Did you know entry-level healthcare positions provide pre-meds with direct, hands-on clinical and patient care experiences admissions counselors value most? Clinical certification training can prepare you for an entry-level position and help you stand out in your medical school applications!
Before applying to medical school, you will need to fulfill various prerequisites, including coursework, clinical experience, high grades and test scores, and community service. One helpful way to gain clinical experience is to work as a medical assistant. This position can give you the clinical exposure you need while helping to pay your bills. What does it take to become a medical assistant, and how can it help you on your career path to med school? We will go over all you need to know about working as a medical assistant before medical school.
Does Medical Assistant Work Experience Help You Get into Medical School?
If you are not in a position to quit your day job and commit all of your time to your medical school career path, you may wonder if you really need to take on a medical assistant job. After all, the pay is not great and may not be adequate to cover your bills. While it is not absolutely essential that you show medical assistant work on your med school application, admissions committees are much more likely to notice your application if you have the experience. The admissions team may question your dedication to the field without clinical exposure through employment or volunteer work.
Understandably, you need to be able to make ends meet while you are working towards med school, so it is recommended that you at least take on part-time work in the medical field.
What Are the Best Medical Assistant Positions for Pre-Med Students?
There are different types of medical assistant positions, and certain types are more beneficial for obtaining the clinical experience desired for medical school. Medical assistant positions tend to fall under either administrative or clinical functions.
When your goal for working as a medical assistant is to gain clinical exposure to add to your med school application, you will want to focus on clinical medical assistant positions. This type of work will provide you with more hands-on patient care experience. Administrative medical assistants tend to do more work answering phones, scheduling appointments, and greeting patients, whereas clinical medical assistants take part in the medical care of patients.
Duties of a medical assistant include:
- Checking patients in before they see the physician
- Taking vital signs
- Obtaining patient medical histories
- Maintaining electronic health records (EHR)
- Assisting physicians with exams and procedures
You should also keep in mind is that medical schools like to see clinical experience covering a broad range of patients and conditions. You may wish to look for medical assistant positions in emergency or internal medicine rather than specialties like radiology, where your experience will be focused on a small area of medicine.
What Are the Qualifications Needed to Become a Medical Assistant?
The requirements for medical assistant positions vary depending on the organization and the specific type of medical assistant job. Some of the desired qualifications may include the following:
- High school diploma or GED
- Medical assistant certification
- BLS (Basic Life Support) or CPR certification
- Basic computer and word processing skills
Some positions will also require prior experience in the medical field, as a medical assistant or in another capacity. For this reason, you may want to consider seeking volunteer work in medical settings as soon as you decide you want to pursue a career in medicine.
Get Qualified to Work as a Medical Assistant with Advanced eClinical Training
Advanced eClinical Training provides online, self-paced, nationally accredited clinical certifications for pre-health students. In just 8-weeks, you will become credentialed as an allied health provider and prepared to obtain direct patient care roles in various healthcare settings while gaining valuable clinical experience for medical school.
Advanced eClinical Training’s medical certification programs are immersive, simulation-based, and instructor-led. The CCMA online program will nationally certify you in as little as 8 weeks and kickstart your path to medical school. Our self-paced online Medical Assistant Course allows you to earn your Medical Assistant Certification on a convenient schedule that works for you.
Working as a medical assistant before medical school is the perfect opportunity to gain relevant clinical experience. Nearly all medical assistant positions require certification, and we have got you covered with the convenient, affordable online programs you need to get there.
Contact us today to speak to a program director and learn more about our convenient, affordable clinical education courses.