Certified Medical Assistant Exam (CMA)
To be eligible for this examination, an applicant must satisfy the requirements of at least one of the following routes:
All applicants must have a High School Diploma or GED
Route 1: You have successfully completed an approved training program; or
Route 2: You have at least one year of work experience as a Medical Assistant; or
Route 3: You have received certification as a Medical Assistant from an approved national certifying agency
A Medical Assistant (MA) is an integral member of the health care delivery team, qualified by education and experience to work in the administrative office, the examining room and the physician office laboratory. The Medical Assistant, also a liaison between the doctor and the patient, is of vital importance to the success of the medical practice.
Nature of the Work
Medical Assistants perform routine administrative and clinical tasks to keep the offices and clinics of numerous health professionals running smoothly. They should not be confused with Physician Assistants. Physician Assistants have expanded duties and actually examine, diagnose and treat patients under direct supervision of a physician.
Duties for Medical Assistants vary depending on the state in which an MA practices, office size and whether an MA specializes in a particular area. In small offices, most Medical Assistants handle both administrative and clinical duties and are considered “generalists.” Also, MAs in small offices tend to report directly to a physician, health practitioner or office manager. In larger offices, most Medical Assistants tend to specialize in a particular area. MAs in large offices generally report to department administrators or other operations management. Duties could vary by state. However, typical duties performed by Medical Assistants are included in the following task list:
Certification/Licensing: There is no licensing for Medical Assistants, however, some states require them to take a test or course before they can perform certain job duties, such as x-rays. Employers prefer to hire experienced workers and many prefer certified applicants who have passed a certification examination, indicating that the Medical Assistant meet certain standards of competence.
Advancement: Medical Assistants are able to advance to office manager or a variety of administrative duties and may teach Medical Assisting courses after a number of years of experience. Some Medical Assistants return to school for more education to become nurses, Medical Laboratory Technicians, Medical Technologists or enter into other health related occupations. Some Medical Assistants also certify as Phlebotomy Technicians (the practice of drawing blood) and Medical Administrative Specialists in addition to their Medical Assisting certification.