Medical office staff – will they hire someone with just a high school degree?

posted 6 months ago in Career
Post # 2
721 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

Short answer: no for medical office administration staff they usually require an office administration medical diploma of some sort. Same with legal offices. 

Post # 3
269 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

I can only answer for where I live, in Canada.

But I can say with great certainty that it is very, very unlikely they would consider that applicant. Being a medical clerk is not about taking a few phone calls and writing out appointment cards. They are dealing with a very high volume of very high stress phone calls (frantic parents of sick babies, patients who should be going to the emergency room not a clinic) and completing billing (which is not an easy task). They need to understand privacy legislation when various people phone wanting information they may or may not have the right to access.

And if this is a medical facility that is scheduling staff, that’s even more advanced. My scheduler walked in to 8 call ins today, all of which she had to replace while also building a 6 week schedule (due tomorrow) which includes a long weekend and must adhere to 2 different Union’s collective agreements.

Generally, there are more qualified applicants than there are positions.

Post # 4
1977 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

Maybe it differs greatly depending on the area, but here all of the programs (General OA, Medical OA, etc.) have solid placements that students compete for. There’s a 6 month period at the end of the program in which students work for about 6 weeks in offices that are in line with the program. A lot of students get jobs this way, :).

The setting is important, too. These placements are never available in the high paying environments like hosptials, private practice, etc. and mostly center around commerical.

I thinks he had a good shot getting experience while in school. She jus tbetter be prepared to work EVERY Saturday. That’s when the senior staff want relief and usually the position students ar ehired for.

Post # 5
9567 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2018

It varies by location but I know the ones I have seen require at least 2-3 years’ experience in reception/administration work and prefer medical experience. They sometimes require relevant qualifications too.

Post # 6
10509 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

Depends on what you mean by medical office.  Many places that offer paramedical services may such as physiotherapy, massage, chiropractor; I know of some for sure that were hiring and had no education specific criteria.

Post # 7
213 posts
Helper bee

I actually got hired in a extremely busy medical office as a client coordinator with no experience. I did have loads of customer service experience but no medical. It was a great opportunity for me and with that three years of experience I have moved into the social work filed which I couldn’t have done without. She could at least try! 

Post # 8
2799 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

It depends on what the job entails. I had a summer job while in college working in medical records. I didn’t deal with patients, and most of my job entailed making electronic copies of patients’ files. 

Post # 9
48 posts
  • Wedding: June 2017

I don’t know if this varies by location, but the clinic I work for absolutely hires those without college degrees for jobs. Obviously to do actual patient care type work a person would need some formal training (not necessarily a college degree), but we hire people to work as patient schedulers, to check people in at the front desk and to work in medical records. Some of the individuals who do these jobs do have college degrees, but several do not. These positions are not high-paying, but they get benefits and a desirable M-F without holidays schedule.

I’d say as a general rule, the business office manager of my clinic looks for individuals who come to the interview dressed professionally, are articulate/seem intelligent, are friendly and seem motivated to learn and work hard. Even if a person has unrelated work experience, highlighting other skills/experience such as customer service or being really organized or detailed oriented could be very beneficial. 

Post # 11
7983 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

My SIL worked at a medical clinic inside a hospital and while she does have a college degree, it’s not in anything medical related.

I think it’s definitely worth a try.

Post # 12
436 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017 - State Park

They’ll definitely want her to have a medical office assistant certificate, but depending on programs in the area or shortages, it never hurts to apply. Some places will train her on-site.

Post # 13
72 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

This does seem to be situational based on where you live. I work as a medical office secretary at a large hospital in the trauma and general surgery office. All that is required to work my position is a high school diploma and preferably 1 year of secretary experience, however I know of several people in other offices who didn’t have the experience and were hired. We have a week of orientation and training before you start as well. So, it never hurts to apply! 


Post # 14
419 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

Hi there. HR bee from a major, national healthcare company here. In most doctor’s offices, at least ours, you can absolutely get a job with just a high school diploma. It’d likely only be for registration, though. We can hire and train anyone who has a customer service background. Anything else would require Medical Assisting, etc. Some places will require you to test before being hired (medical terminology, typing, etc), but some will not. If that is the case, there are a lot of online practice tests you can take for free, and that might not be a bad idea anyway just to get familiar with some of the terminology. Best of luck to her!

Post # 15
253 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2018

I got a job a year ago in the registration department of my local hospital’s ER.  Most of my coworkers are young women with no college education and no previous medical industry experience.  Experience definitely gives you an edge when applying, but is not necessary.  I’ve noticed that most ERs tend to have a high turnover because it’s so busy and stressful, so I can assure you that at my job anyway, management is constantly scrambling to hire more people because we are often understaffed.  It’s probably harder to get hired without experience at a smaller medical office, but I would recommend looking for a position at a big hospital.  There’s also more opportunity for promotion working for a bigger company 🙂

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