Medical Office Manager - Career Overview

(Also Known as Practice Administrators or Practice Managers)

Team of nurses and doctors
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Overview of Medical Office Manager:

A medical office manager is responsible for the overall operations of a medical practice. Also known as medical practice administrator, or medical practice manager, careers in medical office management offer many options for qualified candidates.

Running a medical practice is not for the weak or faint of heart! Managing any type of business is tough, and management is not for everyone.

 Healthcare is an extremely fast-paced, busy and stressful field that can be even more demanding than most. It is a sector that is constantly changing and evolving, as it is impacted by government regulation, legal ramifications, clinical developments and pharmaceutical innovation, as well as new technology or general growth in patient load.

Also, the business side of the practice is very complex. There are many intricacies that a medical office manager must learn, monitor, and control to some extent. Much of the complexity and difficulty in managing a medical practice is due to the constant change in everything from insurance rules to healthcare laws. Also adding stress is the significance of the work itself, in that you are impacting the health and lives of others, which is a lot of responsibility for the person who is managing the entire medical practice.


Job Responsibilities and Duties for Medical Office Managers:

The duties and responsibilities for medical office managers vary with the size of the medical practice, as well as the management structure of the organization.

Usually, managers are responsible for staffing the practice and supervising the other non-clinical office employees including medical receptionists, medical billers and coders, and other office staff.

Additionally, medical office managers devise and implement processes and procedures for the operations of the practice. The office manager oversees all of the areas of the practice to ensure that the practice is running efficiently and effectively.

For example, the office manager will order office supplies, organize the office set-up, set the employee schedule, and basically keep an eye on all aspects of the practice.

The medical office manager may also look for ways to save money by lowering overhead costs (personnel, supplies, etc.) or increase efficiency. 


Skills Required for Medical Office Managers:

Medical office managers must be extremely organized, and detail-oriented. They should be excellent at communication and conflict resolution. In general, medical office managers should work well with people and be able to manage a variety of personalities. Medical office managers are dealing with a wide variety of personnel, from receptionists to physicians, plus they may also interact with the patients as well.

Therefore, interpersonal skills are extremely important, especially being able to motivate, train, and manage others.

Medical office managers should also be good with basic math and numbers, especially if overseeing a billing department. Practice managers must have a basic understanding of coding, appointment scheduling, medical reception, so he or she could fill in if needed to cover for one of the other employees.

Educational Requirements and Certifications for a Medical Office Manager:

Educational requirements vary by employer. However, most practices prefer at least an undergraduate degree. Large practices with many physicians and multiple locations may desire a master's degree such as an MBA or Master's in Healthcare Administration. Medical office managers do not necessarily have a clinical background.

Exceptions may be made for candidates who have comparable experience working in a medical office for many years. Working your way up to medical office manager may take a number of years, however.

Many employers don't require certifications, but it certainly doesn't hurt to have one.

Many office managers may be certified as a CMOM (Certified Medical Office Manager) or some other office role such as a CPC (Certified Professional Coder. For more information, visit the Medical Group Management Association.


The medical office manager often reports to the practice owners, who are typically a group of physicians. Any job in middle management presents its challenges, but particularly in a medical office environment. Medical office managers often deal with a lot of inter-office politics, staff turnover, and solving problems or issues with patients or personnel. Work hours will usually be more than 40 hours per week.

However, if you thrive on solving problems, supervising many different people, and organizing and streamlining processes, a career in medical office management may be for you!

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