Medical Receptionist Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: August 22, 2022

A Medical Receptionist, or Medical Front Desk Clerk, is responsible for interacting with guests in a healthcare setting and managing administrative tasks for the medical team. Their duties include scheduling patient appointments according to Doctor availability, explaining intake forms to new patients and processing payments after treatment.

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Medical Receptionist duties and responsibilities

As client-facing professionals, Medical Receptionists play a key role in representing a practice within the community. Duties and responsibilities for this role typically include:

  • Greeting patients professionally both in person and on the phone
  • Quickly answering or properly referring questions and issues
  • Optimizing provider schedules and patient satisfaction with efficient scheduling
  • Notifying providers of patient arrivals 
  • Comforting patients by anticipating anxieties and effectively answering questions
  • Ensuring availability of treatment information by retrieving and updating patient records
  • Verifying financial records and collecting patient charges while filing and expediting third-party claims
  • Maintaining office inventory and equipment by anticipating supply needs and expediting supply orders
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What does a Medical Receptionist do?

Medical Receptionists are employed at hospitals and clinics to facilitate communication and recordkeeping in the medical office. Their main role is to serve as a point of contact for patients before and after their appointment, recording interactions and tracking files as necessary. Medical Receptionists communicate with outside medical institutions like laboratories and private practices that treat the same patients. They update Doctors about the status of tests or schedule changes. They securely gather patient information and enter it into digital and physical databases for east reference, sending hard copies of patient files to other Doctors and insurers when necessary.

Medical Receptionist skills and qualifications

A successful Medical Receptionist will have various skills and qualifications, such as:

  • Communication skills to converse clearly over the telephone and in person
  • Organization and time management to manage a variety of tasks effectively
  • Attention to detail to schedule patients correctly and communicate scheduling difficulties with providers
  • Technological skills, such as using word processing and spreadsheet programs to track data
  • Interpersonal skills to interact positively with patients who may be upset or stressed

Medical Receptionist salary expectations

A Medical Receptionist makes an average salary of $14.28 per hour. Pay rate may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location.

Medical Receptionist education and training requirements

A Medical Receptionist generally needs a high school diploma. However, there are no federal requirements for a Medical Receptionist to hold any certain certification or license. Your organization may require formal training in medical software, medical terminology, medical office procedures, medical ethics, coding and other common practices.

Medical Receptionist experience requirements

A Medical Receptionist is typically an entry-level position. On-the-job training is usually provided, and you can ask if a candidate has experience answering phones, filing paperwork or doing other related tasks. To minimize training time, request applicants with one or more years of experience in general reception work. Fast-paced environments and particularly demanding positions might request one to three years experience or more as a Medical Receptionist at another practice. 

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Frequently asked questions about Medical Receptionists


What is the difference between a Medical Receptionist and a Receptionist?

A Medical Receptionist is a type of Receptionist that specializes in handling communications and administrative tasks in a medical office. Receptionists that do not work in the medical field perform many of the same tasks such as answering phones, making appointments and checking in guests. Medical Receptionists require specialized knowledge related to protecting a patient’s healthcare information, processing insurance claims and securely communicating with other medical institutions. Receptionists may direct phone calls to other people in an office while Medical Receptionists usually answer patient questions themselves or schedule an appointment for the caller to meet with their Doctor.


What are the daily duties of a Medical Receptionist?

Medical Receptionists usually start their day by responding to email and phone messages and making updates to that day’s schedule. They contact Doctors and Nurses on staff about any cancellations or last-minute appointments scheduled that morning. Before the office opens, they help with filing tasks, coping forms and sorting outgoing mail. They greet guests, help them with paperwork, check their identification and alert the medical staff that their next patient has arrived. After an appointment, Medical Receptionists schedule follow-ups, send prescription requests to the patient’s pharmacy, collect payment and update information in the office’s online patient portal.


What are the characteristics of a good Medical Receptionist?

Good Medical Receptionists understand the importance of discretion and privacy when talking with patients about their condition. They demonstrate patience and understanding when explaining intake paperwork and payment procedures to new patients, taking extra time to clarify unclear information. Successful Medical Receptionists are organized and great at multi-tasking, allowing them to check in new patients while answering phone calls or arranging company records. A good Medical Receptionist is familiar with the entire process of a patient visiting their office so they can efficiently offer administrative support and make sure each patient gets treatment according to schedule.


What should you look for on a Medical Receptionist's resume?

A Medical Receptionist’s resume should reflect experience in a customer service position to show that they will be able to provide attentive service to patients in-person and over the phone. Top candidates will already be familiar with multiple medical code systems and have them clearly listed in the skills section of their resume. Look for resumes that emphasize the ability to work as a team to find candidates that can work well with other medical staff to support patients and keep accurate records.

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