Medical assistants are often the backbone of doctors’ offices.
Some assistants sit at the front desk and check patients in when they arrive for an appointment. Others show patients to the exam room, take histories, prepare them for the doctor’s exam, and even assist during the exam. Still other assistants handle insurance forms and referrals or billing. In some small practices, medical assistants may handle all of the above -- and more.
Medical assistants keep doctors' offices and clinics running smoothly. Their tasks are often clerical but also involve patient contact and care.
The clinical duties of medical assistants depend in part on state law. In some states, they’re allowed to draw blood, remove stitches, and authorize drug refills.
A good communicator who is organized and discreet. Medical assistants are often the first and last person a patient sees in a doctor’s office. They also handle personal records and documents for billing and insurance, and must therefore be respectful of patient privacy.
After years on the job, some medical assistants become managers of medical offices or group practices.