What Qualifications Do You Need for a Job As a Medical Assistant?


Quick Answer

A candidate applying for a medical assistant job must possess analytical, social and technical skills and attention to detail. Formal education requirements vary between states, although some physicians hire candidates with no prior medical background and provide on-the-job training. Certifications are not necessary, but some employers may prefer certified candidates.

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Full Answer

Because a medical assistant is responsible for helping the physician or health practitioner perform clerical and clinical duties, he must have a good grasp of medical records and other patient information. A proficient and detailed analysis of such information reduces the likelihood of incorrect billing and improper patient care. In addition, the medical assistant often has to interact with patients and must therefore have a pleasing, professional personality at work.

A person who aspires to become a medical assistant must at least have a secondary education diploma, which is the minimal requirement for most states. The candidate has better chances of getting the job if he has some training from post-secondary programs offered by vocational and technical schools. Hiring managers may favor a candidate with a fair knowledge of anatomy, biology and chemistry.

Some advanced duties in medical assistant jobs may require certification from accredited organizations, such as the American Association of Medical Assistants and the National Healthcareer Association. These organizations require candidates to be at least 18 years old.

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