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NOC Code: NOC Code: 1243 Occupation: Medical Secretaries
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Medical secretaries perform a variety of secretarial and administrative duties in doctors' offices, hospitals, medical clinics and other medical settings. Medical secretaries perform a variety of secretarial and administrative duties in doctors' offices, hospitals, medical clinics and other medical settings.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Skill levels are assigned to tasks: Level 1 tasks are the least complex and level 4 or 5 tasks (depending upon the specific skill) are the most complex. Skill levels are associated with workplace tasks and not the workers performing these tasks.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Text Reading Text 1 2 3 4
Writing Writing 1 2 3
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Computer Use Computer Use 1 2 3
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3
Money Math Money Math 1 2 3
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2 3
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2 3
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2 3


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading Text
  • Read short handwritten notes from co-workers and other health care professionals, e.g. read a lab technician's comments about a test result to determine how urgent it is for a doctor to review the file. (2)
  • Read memos and email, e.g. read memos from supervisors about changes to hours of operation and email from community health nurses seeking information about the number of patients on waiting lists. (2)
  • Read pamphlets, posters and other publications, e.g. read a pamphlet describing alternate treatments for prostate cancer in order to answer patients' questions about tests and procedures. (2)
  • Read catalogues and brochures, e.g. read brochures to learn the features of dental administration management software. (2)
  • Read text entries in administrative and reporting forms, e.g. read an intake form to learn about a patient's symptoms. (2)
  • Read bulletins, notices, fact sheets, supplements, updates and health alerts, e.g. read notices from provincial ministries of health to learn about new billing procedures. (3)
  • Read a variety of manuals, e.g. read manuals to learn how to use administration management software to produce invoices, file claims, schedule appointments and track accounts receivable and payable. (3)
  • Read agreements, e.g. read medical insurance policies to learn about reimbursable services and procedures and amounts claimable. (4)
  • Read textbooks, e.g. read textbooks to learn medical terminology and the uniform pronunciation, definition and spelling of terms used by health care professionals. (4)
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Writing
  • Write reminders and short notes, e.g. write short entries in administrative forms to record the outcomes of procedures. (1)
  • Write minutes of office and medical team meetings, e.g. write meeting minutes to summarize discussions, record decisions made and note items requiring follow-up. (2)
  • Write email to co-workers, health care professionals, colleagues and patients, e.g. write email messages to schedule meetings and respond to enquiries and requests. (2)
  • Write letters, e.g. write a letter outlining dates of future appointments so a patient can take a leave of absence from work. (2)
  • Write procedures and guidelines, e.g. write sequenced instructions to describe the steps software users have to follow when using a particular application. (3)
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Document Use
  • Locate data from labels on files, containers and products, e.g. view labels on file tabs to locate patients' names and health insurance numbers. (1)
  • Locate data in schedules, lists and tables, e.g. view schedules to locate available appointment times. (2)
  • Enter data into lists, tables and schedules, e.g. enter stock counts into inventory control tables and patients' names and phone numbers into appointment schedules. (2)
  • Complete complex forms, e.g. complete medical insurance claim forms by entering information, such as names, addresses, diagnoses, codes, dates, fees and group numbers. (3)
  • Locate data in entry forms, e.g. locate the names of vendors, quantities, dates, prices, sales taxes and other data in supplier invoices. (3)
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Computer Use
  • Use electronic office equipment, such as printers, scanners, fax machines, copiers and postage meters. (1)
  • Use calculators and personal digital assistant (PDA) devices to complete numeracy-related tasks, such as summing figures and calculating charges. (1)
  • Use bookkeeping, billing and accounting software to record financial transactions. (1)
  • Use browsers and search engines to locate product information, such as the cost of supplies from suppliers. (2)
  • Use CD-ROMS and DVDS to access studyware programs, such as medical terminology training. (2)
  • Use the Internet to access training courses and seminars offered by book publishers, suppliers, employers and trainers. (2)
  • Use databases to enter, retrieve and print patients' appointment, treatment and billing data from hospital and clinic databases. (2)
  • Use spreadsheets to track expenditures, such as the cost of office supplies and the amortization of office equipment. (2)
  • Use spreadsheets to monitor inventory and third party billings. (2)
  • Use intranets and email applications to exchange information and documents with co-workers, patients and suppliers. (2)
  • Use the Internet to access online banking services. (2)
  • Use advanced features of word processing programs to write, edit and format text for letters, faxes, procedures, guidelines, meeting agendas and minutes. (3)
  • Use bookkeeping, billing and accounting software to prepare pay cheques, invoices and monthly financial statements, such as balance sheets and income and expense statements. (3)
