6 Things to Know about Being a Medical Office Assistant - MedCerts

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A Medical Front Office Assistant is usually the first person patients or clients come into contact with at the doctor's office. These professionals make up the front lines of a doctor’s office or hospital setting. They help coordinate the patient visits and facilitate the smooth running of the office.

What is a Medical Front Office Assistant?

A Medical Front Office Assistant is usually the first person patients or clients come into contact with at the doctor's office. These professionals make up the front lines of a doctor’s office or hospital setting. They help coordinate the patient visits and facilitate the smooth running of the office.As a Medical Front Office Assistant, you may have varied job titles ranging from unit secretary, medical supply specialist, patient coordinator, medical office specialist, with each title depending on the office and it’s location.

What does a Medical Office Assistant and Administrator do?

Medical Administrative Assistants perform various administrative tasks depending on the day-to-day demands of the office. Using your knowledge of medical terminology and software applications you will be charged with checking in patients at the front desk, answering the phones, scheduling patients for appointments, conducting interviews with patients regarding their case histories before the scheduled appointment, compiling medical records and charts, operating computer software and office equipment, transferring lab results to the appropriate clinic and maintaining supplies and the appearance of the office.

Where does a Medical Administrative Assistant Work?

A Medical Administrative Assistant typically works in a hospital, clinic or private practice setting. Your duties as a Medical Administrative Assistant will also vary depending on the location and the size of the facility.


In hospitals, the roles may be more specialized and clearly defined due to the magnitude of the facility. Here, you find yourself working on a larger team that coordinates with other teams throughout the hospital system. As a result, there is often more than one medical administrative assistant on a team. Hospital settings provide a greater advantage because there are more opportunities for career advancement.


Clinics are typically smaller and limited to a few specialties such as primary care and pediatrics, which allows you to focus on one area of expertise and specialize in it. Since clinic hours are typically done by dinnertime, you have the opportunity to develop a better life-work balance. In a clinical setting, customer skills are of great importance and you will most likely not encounter any life or death situations, as in a hospital.

Private Practices

In a private practice, the roles are less clearly defined so as a medical administrative assistant you may find that your responsibilities go beyond, the standard responsibilities listed above. You may find yourself expected to answer questions a patient may have when no one else is available. This “all hands on deck” approach is practiced widely in private practice and builds your knowledge of the healthcare field.

In most cases, you will be the only medical admin in the office and you will find yourself greeting patients, answering phones and taking doctors’ requests all at once. The ability to maintain remain calm and carry out tasks without becoming overwhelmed is very important in this role.

Salary? National Average?

Medical Administrative Assistant salaries in the United States range from $25,390 on the low end up to $51,890 on the high end. For salary information specific to your city or state check out the Salary Finder at CareerOneStop.org.

Predicted Job Growth Outcome?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects this field to grow by 23% by the year 2026. Over 80,000 job openings are projected to open up each year in the U.S.

How do I become a Medical Office Assistant?

The CMAA certification will allow you to find opportunities, that demonstrate that you have the skillset needed to efficiently run an Office.

Our Medical Office Front Assistant and Administration program uses web-based video training to provide a hands-on, self-paced experience, with assistance and guidance from our expert instructors. Once completed, you will have the knowledge to pass the national certification exam and the skills needed to succeed in this field. Our programs are MyCAA and WIOA- approved last six months in which you will take four courses to build towards your certification.

With H1-1011 - Medical Office Procedures and Administration, you will become familiar with the procedures required to smoothly run the office.

In MS-1000 - Microsoft Office Basics, you will be introduced to 3 core applications within the Microsoft Office Suite - this includes Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Outlook.

In H1-1014 - Introduction to Human Anatomy and Medical Terminology, you will learn medical language related to Human Anatomy, Physiology, and other medical terminology while discovering the diversity of the human body systems. This course will provide a better understanding of working medicine, which sets you up for success in the location of your choice.

Lastly, HI-1015 - Insurance and Billing, and Coding Essentials, covers the skill set and knowledge required to fulfill a position as an Insurance Billing Specialist. This will include an introduction to diagnosis coding (ICD-9 and ICD-10), procedure coding (CPT and HCPCS), billing and reimbursement processes and understanding insurance companies; as well as Medical Insurance Billing as a Career, HIPPA & HITECH, Health Insurance basics, Medical Record Documentation, Electronic Data Exchange, Claim Reimbursement, Fees, BCBS, Managed Care, Private Insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, CHAMPVA, Workers Compensation, and Disability Income Insurance.

In Conclusion

A Medical Office Assistant plays an integral role in the smooth operation of the office, bridging the gap between the front-end and the back-end. Medical Office Assistants connect the patients to the doctors and ensure everyone’s needs are well attended.

If you are a person who relocates often, this national certification will provide the flexibility you need because you can work in any location and the experience you gain in one provides opportunities at your next location.

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Published on April 10, 2019