That person in the suit who never leaves his/her office? That just might be the medical office manager. That’s the stigma that comes with pulling HR/marketing/facilities/accounting/billing/planning/legal duties. It takes a special personality to be a medical manager, but for those who fit, it can be a rewarding and lucrative career.
As a matter of fact, The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the median salary at $88,580 with the top 10 percent earning more than $150,560 and the bottom 10 percent earning less than $53,940.
That desire you have to do whatever is needed to accomplish your goals is the thing that makes a great manager. Whether you’re already a manager, training to be one, or just considering it, look below for an idea of what you should be doing to be one of the very best.
Step outside your office. Often.
You may feel like a slave to your desk, but your number one responsibility is to manage the office. The more you know what’s going on, the more you can help. Move through the departments you manage and interact with the staff, with the physicians, and with the patients. Be the eyes and ears of the team – observe what’s happening and listen to what’s needed.
Answer phone calls. Reply to e-mails. Return messages.
Communication is key to great managing but it’s a two way street. If people inside and outside the office feel like they can’t get a hold of you, or you never respond, then you lose that person’s confidence. A late reply is better than no reply. It tells that person that even when you’re busy, their issue is important.
Get your hands dirty.
The medical manager should be familiar with every job in the office. If you’re short staffed you should be competent enough to stand in. If there are things you don’t know how to do, ask a staff member to train you. You’ll gain respect and show your team that you value them at the same time.
Having an upbeat, yet calm personality will serve you well. You’ll be the primary face of the office, and the one expected to handle conflicts. Do so with confidence and with diplomacy. The more approachable you are, the more support you’ll have from everyone.
Organize and follow-through.
The job may seem overwhelming with so many responsibilities. Having a system that works will keep the stress at bay. Set it up so that your regular duties are handled in the same way every day. Train your staff to do the same. This will free you up to think on your feet for the surprises that come up.
For a medical office manager, multitasking is a critical part of the job. You have to be able to handle constant interruptions yet still complete whatever you’re taken away from. Everyone has their own system – keep a notepad with you to make notes as people come to you with requests or questions.
The best managers are fast-paced but know how to balance speed with accuracy. You may not have time to put your head down and focus on one task, so be prepared to handle requests quickly and still get them right. Know when you can put things off, and when you need to prioritize the task to right now.
Network and schmooze.
You are the face of your practice to the outside world. You need to use that to the benefit of the office. Meet with reps and hear the proposals they bring for your clinic. Talk them over with your physicians and seriously consider the ones that make sense. As a medical manager you need to look for ways that the practice can both bring in more revenue and increase patient care. Slot out twenty minutes three times a week dedicated to meeting with reps.
And slot out time to market your practice. Network with other managers while you’re away from the office. Staying involved in regional associations and attending social events gives you the chance to talk about your practice and hear about others. Learn things others are doing that might work for your office, and at the same time make connections that may end up in new working relationships that benefits both practices.
Be the example.
Show your staff what you expect by your example. Hard work, kindness, and professionalism will all be appreciated and your team will want to follow your lead.
Love taking care of people.
You may have entered the medical profession simply because you love helping people. Keeping this at the front of your thinking will serve you well as a manager. Your job essentially is to make sure your staff has what they need, so be happy to help them in whatever they’re doing.
I'm glad I graduated from ECPI
— Below Average Joe (@Bazoouka_Joe) April 23, 2014
Put Your Skills to Good Use! Become a Medical Manager.
Does a career in medical management sound like what you’re looking for? Take a look at ECPI University’s Bachelor of Science in Health Science with a concentration in Healthcare Administration. It could be the Best Decision You Ever Make!
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