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Medical Assistant or Office Assistant?

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Meticulouslykiwi

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Hey everyone,

I’ve been volunteering at a clinic as an office assistant, and have the responsibilities of: checking patients in, taking inquiry calls, answering patient questions, printing documents, and sorting paperwork.

There’s currently a position for Medical Assistant open at the clinic, but I’m not sure whether I should apply to be a Medical Assistant, because from my experience, the degree of patient exposure is similar. I have no specific preference between the two roles, since both get patient interaction.

My question is: would becoming a Medical Assistant look “better” on an app rather than an Office Assistant?
 

Hirro

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It can vary. Generally, if you didn't know the intricacies of the practice, you'd spring for the MA position.

With that said, it sounds like you know the roles are similar. Do the MA's work directly with the healthcare team to provide care to patients? It sounds as if you're generally involved in the ffront office triage and that's it. If you can get more involved in their actual care, i.e. charting, helping fill out H&P's, assisting NP/PA/MD/DO's directly, I would try to move over to that.

Edit: Also, I should mention. If you're doing this just to check a box, then you're fine as is, I suppose, as long as you can call it clinical experience.
 

whatbout2morrow

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If you spend part-time/full-time hours there anyway, why not get paid for your work?
 

OneTwoThreeFour

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May be the same amount of patient "exposure" but instead you'll actually have a role in healthcare delivery. Would be a much preferable role IMO.
 

raiderette

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You may learn some valuable life lessons in the office assistant job that will help as a physician. I am shocked at how little I learned in medical school about coding, billing and the hassles of insurance.
 

getdown

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As a physician, you may learn some valuable life lessons in the office assistant job. I am shocked at how little I learned in medical school about coding, billing and the hassles of insurance.

That's because medical education is not geared towards teaching you real world skills (business) outside of the actual practice of medicine. Many in the Ivory Tower think it taboo to incorporate any discussion of economics/financials etc lest it taint the "healing" nature of the field. You will see nearing the end of your residency how woefully under prepared you are for private practice (1099 vs W2 positions, blended vs eat what you kill units, whether to buy into a practice, etc). Just remember to make friends with your attendings who've been in private practice and mine their experiences.
 
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raiderette

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Growing up poor, I remember my mom making the mistake of going down to the lab in the hospital to get blood drawn instead of asking it be drawn in the office and sent to a specific lab. We had to sell things to make that payment. A part of me wants to work for Kaiser so I don't inadervertently financially harm a patient due to my ignorance.
 
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