Guidance for the Aspiring Medical Assistants

Medical Assistants vs. Medical Office Administrators vs. Clinical Assistants

Medical Assistants assist various medical professionals, such as physicians, hospital administrators, technicians and more, to perform their jobs well. They may provide clerical support or clinical support depending on their job requirements. Although they may choose to work full-time or part-time, many choose to work full-time. They can also choose their work timings/days (weekday, weekend, evening or night) that are convenient for them as most medical centers work round the clock, seven days a week. Whichever shift, they choose to work; it is well assured that they work in a climate-controlled and well-lit environment.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Medical Assistants annual mean wage (in various medical centers) in 2017 are listed below:

  • Offices of Physicians-$33,570
  • General Medical and Surgical Hospitals-$34,850
  • Outpatient Care Centers-$35,260
  • Offices of Other Health Practitioners-$30,770
  • Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities for the Elderly-$27,800

There are many types of Medical Assistants. Two major classifications are listed below:

  • Clinical Medical Assistants help physicians and other health care workers clinically. For example, their duties might include monitoring/recording vital signs, recording medical histories, preparing patients’ for their medical exam, taking various body fluid samples and preparing them for further lab tests, and administering medications (depending on the state law – some states may not allow) and more.
  • Medical Office Assistants/Administrators help physicians and office administrators in their clerical work. For example, their duties might include scheduling appointments, welcoming patients, asking them to fill forms, updating their medical records, helping in billing and coding, coordinating with insurance companies, patients and physicians and more.

Please note that job duties may overlap in some private clinics/hospitals. You need to make sure during the interview phase and clear all the doubts before you sign the offer letter.