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A medical scheduler usually works in a doctor’s office and is primarily responsible for making patient appointments either over the phone or in person, but other medical office assistant duties may also be involved with some of these positions. There are different ways to become a medical scheduler depending on an individual job’s requirements, and some entry-level positions require only a high school diploma. It may sometimes be necessary to obtain an associate’s degree in medical office assisting or a similar area of study to increase your job prospects or salary. In some cases, familiarity with a certain type of scheduling software may also be necessary to become a medical scheduler, although some employers will provide training on their individual system. One way to progress in an existing career in medical scheduling is to obtain a professional certification in the field.
It is often possible to become a medical scheduler with a high school diploma, because some employers are willing to provide on-the-job training. These entry-level positions may be full or part time and often are in medical offices with a smaller number of patients. In addition to appointment scheduling, they may also involve medical billing and coding as well as office manager responsibilities. These professionals may need to learn scheduling software as well as other office software programs as part of an initial job training program.
Sometimes, a person who wants to become a medical scheduler must obtain an advanced degree. This is usually a two-year associate's program in medical office administration or medical assisting. Full- or part-time programs are widely available from community colleges and professional trade schools, with courses offered in the evenings and on weekends as well as online. Generally, positions requiring an advanced degree will offer a higher salary than entry-level positions, but will also involve a greater degree of responsibility and larger workload. Coursework may include insurance claim processing, medical billing and coding, and medical scheduling software training.
Those who have a relevant degree and sufficient working experience may consider obtaining a professional certification in medical administration. Once a person has become a medical scheduler, this can be a good way to find a job with a better salary or to receive a promotion with his or her current employer. It is usually necessary to have an associate’s degree and five years of relevant working experience to become certified.