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Doctor's Office Receptionist Career Info and Education Requirements

Doctor's office receptionists perform administrative and clerical duties, as well as provide customer service to patients. Read on to learn about this career and what training is required.

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Doctor's Office Receptionist Career Information

Doctor's office receptionists keep medical offices running smoothly. Basic job duties include processing and filing patients' insurance information and medical records, phoning or faxing patient prescriptions to pharmacies, ordering and stocking medical inventory, scheduling appointments, answering phones and preparing invoices. They must also have knowledge of medical terminology, as well as laboratory and clinical procedures. Because medical information is stored electronically, medical receptionists should be proficient with computers and computer software.

Career Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that the continued expansion of the healthcare industry will contribute to a 24% increase in employment for receptionists between 2010 and 2020 (www.bls.gov). The average annual earnings of receptionists employed in physicians' offices were $27,810 in May 2012, according to the BLS.

Educational Requirements

Educational requirements for doctor's office receptionists may vary by employer. While some employers may provide on-the-job training, many prefer their medical receptionists to have some knowledge of medical office procedures. Although associate's degree programs may be found, most medical receptionist programs are part of diploma or certificate-bearing programs. These programs, found at many technical schools or community colleges, are usually completed in less than a year.

Common course topics include patient history documentation, patient scheduling, medical terminology, medical insurance and coding, business computing, medical laws, keyboarding and doctor's office procedures. Students may also participate in internships or co-op education to obtain on-the-job training. In addition to coursework, medical receptionists must be proficient in answering telephones and using office equipment.

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