Medical/Clinical Assistant

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If you have an interest in health care and fairly good clerical skills but aren't sure being a doctor is for you, a career as a medical/clinical assistant might be a good choice for you. A medical/clinical assistant helps keep a medical office running smoothly by providing administrative and patient care support.

Students who study to be medical/clinical assistants learn to schedule appointments, measure vital signs, and change a patient's dressings if necessary. You'll also learn the basics of anatomy and how to make patients feel comfortable. People who undertake this program need to have strong communication skills and be comfortable with medical billing and coding.

Students should make a point of joining the American Association of Medical Assistants organization before graduation. The AAMA has resources regarding the certification tests as well as various educational, professional, and networking resources for the up-and-coming and established medical/clinical assistant professional.

Once you complete your studies, you will have the opportunity to take the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) or Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) test. Although certification is not always mandatory, many employers prefer candidates who are certified. Certification is also a great way to show that you're above the bar when it comes to your knowledge and abilities and may give you the competitive edge over other applicants.

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