What jobs can I get in a doctor’s office?
Working in a doctor’s office is a career many people dream of. Whether they want to be a doctor or are interested in helping people more generally, a job in a doctor’s office can be fulfilling and rewarding at the same time.
The type of job you can get in a doctor’s office depends on your skill set, interests, and education level. While some jobs require only a high school diploma or GED, others require more training or certain degrees or certifications.
In this article, we’ll cover the variety of jobs you can get in a doctor’s office and what each entails.
What jobs are there in a doctor’s office besides being a doctor?
Medical offices have many jobs they need to fill beyond just doctors. Each position has its own responsibilities and education requirements. Potential opportunities include:
Medical assistants help in all aspects of a medical office and caring for patients, including:
- Noting and updating patient files
- Collecting and preparing blood samples for testing
- Taking patient vital signs like blood pressure, weight, and temperature
To become a medical assistant, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED and a medical assistant’s diploma, certificate, or associate’s degree.
A medical transcriptionist usually works either in an office or remotely. They’re responsible for transcribing the voice-recorded notes of doctors and nurses.
You can get this job with as little as a high school diploma, though there’re certification programs for this job, too. Having some knowledge of medical terminology can be helpful, and some medical offices will look for people with experience with electronic health records systems. Some medical offices will provide training to help you get started.
A medical biller is responsible for collecting information from the front office of a medical office and billing patients for their services.
The day-to-day skills required for a medical biller include the following:
- Knowledge of filing codes to invoice medical procedures
- Ability to process and submit claims to insurance companies
- Ability to send and follow up on invoices sent to patients
Medical billers usually need some form of an advanced degree — like a bachelor’s degree — and a completed course in medical billing under their belt.
Medical office receptionist
A medical office receptionist is the first point of contact patients see when they come into a doctor’s office. That means they must have excellent communication skills and the ability to stay organized. Generally, they perform clerical duties such as answering phones, scheduling appointments, and ensuring that patients’ paperwork is completed and filed correctly.
To become a medical receptionist, you should have a high school diploma or GED. Beyond that, as long as you showcase an ability to work well with others and stay organized, you should be able to do any other training you need on the job.
What skills do you need to work in a medical office?
Many of the jobs we covered above require a high school diploma or GED, and perhaps a specialized certification. But what about general skills needed to work in a medical office? Here are some worth noting.
Many people working in a medical office spend much of their day on a computer. So, to get hired, you’ll likely need basic computer skills. In some cases, you might have to know a specific medical software.
For example, knowledge of a specific software is often required to get a job if you plan to go into medical billing. Often, you can take a course to get certified, which could help you stand out when it comes time to submit your resume.
People who work in medical offices often deal with a vast range of people and personalities. Whether that’s patients checking in for appointments or asking questions about their visits, having excellent communication skills is often helpful.
Potential employers will often pay attention to your communication skills throughout the interview process, both in person and through your email correspondence. If you’ve ever worked in retail or hospitality, include that on your resume, as that can showcase a familiarity with communicating with many different kinds of people.
Compassion — and your ability to communicate compassionately — is also important in a medical office. Sometimes you’ll be dealing with patients facing tough, life-altering news. You’ll likely see people on some of their worst days, and you should be ready to meet them where they are.
Attention to detail
Everyone makes mistakes, but working in a medical office leaves little room for error. You could be involved in life-or-death situations where attention to detail is incredibly important. And if things aren’t perfect, having accountability and a willingness to learn for next time is also essential.
Do I need a degree to work in a medical office?
Many medical offices offer on-the-job training so employees have the essential skills to succeed. Still, having an associate’s or bachelor’s degree and specific certifications can potentially help you get a job in this field. You’ll also want to look at job listings and see the highest level of education and any certifications the hiring managers expects to know if you’re qualified for a job before you apply.
Do I need experience to work in a medical office?
The type of experience you need depends on the role you’re applying for. Many entry-level positions require little experience and offer on-the-job training to help you gain critical skills. There’re certain jobs in a doctor’s office, like being a physician's assistant or medical interpreter, where you’ll likely find there’s required experience outlined on job listings.
Many people dream of working in a doctor’s office but might not want to be a doctor for various reasons. There’re many opportunities for a career in a medical office that go beyond just being a doctor, though. It takes a lot of different talents to run a doctor’s office.