The state of Florida now recognizes medical secretaries
as medical administrative specialists. These workers perform a variety
of administrative and clerical tasks necessary to keep an office
or organization running smoothly. They schedule appointments, organize
and maintain files, and transcribe dictation of letters and reports
such as case histories.
Medical secretaries and administrative professionals
need to know medical terminology and be familiar with hospital,
laboratory, and medical procedures as well as general office procedures.
Secretaries may also have business responsibilities such as billing
patients and insurance companies. Secretaries must be consistent,
reliable, and pay great attention to detail.
Areas of Specialization
Some medical administrative specialists train in specific areas
of medicine. They learn the specialized terminology and procedures
used in specialties such as dermatology, surgery, pathology, and
Medical administrative specialists may be employed by physicians
in solo or group practice. They may also work in hospitals, clinics,
state or local health departments, chiropractic, veterinary and
dental offices, hospice centers and medical research centers. They
usually work in clean, well-lighted facilities. They often sit for
long periods typing at a computer terminal. Medical administrative
specialists generally work 40-hour weeks; however, some positions
The number of Medical Administrative Specialists (sometimes still
categorized as Medical Secretaries in statistical databanks) employed
in Florida in 2006 was 28,670. It is projected that in 2014 there
will be 33,192, an annual average growth rate of 2.0 percent.
Qualified medical administrative specialists who broaden their knowledge
through experience and/or education may be promoted to positions
such as administrative assistant or office manager. Management skills,
computer training, human relation skills, and experience with financial
management are important factors in promotion.
Length of Training/Requirements
They must be proficient in typing, good at spelling, punctuation,
grammar, and oral communications. Knowledge of and proficiency in
various office and medical software systems is essential. Specialist
training ranges from high school vocational education programs to
one- or two-year community college programs.
Certification is available from the International Association of
Administrative Professionals. To be eligible to take the Certified
Professional Secretary (CPS) examination, a specialist must have
from two to four years of full-time experience, with two years required
if the secretary has a bachelor's degree, three years with an associate
degree, or four years with a high school diploma.
The average hourly
wage for medical administrative specialists was $13.78 in 2009.
Florida Career College
Lee County High Tech Center
Locklin Technical Center
Winter Park Tech
Broward Community College
(continuted next column)