Guide to Becoming a Medical Office Specialist


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Medical Office Specialists are the face of the medical office or healthcare facility and the first point of contact for anyone entering the office. They spend their time greeting patients, scheduling appointments, completing check-in procedures, and ensuring paperwork is filled out correctly. It’s a great career for anyone who dreams of working in a professional office, loves providing excellent customer service to patients, and would enjoy a stable career in the medical field.

If a career in the medical field has always appealed to you, consider enrolling in UEI College’s Medical Office Specialist Program to train for an entry-level position in as few as ten months.

What is a Medical Office Specialist?

A Medical Office Specialist, sometimes called an administrative medical assistant, provides non-clinical support to a medical office, clinic, hospital, dental office, or healthcare facility. They work in the front office of a healthcare facility, offering a welcoming smile to anyone who enters the building, completing scheduling, patient intake, and general administrative tasks that help keep the office running smoothly.


A Medical Office Specialist is trained to interact with patients, complete billing and coding tasks, manage and organize medical records, schedule appointments, and communicate well with patients, doctors, and nurses. This position requires excellent organization and communication skills to do the job well. The great thing about this program is that the training can be completed through UEI College in as few as 10 months.

What Careers Does UEI College’s Medical Office Specialist Program Prepare You For?

Although a formal university degree is not necessary to find work in an entry-level medical office specialist position, obtaining training through a vocational college may bolster your resume and give you an edge over other applicants in a competitive job market. Hiring managers like to know that applicants are entering the field with the skills to do the job.

UEI College’s Medical Office Specialist Program prepares you for a fulfilling career working in a medical office. With training from UEI College, you will be prepared to work in the following positions:


#1. Billing Coordinator

Medical Billing Coordinators help submit insurance claims to ensure patients receive the services they need and healthcare professionals are paid in a timely manner. They may also perform other bookkeeping tasks like sending invoices, tracking payments, and updating records. This position requires great attention to detail and patience to handle the red tape of working with insurance companies and government departments.


#2. Health Unit Coordinator

A Health Unit Coordinator ensures patients are properly admitted, transferred, and discharged from a facility. They provide essential communication to patients and their family members and update electronic medical records to reflect that communication.


#3. Medical Office Specialist

Medical Office Specialists provide general non-clinical support to an office. Their exact duties may vary from one office to the next, but they generally handle scheduling, answering calls, greeting patients, and keeping records in a hospital, private practice, or any healthcare facility.


#4. Patient Coordinator

Patient Care Coordinators ensure the patient’s needs are being met. They meet with the patient and provide a compassionate listening ear, explain diagnosis and treatments to them, and help keep the lines of communication open between the doctor and the patient. They also keep meticulous records about the patient’s needs for the doctor.


#5. Unit Secretary

A Unit Secretary, or Unit Support Representative, offers support in a nursing home, hospital, or healthcare office. They may help with scheduling, answering calls, and admitting patients. They also coordinate with other medical offices to schedule tests, receive test results, and keep records up to date. This position requires a good working knowledge of medical terms and procedures.


#6. Ward Clerk

A Ward Clerk is another title for Medical Secretary. These professionals provide administrative support in a hospital, clinic, or ward with admitting patients, managing records, and answering questions.


#7. Physician Office Specialist

Physician Office Assistants typically work in private practice to provide administrative support. They answer patient questions by phone or email and handle the office’s mail as well. They may also help with scheduling and billing.


#8. Admin Coordinator

Medical Coordinators or Admin Coordinators handle scheduling, manage inventory within the office and help support patients by answering questions over the phone.

A career as a Medical Office Specialist provides the opportunity to support patients, work in an office, and be a part of a medical team. You can be prepared to work in many medical settings with proper training, providing necessary administrative support to patients and physicians.

How to Become a Medical Office Specialist?

You do not need a college diploma to become a Medical Office Specialist, but the more training you can obtain, the more desirable you may be to potential employers. Completing a hands-on training program will show employers you have the skills and training to get started right away.


To become a Medical Office specialist, you should complete the following steps:


Step 1. Obtain a High School Diploma

Most employers require a high school diploma to get started in this field. If you have not yet earned a high school diploma, it’s still possible to move forward. UEI College can share options to help you earn your high school diploma while completing your college diploma. Give us a call today to see how this program makes it possible.


