What does a Medical Assistant do?
Medical assistants provide physician support services that ensure that healthcare facilities run smoothly. They are responsible for administrative as well as clinical tasks, such as maintaining patient records, preparing patients and rooms for examination, assisting physicians with exams, and performing front-desk tasks. Medical assistants typically work in physician's offices, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities.
Most medical assistants have a high school degree or GED, and some positions require medical assistants to be certified through an accredited medical assistance program. Medical assistants need excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
- Receive and direct phone calls, schedule appointments, check-in patients, obtain necessary patient information to file and update patient records, and ensure all forms and consents are completed by patients
- Check-out patients, assist with referral processing, and arrange laboratory services
- Handle billing process
- Prepare patients for examination, take vitals, and record patients' health history
- Set-up EKG machines, administer injections and medications, and perform routine specimen collection and tests
- Prepare equipment and examination rooms, and clean instruments
- Assist physician with medical treatments, procedures, and exams
- Manage inventory of medical supplies and equip exam rooms with appropriate supplies
- High school diploma or GED required; completion of an accredited medical assistance certification program preferred
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Ability to communicate clearly and effectively with patients and other external parties in a courteous and friendly manner at all times
- Must be detail-oriented and highly organized
- Firm grasp on medical practices, administrative processes, and organizational policies
- Knowledge of patient care and examination procedures
- Must be able to maintain confidentiality at all times
Medical Assistant Salaries
Average Base Pay
Medical Assistant Career Path
Learn how to become a Medical Assistant, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.
Years of Experience Distribution
Medical Assistant Insights
“Difficult to get an interview (took me 1 year and I have excellent experience)”
“Some of the best coworkers you'll ever meet and the chance to work alongside renowned doctors and professionals!”
“Everything was great working there I don’t have any complaints whatsoever they have always been great to me and my family!”
“They were very flexible with my schedule which was really nice since I am a full time college student.”
“although it is a great place to work at the pay isn't great for cost living.”
“I had someone actually email my boss how wonderful and helpful I was and no one ever said a word.”
“Onspot’s number 1 priority is patient care and by reading our reviews it clearly shows.”
“They’ll change your schedule last minute and be mad if you can’t accommodate their changes.”
Medical Assistant Interviews
Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of medical assistants
The typical day of a medical assistant primarily includes assisting other medical professionals. They may complete administrative tasks or assist with patient care, including updating patient records or preparing patients for their visits. Important tasks may also include completing basic medical tasks, like administering medications or taking blood.
The best part about being a medical assistant is that they're in demand, as physicians rely on their assistance. With an increasingly aging population, medical assistants are likely to have a stable career and good job prospects. Medical assistants also have a versatile work schedule, either working in family practice or in an urgent care setting.
The average salary for medical assistants is $2,000 per year in the United States. Medical assistants with more specialized training or certifications in specific health care industries may earn more, up to $3,500 per year. Salary ranges may vary based on the medical assistant's qualifications.
Working as a medical assistant can be a demanding job, as assistants often work with multiple health care providers. One challenge of the profession is that they have a lot of responsibility acting as a liaison for their patients, ensuring their medical needs are understood and met. Therefore, written and verbal communication skills are very important.