Who Makes a Good Medical Administrative Assistant?

Posted on 04.10.2012

What types of people make good medical administrative assistants (MAA)? What skills and qualities do they need to possess? Will you make a good MAA? The previous posts have given information about the job and different areas you may work in as an MAA, but is it a job that you will enjoy and excel in? This post will explain some of the most basic skills and qualities sought after in MAAs.

Skills are things that you can DO. They can often be taught and learned. As we discuss some of the skills needed to work in an office, remember that even if you don’t currently possess ALL of these skills, you can learn them and we try to teach many of them in the course. As you learn new skills, practice them! Use them in your everyday life and practice using them as you answer the phone, meet new people, and interact with others in all types of situations.

Skills often sought for in an MAA include:

  • Communication – Probably the most important and most used skill!
  • Education – MAAs often have to act as instructors to educate patients on policies and procedures.
  • Operational Functions – This includes the ability to perform basic office duties, such as printing, scanning, inventory, etc.
  • Administrative Procedures – This includes scheduling, organizing, retrieving and filing records, answering the telephone, etc.
  • Finance – Often needed in smaller offices—this could include coding and billing, collections, payroll or bookkeeping.

In addition to these skills, you will also need sound interpersonal skills. These are a little different than the skills previously mentioned and you may already posses many of them. These skills will help in your day-to-day-communication and will help you adhere to privacy and customer service rules.

Qualities in this category include:

  • Loyalty
  • Respect
  • Confidentiality
  • Dependability
  • Courtesy
  • Initiative
  • Flexibility
  • Empathy
  • Professionalism

If you want to become an MAA, you should begin working on these skills now! Make them a part of who you are. If you want to know more, review the module Working as an MAA for more specific, detailed information.