How Can a Medical Assistant Advance her Career?
If you’re right out of medical assisting school, you’re likely to join the workforce as an entry-level CMA. Gaining experience, becoming proficient in skills and widening your medical knowledge base are all tools you’ll need to advance in your career as a medical assistant. You may decide to aim for a management job, work in a competitive area of medicine or go into teaching. No matter your goals for career advancement, a few extra tools may help you successfully work toward advancement opportunities.
What Advancement Opportunities Might Be Available?
Medical assistants may find career advancement opportunities in many areas:
- Clinical team leader
- Lead medical assistant
- Medical office manager
- Clinical office manager
- Medical assistant instructor
- Medical records manager
- Healthcare administration
- Executive medical office secretary
- Transcription supervisor
Be open with your employer about your desire to advance in your career. Seek opportunities that are available in your organization and find out what requirements you need to apply.
Choose a Specialty
No matter if you work in medical administration or clinical practice, choosing a specialty can be a wise choice for future career advancement opportunities. Some medical specialties require more knowledge and skills than others and may offer opportunities for better pay and extended responsibilities.
Clinical fields like podiatry, pediatrics and ophthalmology, cardiology and emergency medicine are specialties that require advanced knowledge and skill ability. Podiatric medical assistants are specially trained to assist a podiatrist in the care of feet. Duties might include making foot castings for orthotics, helping with surgical procedures, casting, wound care and splinting. Ophthalmic medical assistants administer eye tests and assist the physician with eye care procedure. Pediatrics requires knowledge of childhood diseases, immunizations and routine well-child care, while cardiology may require you to perform cardiac tests, be familiar with routine cardiac medications, emergency procedures and more.
Medical specialties like these can be demanding and have a higher learning curve. Because of the demands, employers may have a harder time finding qualified medical assistants to fill open positions. If you’re currently working in an entry-level medical assistant position, moving into a medical specialty may offer better opportunities. The longer you work in a specialty practice that you enjoy, the more valuable your skills and knowledge will become to your employer.