Step 2. Enroll in & Complete a Career Training Program

There is no official university degree needed to become a Medical Office Specialist, but the career can sometimes be competitive to break into, and employers like to see candidates who have some level of career training. Familiarity with medical terms and experience seeing how an office functions will be a benefit. An outgoing personality and the ability to organize are also important. For the best chance of obtaining a position, you should consider completing a training program to showcase your knowledge and skills.

UEI College’s Medical Office Specialist Program can be completed in as few as 10 months and will give you the hands-on practice and experience you need to be a successful Medical Office Specialist. This program teaches students how to interact with patients and perform the administrative tasks that are valuable in a medical setting. A familiarity and comfort with medical terms and these administrative tasks will provide the confidence to step into any Medical Office Specialist role.


Step 3. Gain Experience.

Having hands-on experience listed on your resume may give you an extra edge when finding a position. At the conclusion of UEI College’s Medical Office Specialist program, students complete an externship in an actual medical office. We’ll match you with an office in your area and help put your skills into practice in a real-life setting under the supervision of a doctor or current Medical Office Specialist. An externship helps students build on their skills and make new connections in the field that may lead to future career opportunities.


Step 4. Find a Position.

With training and experience, you’ll be prepared to offer administrative support in a healthcare setting. Medical Office Specialists are needed in the medical office, dental clinic, or hospital across the country.

Graduates from UEI College’s Medical Office Specialist Training program will have access to our Career Services Department to help in their job search. We’ll help update your resume, practice interview skills and find hiring opportunities in your area. It’s not uncommon for employers to even visit our campus! If you’re ready to get started in the medical field and have a desire to work as a Medical Office Specialist, we can walk you through each step and help you find an entry-level position in less than a year.

Medical Office Specialists may have the opportunity, with experience and further training, to grow in the field and take on supervisor roles. Once you have obtained your first entry-level position, keep learning. As you take on new responsibilities and achieve new certifications, you can create a career you can be proud of. This is one of the great benefits of a career in the medical field—there is always room for growth.

What Are the Duties of a Medical Office Specialist?

The duties of a Medical Office Specialist may vary from one office to another, but  our training will prepare you to handle each task with confidence. Common duties of a Medical Office Specialist include:

  • Answering phones and emails and directing patients to answers
  • Scheduling appointments and services for patients
  • Collecting and sorting office mail
  • Greeting patients as they enter the office
  • Sharing lab results with patients
  • Calling prescriptions into pharmacies
  • Confirming a patient’s arrival and updating their insurance and contact information
  • Verifying insurance coverage and submitting claims
  • Sending invoices and managing basic bookkeeping tasks
  • Communicating with patients about the cost of services and next steps
  • Managing office inventory
  • Updating a patient’s records prior to transfer or discharge

Medical Office Specialists may be asked to take on a variety of administrative tasks, but their main objective is ensuring patients receive the best customer service and that they feel their questions are answered in a timely manner. This requires a good working knowledge of medical terms and procedures and a knack for bringing positivity to any situation.

What Skills Do You Need to Become a Medical Office Specialist?

Medical Office Specialists are responsible for a variety of administrative tasks in a healthcare office setting. These tasks require a good working knowledge of how a medical facility runs, medical terms, and medical procedures. With proper training, you can gain these skills and more:


Hard Skills:

  • Knowledge of medical terms
  • Ability to check insurance eligibility and file claims
  • Ability to check patient vitals
  • Knowledge of necessary medical office paperwork and files
  • Knowledge of office computer software used for scheduling and billing
  • Ability to organize and add to Electronic Medical Records


Soft skills:

  • Positive and outgoing personality: Medical Office Specialists are the first point of contact for more patients and their loved ones. This job is a great fit for someone who considers themselves a people person as you’ll be interacting with people from all different backgrounds on a daily basis.
  • Excellent communication skills: Medical Office Specialists will be responsible for communicating by phone, email, or in person with medical personnel and patients. The information shared is often confidential and should be handled with the utmost professionalism.
  • Flexibility: Medical Office Specialists are often juggling several tasks at one time and need to have the ability to switch between tasks without becoming flustered.
  • Warm and welcoming personality: Medical Office Specialists are often the first ones to greet patients when they enter the office and set the tone for how the visit will go. It’s important to have the ability to make someone feel welcome.
  • Attention to Detail: Medical Office specialists play an important role in ensuring patients get the care they need and that their records are organized and clear. It’s important, when dealing with someone’s medical records that you have the ability to notice small changes that can have big consequences.


