1. Industry
Send to a Friend via Email

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Medical Office Receptionist


Dentist and receptionist reviewing medical records
Hero Images/Getty Images

General Description:

A Medical Office Receptionist is responsible for basic clerical tasks such as answering phones, greeting patients and visitors, and scheduling appointments in a professional and timely manner. Most medical receptionists work in a physicians office, dentists office, hospital or other medical facility. In smaller offices, medical receptionists may be responsible for both administrative and clinical duties. In larger offices, medical receptionists may only be responsible for administrative or clerical duties. Also referred to as a medical office assistant, medical assistants, receptionists, healthcare administrative professionals

Job Duties:

Job Duties:

  • Welcomes and greets all patients and visitors, in person or over the phones
  • Answers the phone while maintaining a polite, consistent phone manner using proper telephone etiquette
  • Responsible for keeping the reception area clean and organized
  • Registers new patients and updates existing patient demographics by collecting patient detailed patient information including personal and financial information
  • Facilitates patient flow by notifying the provider of patients' arrival, being aware of delays, and communicating with patients and clinical staff
  • Responds to patients', prospective patients, and visitor inquiries in a courteous manner
  • Keeps medical office supplies adequately stocked by anticipating inventory needs, placing orders, and monitoring office equipment
  • Protects patient confidentiality by making sure protected health information is secured by not leaving PHI in plain site and logging off the computer before leaving it unattended.



Education: High school diploma or graduation equivalency degree (GED). Knowledge of clinical procedures usually obtained from a certificate or Associates degree in a clinical program including anatomy, physiology, phlebotomy, first aid, and medical terminology. Knowledge of office procedures usually obtained from a certificate or Associates degree in a business program including administrative processes and procedures, claims processing, preparing patient charts, and basic computer skills.



Experience: Entry level, previous office administration or receptionist experience or a minimum of one year work experience in a medical office setting.

Skills: Telephone etiquette, customer service, basic word and excel programs, time management, multi-tasking, organization, scheduling


Expected Salary:

Salary amounts vary based on years of experience, education and job location. Use the Salary Wizard at salary.com to evaluate the average salary for this and other medical office jobs.

Current Job Openings:

Find current job openings for a Medical Receptionist and similar positions.

Other Information:

Telephone Etiquette: Does your receptionist have excellent telephone etiquette? It is important for your medical office staff to consistently offer a polite, consistent phone manner. When a patient calls in, the way in which the front desk personnel handle the telephone call determines how your facility is perceived. Here are a few basic tips you can offer your medical office staff to improve telephone etiquette.

  1. Be a good listener
  2. Have good phone manners
  3. Maintain confidentiality
Customer Service:
  • Patients want to feel special. Giving your patients a little more personal attention can go a long way in making them feel special. Also, physicians should also remember to always "be present" with the patient. Patients want to feel as though they are the most important person in the world while you are with them.
  • Patients want to know you genuinely care about them. Make sure you give them a warm welcome when they enter the office. No matter how busy your medical office staff is, someone should greet them as soon as they enter your office. Even if you can't verbally greet the patient, getting eye contact with them lets them know you are aware of their presence and will get to them as soon as possible.
  • Patients want you to tackle any issues that arise immediately. If a problem arises with your patient, rectify the situation as soon as possible. A patient will remember that you went out of your way to make them happy but if you don't handle it right away they will remember that too. Customer service is not about getting it perfect, its about catering to the desires of the patient.


©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.