Medical assistants are indispensable to any clinic, hospital or private practice office. They perform duties in all areas of the healthcare field. They take blood, assist with minor surgeries, maintain patient records and manage scheduling.
Medical assisting is a profession that is increasingly in demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment growth of 23 percent through 2024, which is much faster than average. This is due to the aging population and massive influx of newly-insured patients who have signed up for insurance through the Affordable Care Act.
If you are considering becoming a medical assistant, you are embarking on an exciting career. To ensure that your career continues on an upward trajectory, it is vital to have a number of resources at your fingertips. You will first want to affiliate yourself with a national association. Then, you may want to find a state or local chapter to become involved with. Through such professional organizations, you can engage with your colleagues and the healthcare industry in general.
Earning medical assistant certification is another step toward advancing your career. Some credentialing programs even allow you to be certified in a specialty area of the field, such as office administration or clinical work. On top of this, if you decide that you would like to change careers and advance your work on either the clinical or administrative side, you will be able to show a high level of achievement and professionalism that will demonstrate your dedication, hard work and talent.
As you proceed through your medical assisting career, you will want to make sure that you have resources that will help you maintain and build on your knowledge, skills and credentials. In this modern working environment it is vital to stay current with trends and the latest breakthroughs. To help you, we’ve put together a list of some of the best resources out there.
American Association of Medical Assistants
The American Association of Medical Assistants offers the CMA exam, which provides a nationally-recognized certification for all those who pass. They also oversee numerous state chapters/societies that offer members access to local resources.
American Registry of Medical Assistants
The American Registry of Medical Assistants seeks to elevate the profession of medical assistant so that workers can command higher salaries and esteem amongst their colleagues.
National Healthcare Workers Association
This association certifies medical assistants who have graduated from an accredited program. The association also conducts workshops to help certification candidates brush up on their skills and knowledge.
New Mexico Society of Medical Assistants
The organization in this southwestern state connects medical assistants in the state with educational opportunities. Check the site for information about conferences and other resources.
Alabama Society of Medical Assistants
Although the organization doesn’t maintain a website, you can find information and inspirational quotes on their Facebook page.
Arizona Society of Medical Assistants
The Arizona society maintains a list of job opportunities on its website and a calendar to keep members abreast of events and other important dates.
California Medical Assistants Association
The state affiliate of AAMA in California promotes networking opportunities and works to provide members with updated information about the profession.
Colorado Society of Medical Assistants
The society keeps professionals connected and informed of events in the state and nationally. Job postings are also listed on their site.
Connecticut Society of Medical Assistants
The society organizes conferences for medical assistants and helps to promote the profession with free online trainings.
Florida Society of Medical Assistants
There are eight separate chapters of the Florida society that all work to promote the profession. The society offers advocacy, education and networking opportunities.
Georgia Society of Medical Assistants
Chartered in 1959, the Georgia Society of Medical Assistants has a long history of promoting the profession. Find information about events, officers and the latest news.
Hawaii Society of Medical Assistants
A calendar of events, information about scope of practice and contact information are all included on the organization’s website.
Idaho Falls Medical Assistants
Find information about the local AAMA chapter in Idaho Falls on their Facebook page. Social media accounts are also active for Magic Valley Idaho and North Idaho Panhandle.
Illinois Society of Medical Assistants
Research information about the various chapters within the state. You can also find job opportunities, state meeting info and more.
Indiana Society of Medical Assistants
Indiana’s thriving medical assistant community is held together in part by this society. With district outposts throughout the state, certified medical assistants can find the professional assistance they need.
Iowa Society of Medical Assistants
Networking, educational opportunities and certification information can all be found on Iowa’s site. Awards and state conference updates are also available.
Maine Society of Medical Assistants
Certified medical assistants in Maine stay connected through the state society. Check their website for information pertaining to events and outside trainings.
Maryland Society of Medical Assistants
CMAs in Maryland stay connected through the MSMA. Prospective medical assistants can use their website to find accredited programs.
Massachusetts Society of Medical Assistants
Stay up-to-date on the profession and your Massachusetts colleagues. There are also handy tools for verifying certification and exam preparation.
Michigan Society of Medical Assistants
Use this website to stay apprised of events and conferences where Michigan medical assistants gather to share information and advance their profession.
Minnesota Society of Medical Assistants
News and events for Minnesota MAs are maintained on the society’s website. Included is contact information for each of the state’s eight chapters.
Montana Society of Medical Assistants
The organization’s Facebook page offers members the opportunity to share ideas and information. Job postings are sometimes listed.
Nebraska Society of Medical Assistants
The Nebraska society seeks to encourage new CMAs with a scholarship program. Their website keeps members informed about upcoming conferences.
New Hampshire State Society of Medical Assistants
The New Hampshire society’s website is chock full of information for CMAs, including employment opportunities, meeting schedules and information about upcoming CEU courses.
New Jersey Society of Medical Assistants
Find membership information along with the latest news about conventions and professional growth opportunities.
New York State Society of Medical Assistants
The New York State Society maintains a robust website that includes a job search, news, information about events and the opportunity to sign up for their newsletter.
