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What Does a Medical Assistant Do?

Medical assistants fill many roles in a doctor’s office. These healthcare professionals cross-train to perform administrative and clinical duties. They play a vital role in physicians’ offices, hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Medical assistant (MA) duties may differ based on the size, location and specialty of the facility. In some practices, MAs specialize in either administrative or clinical duties. State laws also dictate responsibilities, such as giving patients injections or medications as directed by a doctor.

Job growth for medical assistants is expected to grow 23% from 2018 to 2028. Overall job growth during that same time period is expected to grow 5%.

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A medical assistant takes a patient’s blood pressure
Medical assistants play an important role in keeping doctors’ offices running smoothly. (Credit: VGStockStudio/Shutterstock) 
Duties + Responsibilities
  • Record patient history and other confidential information, which may involve electronic health records (EHRs)
  • Take patient’s vital signs
  • Prepare examination room, including sterilizing equipment
  • Assist the physician or nurse during an exam
  • Prepare blood samples for lab tests
  • Answer phones or email and schedule appointments
  • Manage insurance paperwork and billing
Education + Training

A high school diploma or equivalent is required. Students typically complete training to become a certified medical assistant (CMA) because employers prefer assistants with these credentials. Medical assistants also learn skills through on-the-job training. Programs typically last a year and are available from community colleges, technical schools and universities. These programs usually lead to a certificate or, for longer programs, an associate degree. All programs include classes in anatomy and medical terminology.

You May Be a Good Fit for This Position If You:
  • Have good communication skills
  • Are detail-oriented
  • Have a good understanding of medical terminology 
  • Have excellent organizational skills
  • Have analytical and technical skills

Medical Assistant training in your area


Medical Assistant Certificate

Cochise College
Sierra Vista (0.0 Miles)

Medical Assisting Diploma

Mitchell Community College
Statesville (0.0 Miles)

Medical Assistant Degree

West Los Angeles College
Culver City (0.0 Miles)

Clinical Medical Assistant

Northeastern Illinois University
Chicago (0.0 Miles)

Medical Assistant Certificate (Online)

Elgin Community College
Elgin (0.0 Miles)

Medical Assistant Program

Merced College
Merced (0.0 Miles)

Medical Assistant Diploma

Kirkwood Community College
Cedar Rapids (0.0 Miles)
College of the Mainland

Medical Assisting, A.A.S.

College of the Mainland
Texas City (0.0 Miles)

Medical Assistant Certificate

Community College of Allegheny County
Pittsburgh (0.0 Miles)

Medical Assisting Certificate

Parkland College
Champaign (0.0 Miles)

Medical Assistant Certificate

Neosho County Community College
Chanute (0.0 Miles)

Clinical Medical Assistant Non- Credit Certificate

Lamar Institute of Technology
Beaumont (0.0 Miles)

Find Medical Assistant Jobs in Your Area


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Adventist Health NW
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University of Utah Medical Group
South Jordan ( 0.0 ) Miles
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Georgetown ( 0.0 ) Miles
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Psych Tech

Catholic Health Initiative
Bismarck ( 0.0 ) Miles
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