Nov 5, 2019
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After shadowing a dermatologist for about a month, I asked the doctor if she had any other opportunities available at her private practice. She said she was willing to train me as a medical assistant, but I could not take the job because my schedule only allowed me to be there once a week. I offered to do it for free once a week, as a volunteer, for a few hours a week and she agreed. I figured that this would be an extremely valuable experience. Basically what she did was train me the same way she trained her medical assistants and I did basically the same things, but only once a week.

I took vitals, ran labs through machines, assisted in small procedures, suture removal, and more. All of this was done under physician supervision. I encountered tens of patients every shift, and did so many activities and I felt like it was an amazing experience. I was basically an unpaid medical assistant, but only once a week.

I am having trouble listing this experience on my application. I am concerned about listing it as volunteering because what is the legality of an activity like this? The way I was trained was the same way she trained uncertified medical assistants (in my state, MA's do not have to be certified). How should I be listing this (what should I call this) and should I include all those activities that I mentioned? I'm sure that I'm just overthinking this, but I would like some insight or maybe someone who has gone through a similar situation.

Thank you!
 
Nov 30, 2020
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I would label this as clinical volunteering since you are not being paid, so it technically is volunteering. In the description, you can explain how it is way more than the normal clinical volunteering and describe all that you did above.
 
Nov 5, 2019
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I would label this as clinical volunteering since you are not being paid, so it technically is volunteering. In the description, you can explain how it is way more than the normal clinical volunteering and describe all that you did above.
Do you think the activities that I participated would be allowed in terms of legality based on what I have mentioned?
 
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LizzyM

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The doctor can have assistants do anything under the doctor's supervision and it is the doctor's license on the line if something goes wrong. Under supervision the kinds of things you did are very low risk and no one is likely to bat an eye at it. List it as volunteer medical and be glad that you had such a good opportunity.
 
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Nov 5, 2019
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The doctor can have assistants do anything under the doctor's supervision and it is the doctor's license on the line if something goes wrong. Under supervision the kinds of things you did are very low risk and no one is likely to bat an eye at it. List it as volunteer medical and be glad that you had such a good opportunity.
Thank you, I actually didn't know that assistants were allowed to do many things, as long as under physician supervision. I am indeed glad that I had this opportunity to talk about.
 
Nov 5, 2019
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Listen to @Goro
You are an MA, so just say on your CV or app that you were an MA. Whether or not you mention it as a “volunteer experience” is up to you.
Am I allowed to list it as MA position (paid) despite being a volunteer? Does it matter if I'm paid or volunteering at a private practice like this?
 

LizzyM

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Do not list it as a paid position if it was not paid. You can list a title (MA) and you can tag the experience in the work & activity section. One tag is Volunteer, clinical and that seems to be a good fit.
 
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Nov 5, 2019
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Do not list it as a paid position if it was not paid. You can list a title (MA) and you can tag the experience in the work & activity section. One tag is Volunteer, clinical and that seems to be a good fit.
Thank you, that sounds like a good idea. I will be listing it as MA and tagging it with volunteer, clinical.
 
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