UEI College’s Medical Office Specialist Training Program offers the opportunity to learn and practice these skills in a hands-on environment under the supervision of experienced instructors. Through a combination of online learning, in-classroom instruction, and hands-on labs, you will learn the best methods for performing these duties well.

Where Do Medical Office Specialists Work?

Medical Office Specialists are needed in all medical facilities and dental offices as well. Every office needs a competent professional, from private clinics to hospitals, to greet patients, make them feel comfortable, and help collect initial paperwork and insurance information. The duties of a Medical Office Specialist may vary from one office to the next, but their assistance with administrative tasks in the office is needed. Medical Office Specialists may work in:

  • Doctor’s office
  • Dentist’s office
  • Optometrist office
  • Pediatrician’s office
  • Surgery center
  • Chiropractor’s office
  • Health Clinic
  • Urgent care
  • Hospital
  • Nursing home
  • Assisted living facility


Generally, Medical Office Specialists work at the front desk in an office. They answer phones and use a computer to schedule patients, update records, and track payments. The hours a medical office specialist may work depends on the office they work in. Urgent care or hospital may need a medical office specialist on hand at all hours, while some specialist offices like optometrists, physical therapists, and private practices may have more  regular business hours.

Do You Need a College Degree to Become a Medical Office Specialist?

You do NOT need a college degree to become a Medical Office Specialist. Most job descriptions only require a high school diploma, but the more experience and training you can list on your resume, the better your chances of securing a position may be.


A diploma from UEI College’s Medical Office Specialist Training Program will show potential employers that you’ve put effort into learning the skills necessary to do the job and are prepared to get started right away. This could give you an advantage when it comes time to find a position.


An accredited training program will help you learn the medical terms, duties, and functions of a Medical Office Specialist and will provide opportunities to practice these skills. You’ll also have the opportunity to work in an office during an externship and see firsthand how an office operates. With this knowledge and hands-on practice, you’ll be able to jump into an entry-level position as soon as you graduate. More training and certifications may lead to even more opportunities for growth within the field.

What Are the Educational Requirements To Enroll in UEI’s Medical Office Specialist Program?

If you are ready to train for a career you can be proud of, don’t wait! At UEI College, you can enroll right away and begin classes on the next class start date.


You do NOT need a high school diploma to enroll at UEI College. You can earn your high school diploma while enrolled in UEI College’s Medical Office Specialist Training Program, and in less than a year, in as few as ten months, you can be ready to apply for an entry position in your field of study.


If you already have your high school diploma, you are well on your way to having a career you can love. Bring a copy of your high school transcripts or diploma with you to UEI College for immediate enrollment.

How Long is the Medical Office Specialist Training Course?

The Medical Office Specialist Training Program at UEI College can be completed in as few as as 10 months. Our training is set up on a hybrid model. Students attend live lectures online and complete assignments online through any device. Twice a week, students come to campus for in-person classes where skills and concepts are put into practice. Students have the opportunity to role-play with other students, to handle/use equipment, and ask questions of our experienced instructors. You do not need to wait for a new school year to get started! With ongoing enrollment, you can begin your training on the next class start date—usually within a month of enrolling.

What Do You Learn in the Medical Office Specialist Program?

In UEI College’s Medical Office Specialist Program, you can gain all the fundamental skills and knowledge needed for an entry-level career in the medical field. With in-person, hands-on lab experiences, students will have the opportunity to practice working in a real medical office environment.


