Medical Secretary or 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 efficient.

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.

Personal Requirements

  • 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


  • 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

Getting Started

  • develop your computer skills
  • visit your local hospital and observe the various activities in the emergency rooms, admissions etc.


Boston City Campus and Business College does not offer a programme that leads directly to this occupation. Please take a look at the related occupations below to see whether any of these appeal to you. Alternately, please send an email to and a Student Advisor will call you back.

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