Ten Golden Rules for Your Medical Office Staff


Sometimes employees do not understand or follow the most basic of workplace guidelines.  Here is a simple but comprehensive list that you can tweak to make your own.  It covers about 25 basics in a short list of ten “Golden Rules”.  Make it part of each job description or personnel handbook and/or post it in strategic places.

  1. Report to work on time daily. Be ready at your desk to begin work at the designated time.  Leave promptly for lunch and return to work when you should, unless you’ve made special arrangements with your supervisor.  Take breaks on the honor system and do not abuse the privilege.  Clock in and out faithfully.
  2. Command respect from the physicians, managers and employees of (your practice name here) by demonstrating total professionalism in the workplace with your dress, your demeanor and conversation. Represent the practice in a way that would make your Mother and your boss proud of you.  Treat your co-workers as you would like to be treated.
  3. Be economical by not wasting time or supplies or doing sloppy work that must be re-done.
  4. Give every patient your total attention, patience and courtesy. Do not assume you know what the patient is going to say, but listen carefully to the patient (in-person or on the phone) so you can assist them to the best of your ability.  Remember how good it feels to be the center of someone’s attention and give that gift to every single patient.
  5. Keep your supervisor aware of any problems in your workload, whether too much or too little.  Do not expect your supervisor to know if you are falling behind or caught up.
  6. Document all interactions with patients and other medical facilities to assist your co-workers in knowing what you have done, and document your resolution of the situation to the customer’s satisfaction.
  7. Strive for a positive attitude every single day. Don’t whine.
  8. Be a team player. This means both covering for your co-workers and knowing that they will cover you.  This means supporting your co-workers to their faces and behind their backs.  This means having (your practice name here) goals for your goals, and knowing that your success will be your team’s success, and ultimately, the success of the practice.
  9. Clean up your own messes and act as an adult acts in the workplace: responsibly, maturely, and with thought for others.  Accept blame for your own mistakes, knowing that everyone makes them, and that if no one is making any mistakes, nothing is improving.
  10. Contribute to making (your practice name here) a good place to work. Only you can create a place where everyone enjoys working.  Only you can make this place a good place to be.
  11. For more medical office rules, read “21 Common Sense Rules for Medical Offices.”

Photo credit: © Barbara Helgason | Dreamstime.com

Posted in: Day-to-Day Operations, Human Resources, Leadership

Leave a Comment (11) ↓


  1. Brandon October 1, 2009

    Mary Pat,

    You’ve been hitting it out of the park lately with these posts.

    I’m going to be forwarding this post to our staff, cause sometimes, they need a little reminder.

    Although they are great and hard workers, from time-to-time, they need their little ears pulled. And this post is a great way to reinforce some of the stuff they should know already.

    Keep up the good work.

    Brandon (aka @PediatricInc)

    PS. Are we supposed to fill in number 10? If so, here is my number 10.

    10. Take initiative. Always go the extra mile with everything you do. You are not limited to your job description.

    • Mary Pat Whaley October 2, 2009

      Hi Brandon,

      Thanks for letting me know about only having 9 rules! I went back and added the rule I had left off – one about being economical! How ironic.

      You’ve been writing some pretty great posts yourself! Keep up the good work.

      Best wishes,

      Mary Pat

  2. Deidre Macfarlane March 25, 2010

    I would like to subscribe.

    • Mary Pat Whaley March 25, 2010

      Hi Deidre!

      The subscribe box is in the upper right-hand corner of the page. Type in your email address and you will receive an email asking you to confirm you want to subscribe. You’ll start receiving an email with my posts, usually twice a week.

      Best wishes,

      Mary Pat

  3. Leonard Schwartz June 27, 2011

    Please subscribe

    • Mary Pat Whaley July 1, 2011


      You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription.

      Thanks for being a part of MMP!

      Best wishes,

      Mary Pat