Degrees in medical office administration are offered at the associate, bachelor and master's level. In the degree program, you learn about general office procedures, such as recordkeeping and human anatomy and physiology, medical terminology and billing. With each increasing degree level, the coursework is more in-depth, and focuses increasingly on the management aspect of the degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field is expected to grow faster than average.
With an associate's degree, you will be prepared to gain an entry-level position within a hospital or private practice. You can work as a medical transcriptionist, records technician, secretary or office manager. Medical transcriptionists listen to medical records that are dictated on tape by physicians, and transcribe them into medical reports. Records technicians oversee the organization and retrieval of medical records. A secretary organizes the office and works with a physician to schedule patients. Office manager positions at the associate level are primarily with small, private practices.
With a bachelor's degree, you will more readily be considered for the position of office manager, especially within large organizations. Office managers oversee the office and all the non-medical personnel within it. Responsibilities include hiring, payroll, purchasing equipment and supplies, and serving as a liaison between the non-medical and medical personnel.
With a master's degree, you can advance to higher positions such as administrator, department head or chief executive officer. Administrators are needed within large organizations such as hospitals and health insurance companies. Administrators can either be specialists who work within a department, overseeing daily operations, or they can be generalists and manage an entire facility. To become a CEO, you must have a great deal of experience in addition to the appropriate education. Take advantage of executive development workshops or courses to develop and market your skills.
After gaining sufficient experience, you can become an independent consultant. Consultants in the health care administration field are brought into a company to assess its strengths and weaknesses. You will evaluate employees, finances, health care practices and overall administration to determine areas of improvement.
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