Medical personal assistant
Medical secretaries provide office support in hospitals, GP surgeries, private clinics and universities.
Salary Range: £16,500 to £27,000
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- applying directly
You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant subjects include a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Medical Administration.
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
You can get into this role through a business administrator advanced apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
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
Volunteering and experience
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.
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.
Skills and knowledge
- 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 carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- handling questions from patients, staff and consultants
- organising a doctor’s diary, booking consulting rooms and meetings
- making travel arrangements
- managing a waiting list of patients
- updating patient records and dealing with confidential information
- sending samples for medical testing and recording the results
- typing letters, clinical reports, minutes of meetings and filing
- monitoring an office budget and dealing with invoices
You could work in an office, at a GP practice or in an NHS or private hospital.
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.