Essential Skills Required for a Medical Office Assistant

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    f you’re considering pursuing a career as a Medical Office Assistant (MOA), it’s crucial that you familiarize yourself with the required skills associated with the profession, otherwise, it could hinder your chances of success.  

    Before we delve into the necessary skills of a MOA, we need to understand what a medical assistant does in a doctor’s office. MOAs support doctors and healthcare facilities to help operations run smoothly. They are responsible for administrative and clinical tasks like maintaining patient records, preparing patients, examination rooms and working in the front desk, just to name a few. 

    With these requirements comes a set of qualifications, that some companies may require a medical assistant diploma or certification to accompany their minimum list of required qualifications, such as the following:

    • Demonstrate an understanding of medical concepts
    • Strong knowledge of general office procedures
    • Adaptive of new technology
    • Well-organized and strong attention to detail
    • Maintain an environment of privacy and confidentiality

    Demonstrate An Understanding Of Medical Concepts

    This is the main skill that differentiates MOAs from Administrative Assistants. In order for a medical office to run smoothly, the employees need to be familiar with patient and doctor terminology and general medical procedures. Students of a Medical Office Assistant Diploma program will study medical and therapeutic practices like massage therapy, hydrotherapy, osteology, myology, physiology and pharmacology throughout their programs to develop the knowledge they need to be successful in their role.

    Strong Knowledge Of General Office Procedures

    MOAs work within the office setting of a healthcare facility and, therefore, require a set of knowledge and skills to support the different teams that make up a hospital or clinic. General office procedures include but are not limited to the following: 

    • Filing documents 
    • Greeting and attending patients
    • Scheduling appointments 
    • Billing invoices 
    • Updating relevant account information
    • Ordering office supplies 

    Adaptive Of New Technology

    The ability to be adaptive of medical software while also possessing proficient computer knowledge is a basic skill that every MOA needs to highlight in their profile. It is common for most patients to have both electronic and hardcopy files, both of which must be updated upon every appointment. Aside from this, assistants who perform examinations with technicians must operate and understand the purpose of the software or machinery used within medical settings to work efficiently.

    Well-Organized And Strong Attention To Detail

    This is a given. While dealing with over hundreds of patient databases and files, organization is crucial for the success of the office, which correlates with attention to detail. During a patient’s appointment, their personal information must be entered and updated on a regular basis and this task requires a strong detail-oriented focus. Doctors trust MOAs to provide them with accurate patient information that may inform their decisions or actions. If doctors know they can rely on you and how you work, they well know that their office is in good hands and their patients are taken care of. 

    Maintain An Environment Of Privacy And Confidentiality

    All MOAs need to ensure that they respect all patients’ confidentiality regarding their personal and medical information. Although this is a skill that does not require much training, it is extremely important. MOAs are sometimes the first person patients meet before an appointment. This gives MOAs the ability to set the tone or standard of a patient’s experience. Just like the doctors, you have the power to make patients feel safe and heard, and that in itself is a rewarding part of the job. 

    There are many reasons for you to consider a career as an MOA. Learn more about becoming a MOA and how different it is from an Administrative Assistant

    * Updated September 2021

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