What Type of Education Is Needed to Work in Medical Administration?


Quick Answer

Entry-level positions in medical administration can be filled by people who have only a high school diploma, though the specialized knowledge associated with medicine may necessitate courses in medical terminology, office procedures, coding, and other skill sets. To qualify for the greater responsibility and pay of executive medical administration positions, advanced degrees are required.

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Full Answer

At the entry level, medical administrative assistants perform clerical tasks such as checking in patients, answering phones, scheduling patient appointments, recording patient case histories and compiling patient medical files. These functions require keyboarding and organizational skills, together with proficiency in spelling, punctuation and grammar. Good customer service skills are also often needed. While a high school diploma may be the minimum educational requirement, a certificate or associate's degree is more common.

Mid-level medical administrators typically have more specialized duties. They may be department managers, laboratory directors, ambulatory care managers, case managers, and controllers, among other roles. A bachelor's degree may be sufficient to qualify for these positions.

Senior-level medical administrators may be responsible for all operations in a single area, such as chief financial officer or chief executive officer. It is also possible to be in command of a large facility, such as administrator of a busy hospital. People in these positions normally have a master's or doctorate degree.

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