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Medical Office Manager - Career Profile

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Team of nurses and doctors
Steve Hix/Fuse / Getty Images

Overview of Medical Office Manager:

A medical office manager is responsible for the overall operations of a medical practice. Also known as medical practice administrator, or medical practice manager, careers in medical office management offer many options for qualified candidates.

Job Responsibilities and Duties for Medical Office Managers:

The duties and responsibilities for medical office managers vary with the size of the medical practice, as well as the management structure of the organization.

Usually, managers are responsible for staffing the practice and supervising the other non-clinical office employees including medical receptionists, medical billers and coders, and other office staff.

Additionally, medical office managers devise and implement processes and procedures for the operations of the practice. The office manager oversees all of the areas of the practice to ensure that the practice is running efficiently and effectively.

For example, the office manager will order office supplies, organize the office set-up, set the employee schedule, and basically keep an eye on all aspects of the practice.

The medical office manager may also look for ways to save money by lowering overhead costs (personnel, supplies, etc.) or increase efficencies.

Skills Required for Medical Office Managers:

Medical office managers must be extremely organized, and detail-oriented. They should be excellent at communication and conflict resolution. In general, medical office managers should work well with people and be able to manage a variety of personalities.

Medical office managers should also be good with basic math and numbers, especially if overseeing a billing department. Practice managers must have a basic understanding of coding, appointment scheduling, medical reception, so he or she could fill in if needed to cover for one of the other employees.

Educational Requirements and Certifications for a Medical Office Manager:

Educational requirements vary by employer. However, most practices prefer at least an undergraduate degree. Large practices with many physicians and multiple locations may desire a master's degree such as an MBA or Master's in Healthcare Administration.

Exceptions may be made for candidates who have comparable experience working in a medical office for many years. Working your way up to medical office manager may take many years however.

Many employers don't require certifications, but it certainly doesn't hurt to have one.

Many office managers may be certified as a CMOM (Certified Medical Office Manager) or some other office role such as a CPC (Certified Professional Coder. For more information, visit the Medical Group Management Association.

The medical office manager often reports to the practice owners, who are typically a group of physicians. Any job in middle management presents its challenges, but particularly in a medical office environment. Medical office managers often deal with a lot of inter-office politics, staff turnover, and solving problems or issues with patients or personnel. Work hours will usually be more than 40 hours per week.

However, if you thrive on solving problems, supervising many different people, and organizing and streamlining processes, a career in medical office management may be for you!

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