What is a front office medical assistant and what do they do? | Dorsey College

What is a front office medical assistant and what do they do?

Are you organized?  Good with details?  Have great customer service skills?  Are you looking to pursue a new career in a growing, stable field?  Sounds like a career in healthcare might be a good fit for you.

According to the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment in healthcare occupations is projected to grow 16% from 2020 to 2030, which is much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.6 million new jobs ¹. It’s also a solid, stable field with many different careers within it.

So even if you want to skip the blood and needles, and years of schooling, you can still find a career in healthcare. You probably think of nurses and doctors when you hear the words “healthcare field”. But there are lots of other occupations under the healthcare umbrella. Like being a front office medical assistant.

medical office medical assistant answering a phoneWhat is a front office medical assistant?

Like it sounds, a front office medical assistant typically works at the front desk of a doctor’s office or clinic.

Most front office medical assistants work in physicians’ offices, hospitals, outpatient clinics, and other healthcare facilities. They’re often the first person you see when you visit a doctor’s office or urgent care.

The front office medical assistant is usually responsible for working with patients before they are seen by a medical professional. They also answer phones and perform other administrative duties. They

make sure the administrative duties of an office, clinic, or urgent care are organized and running smoothly.

If you’re organized, good with details and like working with people, being a front office medical assistant could be your perfect fit!

What does a front office medical assistant do?

A front office medical assistant may perform a variety of duties. Most of these duties are customer service and administrative related.

A major part of their role is working with patients, including but not limited to ³:

  •  Scheduling and confirming patient appointments
  • Verifying health insurance coverage of patients
  • Maintaining patient records upon check-in
  • Updating electronic medical records

Another major duty of a front office medical assistant is managing the office. This typically includes:

  • Organizing and ordering supplies for the office
  • Answering phones
  • Preparing reports for the office
  • Replying to and by mail, email, or fax
  • Operate office equipment

Some front office assistants perform billing duties.  These may include:

  • Performing bookkeeping duties such as credits and collections.
  • Preparing billing statements
  • Handling the coding side of medical billing
  • Filing claims on behalf of the practice
  • Working with the insurance company to resolve questions and/or discrepancies.

How to get started?

Does being a medical office assistant sound like a career path that may be the right fit for you?     If so,  Dorsey College can help you get started.

Dorsey College offers a Medical Administration and Billing program, specifically designed for those who wish to pursue an administrative role in healthcare.  They also offer a Medical Assistant program, which exposes students to both clinical and administrative skills.

The hybrid Medical Administration and Billing diploma program teaches real world skills that are used in the medical billing profession. You can learn electronic health records (EHR) software that are commonly used in medical facilities.  You’ll also be exposed to medical coding systems using CPT, ICD-9-CM, ICD-10-CM, and HCFA terminology. The program will also cover medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology.  The Medical Administration and Billing program is delivered in a hybrid format.  That means you’ll come to a Dorsey College campus for some of your classes and others will be held online via distance education.  The Medical Administration and Billing program is designed to be completed in just one year!

The hybrid Medical Assistant diploma program at Dorsey College features real world training that exposes students to both clinical and administrative duties a medical assistant may perform. The Medical Assistant program exposes students to a variety of topics and skills such as medical terminology, phlebotomy, medical office administration, and more.  The Medical Assistant program at Dorsey College is also delivered in a hybrid format, allowing students greater flexibility as they train to pursue their new career.

Students who choose Dorsey College for their Medical Assistant or Medical Administration and Billing training may also pursue certification, upon graduation.  Dorsey College will pay the cost, one time, for graduates to challenge a certification exam (as selected by Dorsey College) contingent upon the graduate meeting the exam preparation requirements, which vary by program. Choosing Dorsey College is a great way to learn the skills you need to pursue your new career as a front office medical assistant.  Contact Dorsey College today to learn more!



  1. “Healthcare Occupations : Occupational Outlook Handbook.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 8 Sept. 2021, www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home.htm.
  2. “Medical Assistants : Occupational Outlook Handbook.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 9 Apr. 2021, www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm. 
  3. “Summary Report For: 43-6013.00 – Medical Secretaries and Administrative Assistants.” O*NET OnLine, www.onetonline.org/link/summary/43-6013.00#menu.