Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Secretaries in San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for medical secretaries. There are currently 59,000 working medical secretaries in California; this should grow 18% to 69,400 working medical secretaries in the state 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.
Medical secretaries earn approximately $14 hourly or $30,380 yearly on average in California. Nationally they average about $14 per hour or $29,680 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Secretarial, people working as medical secretaries in California earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Secretarial nationally.
The San Francisco area is home to eighty-six schools of higher education, including ten within twenty-five miles of San Francisco where you can get a degree as a medical secretary. Medical secretaries usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a medical secretary if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Medical Secretary
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 San Francisco 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.
- Correspondence Clerk. Compose letters in reply to requests for merchandise, damage claims, credit and other information, delinquent accounts, or unsatisfactory services. Duties may include gathering data to formulate reply and typing correspondence.
- File Clerk. File correspondence, cards, and other records in alphabetical or numerical order or according to the filing system used. Locate and remove material from file when requested.
- Insurance Claims Processor. Obtain information from insured or designated persons for purpose of settling claim with insurance carrier.
- Legal Secretary. Perform secretarial duties utilizing legal terminology, procedures, and documents. Prepare legal papers and correspondence, such as summonses, complaints, and subpoenas. May also assist with legal research.
- Library Clerk. Compile records, sort and shelve books, and issue and receive library materials such as pictures, cards, slides and microfilm. Locate library materials for loan and replace material in shelving area, stacks, or files according to identification number and title. Register patrons to permit them to borrow books, periodicals, and other library materials.
- Office Machine Operator. Operate one or more of a variety of office machines, such as photocopying, photographic, and duplicating machines, or other office machines.
- Procurement Clerk. Compile information and records to draw up purchase orders for procurement of materials and services.
- 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.
- Typist. Type letters, reports, or other material from rough draft, corrected copy, or voice recording. May perform other clerical duties as assigned.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Secretary Training
College of Marin - Kentfield, CA
College of Marin, 835 College Ave, Kentfield, CA 94904-2590. College of Marin is a medium sized college located in Kentfield, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,577 students. College of Marin has an associate's degree program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary.
Heald College-Hayward - Hayward, CA
Heald College-Hayward, 25500 Industrial Blvd., Hayward, CA 94545. Heald College-Hayward is a small college located in Hayward, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,274 students. Heald College-Hayward has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical Office Assistant/Specialist which graduated six and eighteen students respectively in 2008.
Los Medanos College - Pittsburg, CA
Los Medanos College, 2700 East Leland Road, Pittsburg, CA 94565. Los Medanos College is a medium sized college located in Pittsburg, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,360 students. Los Medanos College has a two to four year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary.
Western Career College-Emeryville - Emeryville, CA
Western Career College-Emeryville, 6001 Shellmound, Emeryville, CA 94608. Western Career College-Emeryville is a small college located in Emeryville, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 431 students and an admission rate of 100%. Western Career College-Emeryville has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical Office Assistant/Specialist which graduated forty-three and four students respectively in 2008.
Everest College-San Francisco - San Francisco, CA
Everest College-San Francisco, 814 Mission St Suite 500, San Francisco, CA 94103-9946. Everest College-San Francisco is a small college located in San Francisco, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 207 students and an admission rate of 37%. Everest College-San Francisco has a less than one year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated forty-three students in 2008.
Heald College-Concord - Concord, CA
Heald College-Concord, 5130 Commercial Circle, Concord, CA 94520-0522. Heald College-Concord is a small college located in Concord, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,107 students. Heald College-Concord 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 six and twenty-three students respectively in 2008.
- Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, one to two year and associate's degree.
Berkeley City College - Berkeley, CA
Berkeley City College, 2050 Center St, Berkeley, CA 94704. Berkeley City College is a medium sized college located in Berkeley, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,000 students. Berkeley City College has a two to four year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary.
Everest College-Hayward - Hayward, CA
Everest College-Hayward, 22336 Main Street, Hayward, CA 94541. Everest College-Hayward is a small college located in Hayward, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 576 students and an admission rate of 48%. Everest College-Hayward has 2 areas of study related to Medical Secretary. They are:
- Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, less than one year which graduated 150 students in 2008.
- Medical Insurance Specialist/Medical Biller, less than one year which graduated 28 students in 2008.
Skyline College - San Bruno, CA
Skyline College, 3300 College Dr, San Bruno, CA 94066-1698. Skyline College is a medium sized college located in San Bruno, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,515 students. Skyline College has less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated four, one, and zero students respectively in 2008.
Heald College-San Francisco - San Francisco, CA
Heald College-San Francisco, 350 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94105. Heald College-San Francisco is a small college located in San Francisco, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 779 students. Heald College-San Francisco has an associate's degree program in Medical Office Assistant/Specialist which graduated five students in 2008.
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: San Francisco, California
San Francisco is located in San Francisco County, California. It has a population of over 808,976, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in San Francisco, 180, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Francisco cost $218,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, fifty-seven new homes were built in San Francisco, up from fifty-five the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in San Francisco are professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 31 minutes. More than 45.0% of San Francisco residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.4%, is higher than the state average.
The percentage of San Francisco residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than both the national and state average. Gold Mountain Monastery, Golden Gate Community Church of the Nazarene and Golden Gate Lutheran Church are among the churches located in San Francisco. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the United Methodist Church.
San Francisco is home to the Pier 88 and the Prayer Book Cross as well as Helen Wills Playground and Music Concourse. Shopping malls in the area include Yerba Buena Square Shopping Center, Fox Plaza Shopping Center and Galleria At Crocker Center Shopping Center. Visitors to San Francisco can choose from Astoria Hotel, A-1 Inn Motel and Best Western Canterbury Hotel for temporary stays in the area.