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Medical Support Assistant

Medical Support Assistants perform administrative support duties to promote patient care within a medical facility. These professionals coordinate and organize patients’ administrative and clerical information to provide guidance and support to ensure each patient receives timely and accurate care. The incumbent is the initial contact for patients and their beneficiaries seeking eligibility, benefits information and medical education.

Knowledge Areas

Medical Support Assistants need to have a thorough understanding of:
  • Scheduling and coordinating

  • Medical office support processes (e.g., greeting patients in person and by phone, and documenting patient concerns and obtaining patient records)

  • Computer programs (e.g., Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) packages and Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS))

  • Information security methods and principles

  • Policy, regulations and station directives (e.g., VA benefits eligibility and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA))

  • Medical administrative policies and procedures

  • Interdisciplinary Team (IDT) roles and responsibilities

  • Medical records management

  • Medical terminology, abbreviations and symbols

  • The medical center organization, functions and programs

Training & Developmental Experiences

Grade Range: GS03-GS05

Developmental Experiences
  • Schedule an appointment with a group of clients

  • Handle a customer request over the phone in a medical office setting

  • Retrieve a specific file from a computer program

  • File confidential materials correctly

  • Review Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) policies and procedures

  • Work in a doctor's office as a receptionist

  • Coordinate with a group to complete a task

  • Enter data into an electronic database

  • Review medical terminology

  • Volunteer at a local medical facility

Training Resources
* This is an internal Department of Veterans Affairs training opportunity provided to all VA employees for continued career growth.
Grade Range: GS06-GS07

Developmental Experiences
  • Coordinate multiple appointments for various clinics to accommodate a patient's request

  • Resolve a complex customer issue independently

  • Gather data and run a report for a provider using VistA

  • Advise staff on how to provide appropriate patient information when requested over the phone

  • Provide training to staff on a new VA regulation

  • Train a new employee on administrative policies

  • Participate in a focus groups to provide direct patient care

  • Review a staff member’s entry of patient data for accuracy

  • Volunteer to work in another service line (e.g., specialty care)

  • Serve as a member of the redesign committee

Training Resources
* This is an internal Department of Veterans Affairs training opportunity provided to all VA employees for continued career growth.
Grade Range: GS07-GS08

Developmental Experiences
  • Provide a stretch assignment to an employee to leverage and improve his or her skills

  • Recognize and reward team efforts and individual accomplishments

  • Help others to plan, organize and prioritize workloads to ensure timely high quality deliverables

  • Articulate VA’s mission externally to advocate for Veterans

  • Assist employees on setting realistic goals based on their strengths and areas for growth

  • Update stakeholders on changes that may affect them

  • Identify new internal colleagues to partner with to achieve organizational goals

  • Develop a relationship with a peer outside of the work unit

  • Facilitate a discussion where others can share their differences of opinion

  • Identify novel ways of performing work that increases efficiency

Training Resources
* This is an internal Department of Veterans Affairs training opportunity provided to all VA employees for continued career growth.

Additional Information

This job has positions which range from GS03 to GS08.

As part of the duties that may be performed in this job, an employee:
  • Coordinates patients' schedules and clinic flow

  • Performs clerical and administrative functions to maintain patient data

  • Provides patients and staff with administrative guidance

Current Job Openings

The VA Job Finder connects you to job openings at VA. Explore job openings with a customized search and plan your next career step.
Job Summary Location
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Education and Licensure


  • No mandatory or recommended education

Job announcements may contain more specific requirements.

Work Interests


Work Interests refer to the types of work activities that interest you, such as interacting with people, thinking of new ideas, or working with your hands. The chart below shows the Work Interest Profile for this job.
Realistic: Low; Investigative: Low; Artistic: Low; Social: Med; Enterprising: High; Conventional: High

Work Environment


Work Environment refers to the setting in which you like to work, such as inside or outside, in a competitive or supportive environment, or in an environment with a little or a lot of time pressure. The chart below shows the Work Environment Profile for this job.
Responsibility: Low; Exposure to Job Hazards: Low; Physical Activity: Med; Decision Making: Low ; Repetitiveness: High; Level of Competition: Low; Time Pressure: Low

Click here for a complete list of terms and definitions.

Please see the My Career Fit Tool to learn about your Work Interests and Work Environment preferences.

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