A day as a medical secretary

You arrive at the GP practice where you work at 8.45am. Your first task of the day is to organise the GP's patient list and retrieve all patients' files ready for their appointments. Once this is done you open and sort the post, dealing with many of the queries and sorting those that need to be responded to by the doctor. After filing patient records you update the practice database and take phone messages. You spend much of the afternoon typing up letters from the GP to be sent to patients and the local hospital to arrange appointments. Throughout the day you answer phone calls from patients and other medical professions, assisting as best you can with their queries and taking messages for GPs. You like using your organisational skills to ensure the practice runs smoothly, and enjoy the regular hours and being part of the medical community.

Does this sound like you?

You're very organised and responsible, and like the idea of making other people's lives easier. You're keen to work in an office environment, and have a good understanding of basic computer programs such as Word and Excel.

What's next after GCSE?

You'll need reasonable GCSE results to demonstrate good all-round education, and will probably be considering taking a secretarial or business services qualification at college. Then, you'll need to gain administrative work experience - preferably within the NHS. Alternatively, instead of going to college, you could look at a job or an apprenticeship or job in the NHS.

What's next after A level and beyond?

Obtaining a good level of education will certainly help you obtain a role as a medical secretary especially if you're taking secretarial or business services qualifications to develop your secretarial skills. After college you could apply for a job or a relevant business or administration-related apprenticeship in the NHS and while you're working, you'd typically study for qualifications from the Association of Medical Secretaries, Personal Assistants and Receptionists or the British Association of Medical Secretaries. Job and apprenticeship vacancies in the NHS can be found on the NHS Jobs website www.jobs.nhs.uk. You can also find apprenticeships on the Gov.uk website www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship