Students working on computers

Train on Campus or Online for a Career in Medical Office Administration

Doctors and dentists spend many years training to develop the knowledge and skills required to care for patients and earn their trust. If your doctor or dentist operates in private practice, chances are that he or she would be lost without the help of the frontline office employee: the medical office administrator. Often called a medical secretary, this is the person who keeps a medical office organized and functioning.

One who works as a medical office administrator manages the daily operations of the doctor’s office, and duties may include welcoming patients, answering phone calls, maintaining health records, scheduling appointments, collecting copays, processing insurance claims, ordering surgical or medical supplies, and scheduling hospitalization and medical procedures. Could you imagine how long the wait time would be to see your doctor if he or she didn’t have someone managing the back office?

Arizona is expecting job growth for medical office administrators by an astounding 41 percent between 2016 and 2026, making it an in-demand position to hold. Brookline College’s Phoenix, Tempe and Tucson locations all offer a diploma in Medical Office Administration. You can also earn your diploma online.

What is required to become a medical office administrator?

You can become a medial office administrator (medical secretary) after completing Brookline’s convenient 34-week morning or evening program. This program is ideal for someone who wants to work in the growing health care field but does not want to perform clinical duties.

What will I learn?

Although you won’t be called on to perform clinical duties, you’ll learn medical terminology, anatomy and pharmacology. Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to learn medical coding without having to do it exclusively. You’ll learn what’s involved in medical office billing and front office accounting, as well as appropriate medical office communication.

When I graduate, what will I have accomplished?

Because you’ll be the first person a patient interacts with, you will have learned to develop your communication skills, show sensitivity to diversity and know how to meet basic human needs when talking to patients and their families. In addition to being knowledgeable in basic clerical duties, patient reception, office safety and scheduling, you’ll be expected to demonstrate:

  • Knowledge of proper documentation techniques and knowledge of medical records
  • Understanding of basic laboratory procedures and how to identify different types of laboratory equipment
  • Knowledge of OSHA laboratory safety regulations
  • Understanding of health insurance and managed health care in the United States
  • Proper handling and processing of insurance claims and coverage determinations
  • Understanding of Medicaid and Medicare eligibility guidelines, the differences between the two and how claims are processed
  • Knowledge of the purpose and use of the ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS coding systems
  • Ability to assign, interpret and report proper codes to outpatient and provider-based office diagnoses
  • Understanding of electronic health records

How does the online program differ from the on-campus program?

You learn the same thing, but you can learn from the comfort of your own home, in front of your own computer. If you live close to one of the Brookline campuses, you are able to visit and use the library and take advantage of on-site tutoring if you want more one-on-one help. Additionally, most online students participate in a comprehensive summary class (capstone) or participate in a field-based externship that will give you hands-on learning and real-world experience.

Brookline College makes it easy to get the education you need for an in-demand career, with flexible schedules and both onsite and online instruction. Moreover, Brookline offers financial aid for those who qualify.

Contact Brookline College today and start training for your future tomorrow.

Programs may vary by location.


Doctors and dentists count on their medical office administrators (aka medical secretaries) to handle the day-to-day operations of the practice, leaving them free to care for patients. It’s a critical role in the health care industry and a career you can train for on campus … or online.