office or administrative role is helpful. This experience can be obtained through volunteering or part-time employment.

When applying to become a medical administrative assistant, be sure to proofread your resume and cover letter, double-checking for any grammar or spelling mistakes. Read the details of the job posting with care and try to tailor your cover letter to the specific needs. It is standard practice to complete a background and criminal record check as part of the application process.

During the job interview process, take the time to prepare for the interview. Think of a list of standard interview questions and prepare your answers in advance. Think about your answers, stay calm, and be sure to answer the question that was asked. Look at the interviewer when answering and try to avoid over-talking.

Career advancement opportunities for a medial administrative assistant are limited without further education. After three or four years of experience, most people are ready to take additional training to move forward and increase their salary. Part-time programs are available from a wide range of colleges. Talk to the admissions counselor about how many credits can be transferred to any new program.

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