  • Use specialized office management software to create patients' files, perform automatic insurance billing, schedule patients for multiple practitioners, control inventories, compute practice profile statistics and track financial accounts. (3)
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Oral Communication
  • Exchange information with co-workers and colleagues, e.g. speak with co-workers in other departments to request patient radiographs, blood test results and medical records. (1)
  • Participate in group discussions, e.g. participate in a staff meeting to discuss workloads, plan work schedules and coordinate examining room usage. (2)
  • Interact with patients and their relatives, e.g. interview patients and their families to complete forms, such as hospital admission applications and insurance claims. (2)
  • Talk to suppliers about product specifications, price quotes, service options and delivery times for office and medical equipment, materials and supplies. (2)
  • Instruct co-workers in office procedures and use of software, e.g. provide detailed step-by-step instructions to co-workers on the use of specialized business management software. (3)
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Money Math
  • Count cash and give patients change for cash payments for exams and procedures not covered by health insurance plans. (1)
  • Calculate and verify invoice and receipt amounts, e.g. calculate amounts to be claimed from health insurance plans by applying charges, discounts and applicable taxes. (3)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Measure the length of time it takes medical professionals to consult with their patients. (1)
  • Schedule appointments. Consider the availability of equipment and the required health care professionals. (2)
  • Prepare and verify monthly financial statements, such as balance sheets, income and expense statements and statements of cash flows. (3)
  • Calculate amounts for debit and credit transactions, accounts receivable and payable, bank reconciliations and summaries in general ledgers. (3)
  • Calculate amounts for payroll, utility and tax accounts, e.g. calculate payroll amounts using hours worked, rates of pay, federal and provincial income taxes, contributions to pension plans and employment insurance rates. (3)
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Data Analysis
  • Compare inventory counts of medical supplies to required levels. (1)
  • Calculate performance indicators, such as the average number of health care procedures completed per day, week and month. (2)
  • Collect and analyze operational data, e.g. collect and analyze data on the number of services performed to help doctors understand the needs of their patients. (3)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the time health care professionals will spend with patients during appointments, using past experience as a guide. (1)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Medical administrative assistants take phone calls from patients, handle front desk reception and assist co-workers with tasks, such as photocopying and faxing. They receive direction from their supervisors and the health care professionals who employ them. They have some scope to order their tasks, as long as they respect priorities set by their employers. (2)
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Decision Making
  • Select patients to fill cancelled appointments. Use a first-come, first-served rule or assign priorities to patients based on the severity of their health conditions. (1)
  • Choose suppliers for medical and office products and services. Take into account factors such as budgets and anticipated needs. (2)
  • Select tasks to assign to other medical administrative assistants. Consider individual availability, strengths, weaknesses and work experience. (2)
  • Choose or recommend methods and procedures for handling delinquent accounts. Write off bad debts, use collection agencies or pursue debtors in small claims courts. Consider several factors to make appropriate choices. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • Encounter delays due to equipment failures. Refer to user manuals to troubleshoot equipment faults. If unable to repair the equipment, ask co-workers for assistance and call repair technicians. (2)
  • Encounter walk-in patients who do not have appointments. Speak with the patients about their condition and schedule an emergency appointment if necessary or suggest they go to an urgent care facility or hospital. (2)
  • Face confrontations with verbally abusive patients. Talk to the verbally abusive person in a firm and assertive voice to calm them down and seek the assistance of co-workers and supervisors as required. (3)
  • Encounter inaccurate financial records. Review cheques issued, deposits made and debits and credits shown both in journal entries and on bank statements. If errors generated by bank computers are discovered, advise bank representatives. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Find information on medical and office products and services by contacting suppliers and searching their websites. (2)
  • Find the addresses and telephone numbers of doctors' offices, hospitals, medical clinics and other health care establishments by asking co-workers, scanning phone lists and directories and searching the Canada 411 website. (2)
  • Find information about patients' appointments, treatments and billings by looking up patients' files and searching databases. (2)
  • Find the spelling and meaning of unfamiliar medical terms by asking co-workers and searching medical dictionaries and websites. (2)
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Critical Thinking
  • Assess the accuracy and reasonableness of financial reports generated using accounting software. Compare data to previous reports and use your experience to identify potential errors. (2)
  • Evaluate the quality of products and services provided by suppliers. Determine which ones offer the best prices, service options and delivery times. (2)
  • Assess the suitability of equipment and software. Identify performance criteria and gather and analyze specifications and expert opinions. (3)
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