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Should I Pursue a Medical Administration Associate Degree Program?

Majors Overview February 19, 2014

Students will be prepared to work in secretarial and administrative positions in healthcare offices. Commonly offered are Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) degrees. Programs will vary and may include medical office administration, medical administrative assistant, and medical administration programs.

A.A. Programs in Medical Administration

Students enrolled in an associate degree program in medical administration are trained to seek jobs that would require them to ensure the smooth running of a variety of healthcare settings while working with various medical professionals including doctors. Medical administrative assistants, or medical secretaries, are invested by employers with various responsibilities, such as organizing patient documents, scheduling appointments and transcribing physician’s reports. Students typically take about two years to complete these programs whose admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Coursework

Coursework in a medical administration program typically includes classes in keyboarding, medical law, insurance, medical coding and medical terminology aimed at helping students hone an array of skills necessary to perform the various tasks that medical secretaries are assigned to perform. Coursework may require students to gain practical experience through participation in an internship or a simulated real-world work setting. Coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Medical transcription
•Medical ethics and law
•Word processing
•Spreadsheets
•Records management
•Human resources
•Finance in healthcare
•Office management

Job and Wage Outlook

In 2012, medical secretaries took home an average annual wage of $32,670 (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). A job growth of 27% has been projected for these experts during the decade from 2012 to 2022. The optimistic prediction is based on the expectation that there will be greater reliance on these professionals who are likely to be given broader responsibilities in handling multiple offices. Medical secretaries can seek entry level occupations in various work environments including outpatient care centers, physician’s offices, dentist’s offices and hospitals.

Continuing Education Choices

Medical secretaries and administrative assistants can boost their career prospects by enrolling in a bachelor’s degree program in healthcare administration. Apart from administrative tasks, the business aspects of the field are also overseen by healthcare administrators – these include medical institutions’ policies, practices, and employees. In certain instances, recruiters for these positions may prefer candidates with graduate degrees. Master’s degree programs are offered at many schools. These are augmented by relevant training and include a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in healthcare management or a Master of Health Administration.

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