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While the doctor's role might be the first thing you think about when discussing GP practices in Australia, what shouldn’t be forgotten is the part that medical receptionists play in proceedings. The skills learnt on a medical administration course are put to the test every day when in the position, like scheduling appointments, answering telephone calls, filing medical records and much more!

What absolutely isn’t fair is the way that patients often see receptionists at GP practices as a barrier rather than as someone who's there to help. Perhaps it’s because they have to make snap decisions about who can get help from the doctors and when. In truth, they’re simply doing their job, ensuring that those that need help the most get it first.

Emotional Management of Patients

You’ll learn early on when taking medical administration training that being successful in the role involves a high degree of emotional management. Patients may turn up in a distressed state for a wide variety of reasons, so it’s essential that you remain calm and supportive, even in the face of frustration. 

This has to be carried out simultaneously as juggling the needs of many other patients, phones that won’t stop ringing, accurate record-keeping and liaising between the various medical professionals you work alongside. While no one should have to put up with verbal abuse, retaining composure in this scenario is crucial to reaching a successful resolution to the matter being dealt with.

All Things to All People

After completing the necessary medical admin course and getting to work for real, a medical receptionist needs to be all things to all people. That person needs to be a facilitator, a negotiator, a customer and doctor liaison, as well as being both empathetic and neutral at the same time. The value offered to any practice by any medical receptionist is almost too big to measure.

That’s because without them - even with the practice manager in situ - most practices would fail to function properly. You’d have chaos, with customers turning up at the wrong time, phones never being answered, frustrated patients looking for someone to listen to their problems and much more besides. Working quietly and effectively, good medical receptionists are worth their weight in gold. 

Sound Like a Profession That You’d Enjoy?

As we’ve seen, medical receptionists are unsung heroes in the way that they contribute, and it’s an attractive profession for many reasons. It’s challenging, people-centred and pays a good wage, too, with an average salary upwards of $50k per annum. The good news is that a medication administration course from OCA is a flexible and affordable way to get into the industry.

So, if you like the sound of a job like this, a great place to start is to enrol in a course like our course in Medical Reception & Terminology, which gives you everything you need to get started on your career journey. It’s CPD-Endorsed (like all of our professional training), comes with 1-on-1 tutor support seven days a week and can even be paid for in flexible instalments.

If you’d like to know more about anything discussed here or details of our full range of short courses that cover over 20 different industries and sectors, visit us at, and you’ll find everything you need. Alternatively, if you’re after some advice before enrolment, call us today at 1300 611 494, and we’ll be delighted to assist in any way we can.

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