Medical Office I: Terminology and Coding

Medical Office I will prepare students for an entry-level job in a doctor’s office or clinic. It does not prepare students to be a professional coder. In the first half of the course, students receive an introduction to medical terminology. In the second half of the course, students receive an introduction in how to convert a medical procedure or disease into a number code for insurance billing.


Occupation Description

The medical receptionist is often the first person a patient may interact with over the phone or upon arriving at a medical office. Therefore, the medical receptionist is integral to shaping the patients’ first impression of the medical practice, which could shape the patient-provider relationship for the long-term.

Job Responsibilities of Medical Receptionists:

Depending on the size of the practice and staff, the medical receptionist’s duties could vary slightly. Answering the phones is always the primary function. This includes fielding calls and transferring them to the appropriate person, or taking a message from the caller.

Many medical receptionists also are responsible for scheduling patients’ appointments, which is very important to the success of the practice. Medical receptionists are often busy setting, changing, or canceling appointments in addition to answering the phones.

Other tasks include light office work such as filing, copying or scanning documents.


Careers Available

Entry-level job in a doctor’s office.


Entry-Level Salary



Learning Objectives

Students will learn basic medical terminology and have an introduction to medical coding, all to prepare for Medical Office II: Billing


Recommended Courses and Skills

Medical Office II: Billing and Electronic Medical Records are recommended following this course.

Hiring managers often seek, and sometimes test for, the following skills:

  • Ability to multi-task and handle many incoming calls or patients at once
  • Efficient and accurate data-entry skills
  • Computer literacy and multi-line phone or switchboard experience. If no experience, the prospective receptionist must be able to learn it quickly.
  • Clean background – candidate should have positive professional references and be able to pass a criminal background check
  • Basic knowledge such as basic math, alphabetical or numerical filing may also be required.
  • Punctual and reliable.


Helpful Personal Attributes

  • Pleasant, professional, and articulate phone voice
  • Punctual and reliable
  • Good communication skills, pleasant personality, ability to work with public and medical professionals.


Program Contact

West Campus Customer Service  336.734.7023