Medical assistants carry out a number of administrative and clinical duties to ensure things run smoothly in the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, and other health practitioners. Responsibilities vary from office to office depending on location, size, and specialty. Tasks may include greeting patients, updating and filing patient medical records, coding and filling out insurance forms, as well as preparing patients for exams, drawing blood, and assisting physicians during examinations.
Along with many occupations in the healthcare industry, opportunities in Medical Assisting are growing steadily. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that job opportunities for Medical Assistants are expected to increase by 34% from 2008 - 2018, particularly for applicants with formal training or experience, and certification.
Medical assisting degree programs are offered through numerous vocational or trade schools, as well as community and junior colleges. Certificate and diploma programs may be completed in as little as one year, while two year associate degree programs are available for students looking to extend their education further. Students may encounter courses covering a variety of medical topics including anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology, as well as administrative areas like keyboarding, transcription, recordkeeping, accounting, and insurance processing.