Medical Office Assistant: A career in healthcare administration and management

Canadian government relies on public, non-profit, and private institutions to offer universal, equitable healthcare to all its citizens. The role of medical office that is embedded within the community is undeniable in fulfilling the government agenda of universal healthcare guaranteed to Canadians by law. Physicians often work as independent professionals, and hence managing day to day operations in any medical office requires permanent, reliable staff. Medical office assistants are the front-line worker contributing in administration and management of healthcare facilities across Canada and it is one of the most sought careers among those aspiring to work in healthcare industry.

Typically, the medical office assistants are required to know about medical terminologies and have computer skills to meet the needs of documentation, privacy, filing claims for reimbursement, and other administrative tasks in a medical office. For mature students who have a secondary school certificate or internationally trained health professionals can learn these skills over a short period of time (approx. six months) to performs these tasks efficiently in a medical office setting. Though there is no regulatory body of medical office assistants, however, many employers including public hospitals and independent health facilities hire those who have completed a certificate in an accredited post-secondary college.

The Canadian College of Healthcare and Pharmaceutics offers the Medical Office Assistant program as approved by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) The program is 29 weeks long (approx. six months). A training placement is part of the program and students receive assistance in job search in medical offices following the completing of program.

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