This active Medical Assistant Web Forum is maintained by Danni R., former Certified Medical Assistant, who has made her mark on the Internet by reaching thousands of medical assistant students, graduates and experienced medical assistants coast to coast through her well known websites and web forums dedicated to ALL medical assistants in the USA and abroad. Many medical assistant students and professionals have come and gone, leaving posts about their dreams, concerns and aspirations. Many reached out whenever possible to lend a helping hand to their peers in the true spirit of this profession! Thank you to all who have supported and contributed to this very active Medical Assistant Web Forum.
Our Motto: "If Medical Assistants post it - Medical Assistants will reply!"
Hi my name is Stephanie, I am currently riding the fence with going back to school. I really want to work in the healthcare field as an MA because I want to work in a doctors office and I want the small family atmousphere, the less stressful work environment and the m-f 8-5 hours. I love the idea of helping and learning about people. I have looked into a number of different schools and there is only one MA program that is affordable. Its at Brown Mackie College and its the 12 month diploma program. It runs about $6000 after books and everything. Since I already have a Bachelors Degree from another college, I only have to take 7 classes because 5 of them are transferrable. My problem is that its the only school that offers a diploma program without an externship. The 2year degree program does offer the externship, but my husband and I wont be here that long for me to take that program thats why I wanted to take the shorter program. Should I be concerned that the diploma program doesnt offer an externship? and will the following classes be enough education for me
word processing 1
medical administrative practices
You should be concerned. I believe a school has to offer the externship portion in order for it to be accrediated through the AAMA. If it's not accrediated, not only are you missing out on a good education, you are also missing out on valuable experience, and the chance to sit for Certification.
Best of wishes.
thanks for that valuable information. I actually got a call from that school this afternoon telling me that the diploma program would not offer me enough courses to be eligable to sit for the certification exam and that only the 2 year degree program would. However, I wont be here that long so I cant enroll in that program so I turned them down. I also looked into another school called the High Tech Institute. They offer the core classes that I would need to be eligable to sit for the exam and they are nationally credited. Its 10,000, but that includes all my classes, two pairs of scrubs, and all my books and equipment that is needed for the class. Is that a bad deal? Its a 9 month program. The two year program offered gen. ed classes that I already have from my previous college in which I hold a bachelors degree. Is going through the MA program worth it. I care so much more about the job satisfaction than the pay. My husband makes enough money to support both of us so money isnt the issue. I just want to know that I am making the right decision. i know that it may be cheaper to get an LPN, but I had a bigger interest in the MA program because the program is focused in working in a physican office.
Any advice from MA's is helpful or anyone that has any informaion.
Thanks so much.
Can anyone give me the pros and cons to working in a doctors office? Do you get to perfom a lot of clinical duties? Is 10,000 too much for a nationally accredited school that includes your books, two pairs of scrubs and your equipment?
Hi Steph -
Compared to what I paid for my program almost 4 years ago, I think 10K sounds steep. I went through Pima Medical Institute and the total cost after grants was 3K - I think the overall cost of the program was somewhere around the 5K-6K mark. Prices may have gone up that much - I don't know.
If what you want to do is work in a doctor's office and you don't want to be in a hospital or you have no intention of eventually going for an LPN/RN, then it sounds like medical assisting is the thing for you!
Doctor's offices are not necessarily a less stressful environment! I externed at a family practice - I worked with the nurse practioner and her MA. That was great - she only booked patients every 15-30 minutes (depending on complexity of visit). There was another doctor in the practice who routinely triple-booked his patients. It was complete insanity.
As far as clinical duties - I was doing EKGs, UAs, injections, vitals, assisting in the office surgeries (like skin biopsies), assisting with exams. I would think that what clinical duties you get to do sort of depends on what kind of practice you get hired on at.
Your Professional Title/Credentials: CMA/CHUC
Are You Still In School? Just started up again
Are You Working? Yes
10,000 is WAY too much. I went through the MA program at a local JC and it only cost me $640 (32 units at $20 a unit back in 2001) for the class, not including books. I am now going to a state college in the nursing program, I am in my third out of six semesters and have only spent about $5,000 for tuition so far and I will have a BSN when I graduate. I would NEVER pay $10,000 for an MA program, for sure since I only took home $17,800 a year before taxes working 40/hrs a week as a CMA. You should get training for a better deal some where else.
Correction, $17,280 a year before taxes
$10,000 is WAY too much. I've been at my college for 4 years (I've changed majors many times), and my debt is only $7,000 for all of that (including books).
I'm sure some ppl. would say how can someone be so gullible and go to a school where the MA program is that much. The "school" I went to, they were given "incentives" for every sucker (I mean student) they got into the program (a former employee told me all about their schemes). They get ppl., especially single mom's, who are desperate to have a career and have a better life for themselves and their children, only to find out in the end that they got screwed out of money and time. These supposedly "caring" ppl. know how to make these ppl. want to come to their school, promising the moon and stars the whole way through, and then it seems while your in externship, they turn their backs on you and when you graduate they give you jobs that can easily be found in the paper or internet. These schools should be shut down, they might be accredited; but they are a crock of sh*t.
Your Professional Title/Credentials: CMA/CPT
Are You Still In School? Yes
Are You Working? yes
Maybe you need to name that school to steer others away from it. I agree,there needs to be a major crackdown on these types of schools,they need to be exposed for the moneymaking racket they have become. Probably the worst are the ones that advertise a lot,like in the paper or those dumb commercials in the afternoon. The latter ALWAYS have to point out about all the jobs there are out there,that doctor's offices are just screaming for help,so naturally someone interested thinks the last thing they have to worry about is getting a medical job to pay off the loan.
Your Professional Title/Credentials: MA
Thanks everyone for all that valuable information. I have had quite a bit to think about. I actually found another school here that is only a little over $2,000, not including books, but it includes everything else. I really appreciate all the replies that I have received about my concerns. I will definately continute looking until I have found a school like the latter that I had just mentioned. I am definately not going to pay more than $5,000-$6,000 including books. Thank yall so much. Just a little FYI, some of the schools that have such steep costs are Heritage Collge, Brown Mackie, Wright Business School, High Tech Institute and Concorde Career College. Hope this helps anyone that is looking.
Are You Still In School? No
Are You Working? No
If you are in the Ohio area, Hocking college is a great school for MA and they are not really that expensive. 2 year accredited program for 1,182 a quarter and they offer financial aid. also, the program coordinator of the MA program is a former AAMA board member, so u know you are getting relevant training to the exam. I am in my first quarter and I love it there. Think positive! ANd try not to listen to a lot of the MA bashing I have heard, it is a good profession and is well respected depending on your location. Here is Athens, MAs are all some doc offices will hire!
Your Professional Title/Credentials: SMA
Are You Still In School? why yes
Are You Working? yes