Through eight courses, students will learn:

  • Professional behavior for an office environment, including abiding by federal regulations
  • Interviewing patients and collecting vital signs
  • Managing electronic health records
  • Maintaining paper files and filing systems
  • Telephone etiquette
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Medical terminology
  • Dental anatomy and terminology
  • Insurance processing
  • Bookkeeping fundamentals
  • Handling emergencies in a medical office


Courses include:

  • Healthcare fundamentals
  • Medical Record Management
  • Medical Office Reception
  • Dental office procedures
  • Medical insurance
  • Medical office finance
  • Office management and emergency procedures
  • Externship


The final module in the Medical Office Specialist Training Program is an externship out in the community. We’ll help identify an opportunity to work alongside medical professionals in a health facility in your community. Externs perform the job of a Medical Office Specialist and put their skills and knowledge to the test. This hands-on learning ensures you have the experience to work in an entry-level position.

Should You Become a Medical Office Specialist?

If you want to work in the medical field but do not want to perform the clinical tasks of a Medical Assistant, becoming a Medical Office Specialist is a great solution. This career allows you to be part of the team and providing administrative support that keeps the office running smoothly.


The benefits of a career as a Medical Office Specialist include:


Growth Potential.

An experienced and competent Medical Office Specialist is an asset to a medical or dental facility. With the right training and work ethic, you could continue to grow in the field and find opportunities in this field.


Train Quickly.

UEI College’s Medical Office Specialist program can be completed in as few as ten months. In less than a year, you can get started in an entry-level position for a stable, fulfilling career.


Work In An Office Environment.

Yes, this made the cons and the pros list. Some people don’t enjoy working in an office, but if you do like organizing and communicating by phone, email, and mail, and making people smile when they enter a healthcare facility, then a career as a Medical Office Specialist could be very exciting.


Some possible disadvantages of being a Medical Office Specialist include:


Competitive job market.

In smaller offices, the duties of a Medical Office Specialist may be covered by a medical assistant or a medical billing professional. It’s necessary to demonstrate you have the skills to benefit an office and become a valuable part of the team from day one. It’s also a good idea to continue learning so that you’re up to date with the latest knowledge.


Odd hours.

Some medical facilities may have odd hours, including evenings and weekends. Medical Office Specialists may be asked to work during these odd hours to help greet patients and direct their inquiries.


Tedious work.

Working in an office is not for everyone. If you struggle to sit and work on a computer or talk on the phone, this career might not be a good fit for you.

What Should You Look for in a Medical Office Specialist Program?

If you’re considering training to become a Medical Office Specialist, you should look for a program that gives you a good foundation of understanding that you can build on for years to come. Look for a program that teaches professional communication, medical terminology, interviewing patients, managing electronic health records, and insurance processing.


In addition to just teaching concepts, look for a program that offers hands-on experiences to practice the skills necessary to find an entry-level position in the field. Take a tour of the campus, ask about the equipment used and get to know the instructors who will be teaching the course. UEI College’s Medical Office Specialist program was designed with the real world in mind. Each module features hands-on experiences to practice what you learn.


A good training program will also offer support outside of the classroom. UEI College offers tutoring, open lab time, and mentoring to students who need it. We also help students update their resumes and find job postings in their area.


Beginning a career as a Medical Office Specialist can be overwhelming, but with training and support, you can enter the field with confidence in your skills and knowledge.

Consider Enrolling in Florida Career College’s Medical Office Specialist Program!

UEI College offers all the support and resources you need to begin an entry-level position as a Medical Office Specialist in as few as ten months.


Take a tour of our campus today and see how our hands-on labs prepare you for working in a real healthcare facility. We focus on providing opportunities to gain new skills through online learning, hands-on training, and in-classroom instruction. We offer day and evening classes to fit into your schedule.


Do not let your past experiences with school stop you from achieving your dreams. If you did not graduate high school, we could help you obtain your high school diploma while attending college. Tutoring is available to help ensure your success!


Our financial aid team will help you identify ways to pay for your education. Financial aid, grants, and scholarships are available to those who qualify.


There’s no need to wait to get started on your training. You can enroll today and begin classes on the next start day. Our ongoing enrollment means you’ll be jumping into classes with experienced students who act as mentors throughout your learning.


UEI College’s Career Services department will help put your training into practice. We help find an externship site that will foster your continued learning. After graduation, we help students find open positions in their community and nail their job interviews.


If you’ve been waiting to make a career change and becoming a Medical Office Specialist sounds appealing to you, don’t wait any longer! Give us a call or fill out our online form to schedule your tour today.