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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Secretaries in Columbia, Maryland

Medical secretaries can find many career and educational opportunities in the Columbia, Maryland area. There are currently 8,770 jobs for medical secretaries in Maryland and this is projected to grow by 20% to about 10,520 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 average wage in the general category of Secretarial jobs is $18 per hour or $36,603 per year in Maryland, and an average of $15 per hour or $32,030 per year nationwide.

The Columbia area is home to 109 schools of higher education, including six within twenty-five miles of Columbia 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 Columbia 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

Anne Arundel Community College - Arnold, MD

Anne Arundel Community College, 101 College Pky, Arnold, MD 21012-1895. Anne Arundel Community College is a large college located in Arnold, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,149 students. Anne Arundel Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated twenty-one and seven students respectively in 2008.

ACT College - Arlington, VA

ACT College, 1100 Wilson Blvd, Suite M780, Arlington, VA 22209-2297. ACT College is a small college located in Arlington, Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 331 students. ACT College 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 twenty-six and fifteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Specialist/Medical Biller, one to two year which graduated 7 students in 2008.

The Community College of Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

The Community College of Baltimore County, 7201 Rossville Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21237. The Community College of Baltimore County is a large college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,673 students. The Community College of Baltimore County has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated two and one students respectively in 2008.

Career Technical Institute - Washington, DC

Career Technical Institute, 2131 K Street, NW 7th Floor, Washington, DC 20037-1898. Career Technical Institute is a small school located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 291 students. Career Technical Institute has a less than one year program in Medical Insurance Specialist/Medical Biller which graduated forty-four students in 2008.

Medix School - Towson, MD

Medix School, 700 York Rd, Towson, MD 21204-9840. Medix School is a small school located in Towson, Maryland. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 640 students and an admission rate of 100%. Medix School has a one to two year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated thirty-seven students in 2008.

Everest College-McLean - McLean, VA

Everest College-McLean, 1430 Spring Hill Rd Suite 200, McLean, VA 22102-3000. Everest College-McLean is a small college located in McLean, Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 413 students and an admission rate of 56%. Everest College-McLean has 2 areas of study related to Medical Secretary. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, one to two year which graduated 6 students in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Specialist/Medical Biller, less than one year which graduated 54 students 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: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.