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Career Development

Guide to working as a Medical Secretary

A medical secretary is an essential part of the day-to-day running of hospitals, GP surgeries and private clinics. They work alongside consultants, NHS managers and GPs and are often seen as the face of the NHS.

The duties of a medical secretary include; managing patients, organising a doctor's diary, updating patient records with complex medical information, dealing with budgets, and sending samples for medical testing. It’s a varied and often exciting job, where you come across many different people from all walks of life.

If you have excellent communication and organisational skills and are looking for a new and exciting challenge with one of the best employers in the UK, a medical secretary job in the NHS could be exactly what you’re looking for. Here’s everything you need to know about becoming a brilliant medical secretary.


Many medical secretaries may have worked elsewhere in the NHS, so they have a good grasp of medical terminology. If not, they will be fast learners who can pick up the vernacular quickly. As well as this, all good medical secretaries should have:

  • Great communication skills, both on the telephone and face-to-face

  • Excellent administration and organisational skills

  • Attention to detail

  • IT skills

  • The ability to work both in a team and individually

Medical secretaries should also be friendly and personable, able to work well under pressure and helpful and compassionate to patients and their families.

Qualifications and entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements for a medical secretary, but employers usually look out for:

  • A good standard of literacy, numeracy and IT skills

  • GCSEs or equivalent qualifications

  • A typing or word processing qualification

  • Good understanding of medical terminology

Not every employer will need all applicants to meet each bullet point, and there will be scope to learn on the job, but it may be worth looking into these if you’re looking to go down the medical secretary route.

Once in a role, you may be offered the chance to take qualifications such as NVQs or those from:

For more information on how and where to learn more about the skills needed, take a look at our blog on the top resources for medical secretaries.

Is a medical secretary role for you?

If you are personable, organised, confident and have the other skills needed to be a great medical secretary and are looking for a varied and exciting challenge, you could be ready to apply for the medical secretary roles.

Take a look at our recent medical secretary vacancies here to take the next step in your career. For more information about the different types of resources you can use to be the best medical secretary you can, take a look at our blog Top Resources for Medical Secretaries.

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