Updated December 2022
Eager to play an essential part in helping hospitals and clinics run smoothly? Medical office administration might be the field for you.
Medical office administrators (MOAs) are the friendly faces at the front desk. They do everything from greeting patients, updating files, and scheduling appointments to processing billing, preparing exam rooms, and collecting lab results. It’s vital work that really has an impact.
But every job has both advantages and drawbacks. And it’s important to understand the full picture before committing to a career path.
In this post, we take you through the major pros and cons of becoming a medical office administrator.
Learn what to expect and see if this role is a good fit for you.
PRO: MEDICAL OFFICE ADMINISTRATION TRAINING IS QUICK
One of the big pluses of this career is that it doesn’t take much time to get the training you need. Medical office admin programs are typically less than a year long.
For example, the MOA program at Herzing College takes just 10 months to complete. It even includes an internship that allows students to get actual work experience before they graduate.
So you can go from a total beginner to a fully qualified medical office administrator in a matter of months.
CON: THE WORKLOAD CAN BE STRESSFUL
Hospitals and clinics can be very busy places. You may be expected to take care of many different tasks almost simultaneously.
For instance, you might have a long line of arriving patients who need to be registered, a pile of referral requests to deal with, and a stream of phone calls from pharmacists, nurses, and caregivers.
Then the doctor you work for is called away on an emergency, and you have to reschedule all of his patients for that day.
You’ll have to stay organized and work quickly to keep up.
PRO: STEADY DEMAND FOR MEDICAL OFFICE ADMINISTRATORS IN ONTARIO
Medical office administrators have a favourable career outlook. If you go into this field, you can expect your skills to be in demand.
The Ontario government says the number of job postings for medical office administrators grew from 965 in 2017 to more than 3,600 in 2021.
And looking ahead, the province estimates that up to 6,000 MOA jobs will become available between 2021 and 2025.
Most medical office administrators work in hospitals and medical clinics. But you can also find opportunities with dental offices, physiotherapy centres, nursing homes, and insurance providers.
CON: IRREGULAR HOURS
This one could actually be a pro, depending on your perspective.
Hospitals operate around the clock, so if you work in one you might have to take on overnight, weekend, or holiday shifts. That can be a drawback for some people.
Clinics tend to keep standard business hours, but some are open evenings and weekends.
As an MOA, you should be prepared for a non-traditional work schedule.
PRO: AVOIDING NEEDLES AND BLOOD
As a medical office administrator, you get to play a key role in contributing to people’s health without getting too involved in the nitty-gritty.
Herzing graduate Priscilla Grant says that was a key reason she pursued this career path. "I chose the Medical Office Administrator program because I love helping people, but I am scared of needles and not fond of bodily fluids," she explains. "So becoming a nurse or doctor wasn’t right for me.”
CON: DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PATIENTS
As the first point of contact for people arriving at a hospital or clinic, medical office administrators interact closely with patients every day.
Those patients are often anxious and in pain. They don’t want to hear that the doctor is running late or that their bloodwork didn’t come through. They may take out their frustration and stress on the person behind the desk.
You have to be friendly, patient, and professional while you try to help people feel comfortable and at ease.
PRO: FULFILLING WORK
Medical office administrators don’t just handle appointments and billing. They also connect people with healthcare providers and help determine which patients need urgent care.
This can be incredibly rewarding, as MOA instructor Ayo Adetoro points out. "Navigating the healthcare system is complicated for most people. Medical office administrators work with patients to make the experience less stressful. They help patients get the right care, at the right time," he says.
"Plus, they help the entire medical team by ensuring the clinic runs smoothly. It’s an important role, where you can really make a difference.”
INTERESTED IN BECOMING A MEDICAL OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR?
So you’ve decided the pros of an MOA career outweigh the cons? Your next step is to get some quality training.
Have a look at the Medical Office Administration program at Herzing College. It's available at our Toronto and Ottawa campuses.
The program is just 10 months long, including an internship in a local healthcare facility.
Click below to get complete details on the MOA program and chat live with an admissions advisor. We're here to help!