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Medical Secretary / Receptionist
The medical secretary or receptionist works as the frontline person at a medical facility, answering the phone when patients call, making appointments, and receiving patients when they arrive They may work in the waiting rooms of a general practitioner, specialist, or pathological testing laboratory, and in various departments in a hospital, such as admissions, x-rays or the emergency room. In small practices, they may also be required to assist with keeping patient accounts, and billing.

Being the first person to portray the organisational efficiency and image of the medical department for which they work, medical receptionists need to be courteous, tactful, professional and effecient.

Other duties performed by the medical secretary are:
keeping track of health records and files, manually and with the use of a computer, making arrangements for surgery, acting as a personal assistant, keeping diaries, arranging meetings and organising travel, using shorthand or an audio machine and word-processing letters, reports for patients’ records and minutes of meetings. They may possibly also be required to arrange transport for patients on occasion, and liaise with other healthcare professionals.

Satisfying Aspects
- working in a medical environment
- being responsible and recognised for role played

Demanding aspects
- work can be stressful when patients need immediate care
- sometimes having to work long hours

- be tactful and discreet
- have a sympathetic attitude and be helpful
- be a good organiser
- be reliable and accurate in your work
- have a neat appearance and pleasant manner
- have computer skills.

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate or equivalent qualification.

Compulsory Subjects: None
Recommended Subjects: Accounting, Computer Applications, Economics

Experience and knowledge are gained through in-service training, or by taking an appropriate degree or diploma course at a university of technology.

Medical Secretary courses are also offered at the Academy of Learning and Intec.

- rooms of doctors, dentists etc
- one of many hospital departments such as general, psychiatry units, neurology, cardiology, paediatrics, teaching and research
- health centres
- physio- and other therapists’ rooms

South African Secretaries and PA’s Association
P O Box 2517
Bedfordview, 2008
Tel: (011) 454-5505 Fax: (011) 454-5501