Do I Have to be a Doctor to be a Medical Practice Manager?

Medical Practice ManagerIf you want to become a medical practice manager, consider what training and professional experience that you need to pursue this type of career. Some people may be under the impression that they need to have clinical experience as a doctor before they can manage a medical practice, but that is not the case. A medical practice manager is an administrative professional who oversees the overall operations of a practice so that the doctor can see and treat patients. The duties and responsibilities of a practice manager are much different than those of a doctor who works in the practice. Here are some of the things that you can do to become a qualified candidate to manage a medical practice.

What Skills Are Required to Become a Practice Manager?

Before you start working to be a medical practice administrator, you need to consider what types of skills you will have to use on the job. The healthcare sector is growing on a daily basis. The need for professionals has created high demand. You need to be sure that you are the right fit when considering a formal degree program. To be a medical office manager, you need to be a detail-oriented individual who is professional and organized. You also need to:

  • be a talented communicator
  • be a leader
  • have the ability to manage people with different personalities

Because you will oversee various functions such as medical records and billing, you will need basic math skills and an understanding of medical coding.

Completing a Formal Degree Program

No industry standard educational requirement exists to become a medical office or practice manager. If you want to work in healthcare management, you need to review the requirements posted with various employers. This will help you know what type of degree will give you the most leverage. A majority of practices will require that candidates have a Bachelor’s degree in a health-related discipline to be considered for an open position. While this is a common requirement, larger practices that tend to pay higher salaries will require that you have a Master in Healthcare Management or some other type of advanced degree.

Work Experience in Replacement of a Degree

Practice managers have been around for decades. In the past a practice manager did not need a degree to oversee a practice. Many employers understand that veterans in the field can have years of experience without possessing a formal degree. In some cases, having a handful of years of experience can replace a degree requirement. It can also help you to work your way up the ladder by becoming Certified as a Professional Coder or a Certified Professional Manager. Certifications show that you have the skills needed to be an effective leader in the medical field.

A medical office manager is a problem solver who will communicate with internal professionals and external patients. If you can take charge in a medical office and be a problem solver, leader and supervisor, this could be the right career for you. Review the requirements to become a medical practice manager in your area, and start getting the experience that you need.

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