Professional Medical Assistant Plus as a Career | Harris School of Business
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Professional Medical Assistant Plus as a Career

Job paths for Professional Medical Assistant Plus

Administrative Medical Assistants (Clerical Medical Assistants)

Ever wonder what happens behind the scenes at your doctor’s office? Administrative medical assistants are responsible for keeping the office running smoothly. They typically spend most of their day at a desk behind a computer. They handle tasks such as: scheduling appointments, calling patients, updating patient files, organizing paperwork, and in some cases, managing electronic health records. If you prefer office work to working directly with patients, this may be a good fit for you.

Clinical Medical Assistants

Clinical medical assistants are the hands-on healthcare workers who interact with patients every day. They assist the physicians in keeping the clinical side of the practice running smoothly. They take patient’s vital signs, ask about their medical history, and find out the reason for their visit. This way they are prepared for when the physician enters the office. They may also help the physician with minor office procedures, such as removing stitches or bandaging a wound.

Specialized Medical Assistants

Specialized medical assistants sometimes specialize in one particular field of medicine, such as pediatrics, dermatology, optometry, or sports medicine. In these specialized roles, they have different responsibilities than primary care roles. For example, in pediatrics, a medical assistant would need to know how to weigh an infant on a special scale. In optometry, a medical assistant may need to show a patient how to insert and remove contact lenses.

Where Professional Medical Assistant work

Professional medical assistants are trained to work in many different types of medical facilities, all of which have slightly different working environments. Facilities where medical assistants find jobs include:

  • Doctors’ offices
  • Specialists’ offices
  • Hospitals (both general and surgical)
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Private practices and public facilities
  • Urgent care clinics
  • Nursing homes and long-term care
  • Outpatient centers
  • College or university medical facilities

Topics in the curriculum

No medical experience is required to enroll in a training program. The courses start out a beginner level and slowly progress as you learn more. Below are some topics where you can gain marketable skills:

  • Medical terms
  • Human anatomy
  • Human physiology
  • Patient care
  • Office procedures
  • Medical billing and coding/health insurance claims

Employment Outlook for Medical Assisting Jobs

Will professional medical assisting be a strong field in the future? Will you find a job? According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, “Employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 29 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.”

The handbook attributes this positive growth predication to the greater need for medical services as the baby boom population ages. In addition, the handbook states that primary care is a consistently strong growth field, and since many medical assisting jobs are in primary care, this makes the job outlook more positive. The handbook points out that medical assistants with formal training should be at an advantage in the job market.

How much do Medical Assistants make?

Wondering how much medical assistants make? To get an idea of the expected salary, visit the Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the U.S. Department of Labor. This resource can give you an idea of how much medical assistants make across the country. Salaries and wages will vary depending on your experience, location geographically, and your employer.

Additional Resources for Medical Assistants

Interested in learning more? Several associations offer website with a wealth of information. Try these:

American Medical Technologists

National Health Care Association

Looking for a Better Career?

If medical assisting is not your idea of the perfect job, then maybe another career field will suit you better. Try our career-focused training programs page to find other great ideas for a new career path.