What Does a Medical Office Administrator Do? Skills, Tasks, Careers

When you arrive at a hospital or clinic, the first person you interact with is a medical office administrator/assistant. 

Medical office assistants greet all incoming patients, collect their information, confirm their appointments, and direct them to the correct department or clinician. 

They also do a lot of work behind-the-scenes, which helps the clinic run smoothly. 

Medical office administration involves a combination of clerical and clinical work. It’s the ideal career for people who want to work in healthcare, but aren’t interested in nursing or other front-line patient care roles. 

Considering becoming a medical office administrator (MOA)? In this post, we provide a clear break down of the MOA role and responsibilities.  

Find out what you’ll be doing each day at work, which skills you’ll need to get hired, and what to expect in training. 

what is the role of a Medical Office Administrator?

Ayo Adetoro has been teaching the Medical Office Administration course at Herzing College for over 15 years.  We asked him to explain the main role of a medical office administrator. What does it boil down to? 

Ayo summed it up like this: 

“Navigating the healthcare system is complicated for most people. MOAs work with patients to make the experience less stressful. They help patients get the right care, at the right time. 

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.” 


Imagine you arrive for your doctor appointment, and there’s no one at reception to book you in, locate your medical records, and tell the physician you’re there? 

Or, what if you arrive at the hospital with an emergency, and there’s no one there to check you in, take down your information, and connect you with the right specialistHow stressful that would be!

This is why medical office administrators are so important. MOAs play a very important role in coordinating medical care. 

They book our appointments, keep our patient files up-to-date, and help healthcare providers stay on schedule. We'll dive deeper into these (and other) key tasks in the next section.


Medical Office Assistant Responsibilities & Daily Tasks 

Most people know that medical office assistants answer the phone at the clinic and book appointments. But not everyone realizes just how many other responsibilities MOAs have. 

On a daily basis, medical office assistants are responsible for: 

☑️ Scheduling appointments and making reminder calls 

☑️ Greeting patients at reception and collecting their information 

☑️ Doing triage (sorting patients by degree of urgency to decide who should be seen first) 

☑️ Assisting with examinations as needed 

☑️ Setting up and sanitizing examination rooms 

☑️ Measuring and documenting vital signs 

☑️ Processing billing and insurance 

☑️ Preparing patient charts, records, histories, and reports 

☑️ Doing inventory and maintaining clinic supplies 

☑️ Collecting lab specimens and requisitions 

☑️ Processing lab test results 

☑️ Transcription 

MOA responsibilities can be divided into two main categories: clerical and clinical. Examples of clerical tasks include inventory, scheduling, and billing 

Examples of clinical tasks include assisting with examinations, collecting lab specimens, and taking a patient’s blood pressure. 


Medical Office Administration Career Options

Medical office administrators have a wide range of career options. Think about how many different healthcare providers exist in the Toronto area! 

MOAs are employed by: 

☑️ Family clinics 

☑️ Dentists 

☑️ Chiropractors 

☑️ Physiotherapists 

☑️ Private clinics 

☑️ Hospitals 

☑️ Extended care facilities 

☑️ Walk-in clinics 

Some MOA jobs follow a traditional 9-5 work schedule, while others require shift work (hospitals, for example). You can choose the work environment that best fits your interests and lifestyle. 


what Skills do You Need to Get Hired?

Employers look for very specific skills when hiring medical office administrators/assistants. 

This role requires skills across three key domains: communication, technology, and organization. These break down into the following competencies: 

☑️ Healthcare software (Accuro, ABELDentABELMed, etc.) 

☑️ Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, Outlook, Access) 

☑️ Excellent written and oral communication 

☑️ Interpersonal (friendly, welcoming, patient) 

☑️ Accuracy and attention to detail 

☑️ Independent problem solving 

☑️ Ability to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines 

☑️ Ability to perform in a fast-paced environment 

☑️ Genuine desire to help people 

☑️ Teamwork 

☑️ Medical transcription techniques and technology 

☑️ Medical terminology 


You can learn all the technical skills in medical office administration training. But traits like compassion, kindness and patience must come from within. 

Ayo Adetoro has worked and taught in the healthcare field for decades. He says the most successful MOAs are those who genuinely care about helping others. 

“Of course, employers want to hire MOAs with good computer and health office skills. But that’s not all they’re looking for. They want friendly people with a true passion for caring for others. Being motivated to help and care for people is the key.” 


Medical Office Administrator Training 

Think you’d make an effective and compassionate medical office administrator? Your next step is to explore training options. 

Most Medical Office Administration programs are under 12 months. They include hands-on training in healthcare software, health office procedures, transcription, medical records, and medical terminology. 

At Herzing College Toronto, we offer an accelerated 9-month Medical Office Administration course. Training includes a 6-week internship at a local clinic or hospital.  

Our graduates get hired at healthcare organizations across Toronto, including University Health NetworkSt. Joseph’s Health Centre, and Strategic Health. 

If you’re interesting in learning more, please contact Admissions. 

You can chat live with an Admissions Advisor now. Or click below to explore the Medical Office Administration course in more detail. We’re here to help! 

Explore the Medical Office Administration Program


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