Career outlook for medical secretary

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would make sure a doctor’s office runs smoothly so patients get the best service possible.

You would make appointments, deal with patients’ queries and work closely with health professionals.

You could work for a:

  • Consultant in a hospital
  • Director or chief executive of an NHS trust
  • GP surgery
  • Private practice
  • University or research department
  • Pharmaceutical company

You would:

  • Handle enquiries from patients
  • Organise a consultant's or director’s diary
  • Make travel arrangements
  • Manage a consultant's waiting list
  • Update patient records
  • Send samples for medical testing
  • Make sure that test results are filed with the right patient notes
  • Type patient letters and clinical reports
  • Manage a filing system
  • Oversee an office budget.

You might lead a team of secretaries. You would manage their workload and make sure they had all the equipment they needed to do their job.

You can see more about this role in the National Health Service on the Medical Secretary/personal assistant page of the NHS Careers website


Working conditions


In a full-time job you would usually work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Part-time work and job sharing are often available.


You would work in an office, but in some jobs you could also spend some time at a reception desk. As this is a responsible role where you are working closely with health professionals and the general public, you will be expected to have a smart and professional appearance.

UK employment status





Self employed


Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Problem solving
  • Working with numbers
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Managing resources
  • Motivating others
  • Negotiating

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.


Qualifications at SCQF levels 4 to 5 or a work-based qualification such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Administration (SVQ level 2/3).

 You could do an Modern Apprenticeship in Business and Administration.

Useful subjects

  • Maths
  • English (required by most employers)
  • Business
  • ICT
  • Administrative subjects

You will also need

A typing or word processing qualification is useful and sometimes essential. 

Helpful to have

A course in administration or business may be helpful at National Certificate (SCQF level 4), National Qualification (SCQF level 4) or Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7).