A Medical Assistant’s Review of Their Job

A medical assistant’s job is a demanding one. Here’s a review of what the job entails, from the perspective of someone who’s been doing it for a while.

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Job Description

A medical assistant’s job description may vary depending on the state they work in and the size of the medical practice. Typically, a medical assistant’s responsibilities include: greeting patients, updating patient records, scheduling appointments, taking patient vital signs,preparing patients for examination, assisting the physician during the exam, collecting and processing lab specimens, handling correspondence, billing and coding insurance forms. In some states Medical assistants may also give injections or perform other delegated tasks.

Duties and Responsibilities

Medical assistants are multi-skilled health professionals specifically trained to work in outpatient facilities such as medical offices and clinics. Their duties vary depending on the size and type of facility they work in, but most medical assistants have a dual role of both administrative and clinical duties.

Typical administrative duties include answering phones, greeting patients, updating and filing patient medical records scheduling appointments, handling correspondence and billing. Clinical duties may include taking and recording patient vital signs such as weight, blood pressure and temperature, preparing patients for examination, assisting the physician during the exam procedure, collecting and processing lab specimens and performing basic laboratory tests.

Medical assistants may also give patients injections or vaccines under the direction of a physician or licensed nurse. Many medical assistants take on additional responsibilities such as heading up the office social media accounts or planning community outreach events.


In the United States medical assistants earn a median annual salary of $34,800, which means half earn more than this while half earn less. Salaries vary depending on experience, employer, location and other factors.

Education and Training

Education and Training for Medical Assistants
While there is no formal education requirement for medical assistants, most employers prefer to hire those who have completed an accredited medical assistant program. These programs typically take about one year to complete and result in a certificate or diploma. Some community colleges offer two-year associate degree programs in medical assisting.

While not required, completing an accredited program may make it easier to become certified as a medical assistant In addition, some employers may prefer or require certification.


A medical assistant is a multipurpose allied health professional that performs both clinical and administrative tasks in a hospital or clinic setting. Medical assistants are trained in a variety of medical procedures, including taking and recording patient medical histories, measuring and recording vital signs, performing electrocardiograms (EKGs), scheduling appointments, preparing patients for examinations, assisting physicians with patient examinations, and giving patients injections.

In order to become a medical assistant, one must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Although some employers may require certification, it is not always a requirement. Certification can be obtained through completing an accredited medical assisting program and passing the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

Work Schedule

As a medical assistant, you can expect to work full time. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the vast majority of medical assistants work more than 40 hours per week. However, because many medical offices are open during evening and weekend hours, you may be able to find a position that offers some flexibility in its scheduling.

Pros and Cons

Working as a medical assistant has its pros and cons. The Pros of being a medical assistant are you get to help people, the pay is good, there is a great job outlook, you get to choose your hours, you get holidays and vacation days off, and you have the potential to advance in your career. The Cons of being a medical assistant are that it can be a very stressful job, you may have to work long hours, you may have to work weekends and holidays, and you may have to deal with difficult patients.

Job outlook

The medical assistant job outlook is quite positive. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical assistants is expected to grow by 29 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is due to an increased demand for medical services as the population ages and more emphasis is placed on preventative care. The bureau also reports that the median annual salary for medical assistants was $31,540 in 2016.


Frequently Asked Questions from a Medical Assistant’s perspective.

What does a medical assistant do?
A medical assistant is a key member of the medical team in any healthcare setting. They provide support to doctors and nurses by performing administrative tasks and clinical procedures. They may also be responsible for patient education and care.

What are the hours like?
The hours can be very variable, depending on the healthcare setting. Medical assistants may work in hospitals, clinics, or doctors’ offices, and their hours will be based on the needs of the facility. In some cases, medical assistants may work evenings or weekends to accommodate patients’ schedules.

What is the pay like?
Medical assistants can earn a good salary, especially if they have experience or specialized training. The median salary for medical assistants was $32,480 in 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Experienced medical assistants can earn up to $48,000 per year or more.

What are the benefits?
Benefits for medical assistants can vary depending on their employer, but they may include health insurance paid time off, and retirement plans. Some employers also offer tuition reimbursement for employees who wish to further their education in the medical field.

Medical Assistant’s Review

Working as a medical assistant can be a very rewarding career. You get to work closely with patients and help them with their health care needs. You also get to work with other members of the healthcare team, including doctors, nurses, and office staff. The hours can be long and the work can be challenging, but it is a great way to help people and make a difference in the world.

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