North Carolina State Society of Medical Assistants
CMAs in North Carolina can keep abreast of events and news via the group’s website. The 27 statewide chapters all have sub-pages on the site as well.
Ohio State Society of Medical Assistants
From archived reports to a scrapbook, OSSMA keeps its members up to date. Find the organization’s bylaws and strategic plan on the site.
Oregon Society of Medical Assistants
OSMA keeps members up-to-date with information on Oregon’s chapters, additional educational opportunities and upcoming events.
Pennsylvania Society of Medical Assistants
Pennsylvania professionals can find information on continuing education, the CMA certification exam and the eight statewide chapters.
South Carolina Society of Medical Assistants
On this website, you can find links to your local chapter, job postings and even a list of accredited medical assistant programs in South Carolina.
South Dakota Society of Medical Assistants
Upcoming events, continuing education updates and reviews can all be found on the Facebook page of this local AAMA chapter.
Tennessee Society of Medical Assistants
The website contains information for the state organization, in addition to a page dedicated to each individual chapter.
Texas Society of Medical Assistants
Medical assistants in Texas can find information on CEUs, upcoming meetings and conferences.
Utah Society of Medical Assistants
The USMA’s blog includes event information and other pertinent facts for Utah medical assistants.
Virginia Society of Medical Assistants
Find information on the Virginia chapter’s leadership, check the calendar for events and get the latest facts on membership.
Washington State Society of Medical Assistants
Washington State CMAs can use their state society’s website to find job opportunities, news and information on their local chapter.
Wisconsin Society of Medical Assistants
Medical assistants in Wisconsin can tap into member resources, scholarship information and certification guidelines.
American Medical Technologists
AMT offers several routes to becoming certified as a Registered Medical Assistant through the AMT. Eligibility guidelines can be found on their site.
National Association for Health Professionals
The Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant credential can be earned by passing NAHP’s exam. To prepare, download the organization’s exam outline.
National Center for Competency Testing
NCCT provides three ways for medical assistants to earn their professional certification. Visit their website to find out how to take the next step in your career.
National Healthcareer Association
The NHA offers a range of certifications for allied health professionals. Rather than offering a single certification for MAs, they have a certification for both of the general areas MAs work in – clinical and administrative.
California Certifying Board for Medical Assistants
The CCBMA is a California-specific organization that certifies MA professionals who meet their criteria. Their site includes information about certification exams and more.
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
CAAHEP is the largest health science program accreditor. Visit their site to learn more about the accreditation process.
Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
ABHES has been accrediting healthcare programs for over 40 years. To achieve the AAMA’s CMA designation, a program should be accredited by either ABHES or CAAHEP.
Federal student aid is a necessity for most students. Apply for student aid via the FAFSA website and get information on application deadlines as well.
The AAMA administers the Maxine Williams Scholarship which includes a $1000 award plus a one-year association membership. Only program directors can apply on the behalf of a student.
Use search terms such as medical assistant, allied health or healthcare to find relevant scholarship opportunities. You might also find that there are general scholarships for people in your city or state who wish to advance their education.
The Ohio State Society of Medical Assistants
OSSMA awards four $1,000 scholarships every year in April. You will need to demonstrate financial need, a minimum 2.5 GPA and a strong desire to start a career in allied health. Note that your program must be an AAMA-CAAHEP accredited institution.
Wisconsin Society of Medical Assistants
If you are in Wisconsin and desire to become an MA, the WSMA ha a scholarship opportunity for you. You must be enrolled in an accredited program to be eligible to win one of two $500 scholarships. You can apply online at their website.
Alaska Medical Assistants Society
If you are studying in a CAAHEP-accredited program, you may be able to win one of two $500 scholarships. Your application will be assessed based on an essay, academic achievement, financial need and letters of recommendation.
Allied Healthcare Scholarship Program
Winners may be awarded a scholarship worth up to $8,000. You must agree to work for a minimum of 12 months in California, providing patient care in a facility qualified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources Administration.
American Medical Technologists Outstanding Student Award
For this scholarship, you must be nominated by your program’s director or an instructor. You must demonstrate leadership abilities, great grades and initiative in class discussion and other areas.
American Medical Technologists Scholarships
There are five $500 scholarships awarded each year to students who demonstrate financial need. If you are awarded a prize, the funds will be sent directly to your program, on your behalf, to be put towards your tuition.
American Medical Technologists Technical Writing Award
In an effort to encourage the best written communication in the field, AMTIE rewards the top three essays in its writing contest. The research papers should pertain to your field of study.
Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions
To qualify for a $1,000 scholarship from ASAHP, your program must be a member of the association. You must demonstrate that you are on track to provide leadership in the field.
Scholarships are offered to students studying allied health. Guidelines and eligibility information can be found on the foundation’s site.
Journal of Allied Health
If you want to be on the cutting edge of issues related to allied health, this journal publishes the most current research, abstracts and feature articles.
The AAMA’s in-house magazine covers topics such as CEUs, association news, clinical care, professional profiles and office procedures.
Stay on top of industry trends with this invaluable resource. This periodical covers providers, insurance, government, finance, technology and any other topic that impacts the healthcare industry.