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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Secretaries in Birmingham, Alabama

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for medical secretaries in the Birmingham, Alabama area. There are currently 3,350 jobs for medical secretaries in Alabama and this is projected to grow 24% to 4,150 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for medical secretaries, which sees this job pool growing by about 26.6% over the next eight years. Medical secretaries generally perform secretarial duties utilizing specific knowledge of medical terminology and hospital, clinic, or laboratory procedures.

The income of a medical secretary is about $12 hourly or $24,980 annually on average in Alabama. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $14 per hour or $29,680 per year on average. Incomes for medical secretaries are not quite as good as in the overall category of Secretarial in Alabama, and not quite as good as the overall Secretarial category nationally.

The Birmingham area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree as a medical secretary. Medical secretaries usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so it will take only a short time to learn to be a medical secretary if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Medical Secretary

Medical Secretary video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, medical secretaries perform secretarial duties utilizing specific knowledge of medical terminology and hospital, clinic, or laboratory procedures. They also duties include scheduling appointments, billing patients, and compiling and recording medical charts, reports, and correspondence.

Medical secretaries answer telephones, and direct calls to appropriate staff. They also greet visitors, ascertain purpose of visit, and direct them to appropriate staff. Equally important, medical secretaries have to transmit correspondence and medical archives by mail, e-mail, or fax. They are often called upon to operate office equipment such as voice mail messaging systems, and use word processing and other software applications to ready reports, invoices, financial statements, letters, case histories and medical archives. They are expected to receive and route messages and documents such as laboratory results to appropriate staff. Finally, medical secretaries schedule and confirm patient diagnostic appointments, surgeries and medical consultations.

Every day, medical secretaries are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for medical secretaries to interview patients to finish documents and forms such as intake and insurance forms. They are often called upon to perform various clerical and administrative functions. They also maintain medical archives, technical library and correspondence files. They are sometimes expected to compile and record medical charts and correspondence, using typewriter or personal computer. Somewhat less frequently, medical secretaries are also expected to maintain medical archives, technical library and correspondence files.

and arrange hospital admissions for patients. And finally, they sometimes have to complete insurance and other claim forms.

Like many other jobs, medical secretaries must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Administrative Assistant. Provide high-level administrative support by conducting research, preparing statistical reports, handling information requests, and performing clerical functions such as preparing correspondence, receiving visitors, arranging conference calls, and scheduling meetings. May also train and supervise lower-level clerical staff.
  • Production Proofreader. Read transcript or proof type setup to detect and mark for correction any grammatical, typographical, or compositional errors.
  • Secretary. Perform routine clerical and administrative functions such as drafting correspondence, scheduling appointments, organizing and maintaining paper and electronic files, or providing information to callers.
  • Statement Clerk. Prepare and distribute bank statements to customers, answer inquiries, and reconcile discrepancies in records and accounts.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Secretary Training

Virginia College-Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

Virginia College-Birmingham, 65 Bagby Dr., Birmingham, AL 35209-3703. Virginia College-Birmingham is a medium sized college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,090 students and an admission rate of 64%. Virginia College-Birmingham has 2 areas of study related to Medical Secretary. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated thirty-six and eight students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Specialist/Medical Biller, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated one and seventeen students respectively in 2008.

Herzing College - Birmingham, AL

Herzing College, 280 West Valley Ave, Birmingham, AL 35209. Herzing College is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 314 students and an admission rate of 82%. Herzing College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical Insurance Specialist/Medical Biller which graduated two and zero students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Patient Account Manager: American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM) CPAM certification is available only to National AAHAM members who are in good standing and have a minimum of four years health care experience, or two years health care experience and a two-year college or university associates degree.

For more information, see the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management website.

Certified Coding Specialist: Coding accuracy is highly important to healthcare organizations, and has an impact on revenues and describing health outcomes.

For more information, see the American Health Information Management Association website.

Registered Health Information Technician: With experience, the RHIT credential holds solid potential for advancement to management positions, especially when combined with a bachelor's degree.

For more information, see the American Health Information Management Association website.

Certified Medical Administrative Specialist: This certification is for medical administrative specialists who serves a key role in medical office, clinic and hospital settings.

For more information, see the American Medical Technologists website.

Certified Medical Coder: Experienced medical office professionals with exceptional coding skills are eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Coder (CMC) exam.

For more information, see the Practice Management Institute website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.