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Comprehensive job training is readily available for medical assistant students via vocational training
institutions, college, or military training. Their programs typically consist of theoretic and practical instruction
and cover a wide range of clinical and administrative skills as it applies to a medical office setting. Formal
training usually ends with a practicum at an approved externship site and graduates may sit for a certification
exam to demonstrate their knowledge. Some medical assistants have received their training directly on the
An increasing number of doctors have replaced their Licensed
Practical Nurses (LPN) with medical assistants. They have
discovered that a well trained medical assistant is sufficiently qualified
to meet their needs. The projected employment rate for 2020 is
690,400 working in ambulatory medical practices, urgent and
preventive care, therapy and rehabilitation centers, vision and optical
stores, laboratories, pharmacies, alternative medical service centers,
veterinary clinics, college campuses, mental health and corrections
institutions and various other facilities where services are provided.
Employers expect dependability, strong organizational skills and fundamental decision-making skills.
Candidates must be in good health and physically fit to remain on their feet for several hourswithout a break,
possess good hand and eye coordination and near excellent vision to be able to see details at close range
such as calibration markings on a syringe, small print on medication labels, skin changes and blood vessels
to draw blood. Knowledge of computers, medical equipment and devices is a must and proficiency in patient
care, customer service, appointment scheduling, word processing, data entry and retrieval of demographic
and insurance information is a huge plus; after all, doctors want someone who understands their specialty
and will help them turn their practice into a successful business.
If would like to work for a dermatologist it may be expected that you:
understand the anatomy and pathology of the integumentary system
are familiar with routine diagnostic tests and treatments for skin disorders
are able to assist the doctor during routine and special examinations of the skin
are able to explain the diagnosis and plan of care in simple terms to the patients
can apply prescribed treatments, such as ointmentsand dressings as instructed
are familiar with common medical billing codes, eg. ICD-9-CM, ICD-10-CM, CPT
Medical assistants are paid by the hour*. Their take home pay can differ greatly from state to state and by
location. The employer decides how much he or she is willing pay for a certain position and certain
specialties pay more. Advancement opportunities abound for those who have solidified their knowledge
through hands-on job experience and career focused workshops, seminars, continuing education courses
(CEU) and specialty certifications.
REMEMBER: Medical assistants, regardless how experienced or seasoned in their field, cannot act without
a doctor physically present when providing direct patient care. Direct patient care are such skills as
administering medical treatments, injections, ear lavage, suture removal, or a cardiac stress test. Even more
so, they never independently refill prescriptions, even if they were refilled before, give any kind of medical
advice, not even a well intended suggestion that could be (mis-) interpreted as medical advice and never
share confidential patient information with other parties unless a valid need to know exists. Medical
assistants, even when working in a volunteer position, must always adhere to their job description and
applicable state and federal laws. The consequences of overstepping occupations limits can be serious.
Check out our Scope of Practice link in the navigation panel on the right side of the screen.
It is believed that our website is factual and accurate at the time it is published, however is not intended to be legal, financial or
here. We recommend that those who utilize our website will do their own research to familiarize themselves with the medical
assistants educational requirements, employers expectations, legal concerns and typical pay rates in their own area.
is a fully integrated, non-licensed member of the medical office team with duties that are distinct from the practice of medicine and nursing. Medical assistants are hired by doctors and clinicians to work under the direct supervision of the doctor in various supporting positions essential to a medical offices, or clinics routine. Today, there are at least 1-2 medical assistants for each doctor on the team, one in the so-called front office reception and administrative area and another in the back office clinical area directly assisting the doctor and patients. Their duties revolve around patient care ranging from clinical to administrative responsibilities. Basic knowledge of medical terminology, human anatomy and physical contact and interaction with the general public is essential. The best suited candidate is someone who is mobile, flexible, highly motivated and able to multitask in many areas within the medical office.