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Medical secretary

Alternative titles for this job include Medical personal assistant

Medical secretaries provide office support in hospitals, GP surgeries, private clinics and universities.

Average salary (a year)

£17,500 Starter

to

£24,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 a week

You could work

between 8am and 6pm on a rota

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a medical secretary

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

College

You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant subjects include:

  • T level in Management and Administration
  • Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Medical Administration
  • Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Medical Terminology

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More Information

Apprenticeship

You can get into this role through a business administrator advanced apprenticeship.

This typically takes 18 months to complete as a mix of workplace learning and off the job study.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information

Work

If you already work in a healthcare setting, for instance, as a receptionist or clerical assistant, it may help you move into a medical secretary role if you take a relevant qualification while you're working.

The Association of Medical Secretaries, Practice Managers, Administrators and Receptionists (AMSPAR) and the British Society of Medical Secretaries and Administrators (BSMSA) offer:

  • Level 2 Certificate and Diploma in Medical Administration
  • Certificate in Medical Terminology

Direct Application

If you want to apply directly for jobs, employers will expect you to have some GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English.

You'll find it useful to have a typing or word processing qualification like an RSA certificate before you look for work. Some organisations may also want you to have knowledge of medical terminology.

More Information

Career tips

To get a job as a medical secretary, you'll need experience of working in an office, ideally in a secretarial role. Temporary work can be a good way of getting this experience.

When applying for NHS jobs, you'll be expected to have an understanding of how NHS values apply in your work.

Further information

You can find out more about medical secretarial careers from Health Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • administration skills
  • customer service skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could:

  • handle questions from patients, staff and consultants
  • organise a doctor's diary, book consulting rooms and meetings
  • make travel arrangements
  • manage a waiting list of patients
  • update patient records and deal with confidential information
  • send samples for medical testing and record the results
  • type letters, clinical reports, minutes of meetings and do filing
  • monitor an office budget and deal with invoices

Working environment

You could work in an office, at a GP practice or in an NHS or private hospital.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could manage a team of secretaries in a large organisation.

With further training, you could become an administration manager, office manager or GP practice manager.

You could also move into roles in finance or HR.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Purchasing Assistant

  • Wage: £174.00 - £328.40 Weekly
  • Location: Not known

Data Apprentice

  • Wage: £142.35 Weekly
  • Location: Not known

Courses In England

Introduction To Medical Terminology

  • Provider: Morley College
  • Start date: 11 June 2022
  • Location: Not known

Medical Terminology For Interpreters (T3D)

  • Provider: SOUTH THAMES COLLEGES GROUP
  • Start date: 03 March 2022
  • Location: LONDON

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