Medical assistants need to perform a variety of clinical and administrative tasks, such as taking medical histories, explaining treatments to patients, answering telephones, updating records and filling out insurance forms. Although medical assistants do not need a licence, most employers prefer applicants that have a credential from a recognized program.
Although employers often prefer candidates with formal training, it is not always mandatory. Medical assistants sometimes receive training on the job. Some states require medical assistants to pass a test before performing certain duties. Medical assistants are not the same as physician assistants; they do not examine, diagnose or treat patients.