Useful Resources for Medical Assisting Students & Professionals

For Medical assistant (MA) students and professionals, there are a wide variety of resources that can help them find an accredited program, learn about certification exams, land good-paying jobs and even upgrade professional knowledge and skills. By bookmarking this page, you will have access to such useful resources that will come handy during the course of your education and career.



Table of Contents

National Associations & Organizations Accrediting Bodies
Certifying Bodies Financial Aid and Scholarships
Salary Jobs
News, Journals and Magazines Who to Follow on Twitter
Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) Exam Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) Exam
National Certified Medical Assistant Exam (NCMA) Clinical Certified Medical Assistant Exam (CCMA)
Certified Medical Administrative Assistant Exam (CMAA) Continuing Education





National Associations & Organizations

American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)

http://www.aama-ntl.org/


The American Association of Medical Assistants, or AAMA, provides aspiring and current MAs with various information and protections. Optional membership provides discounts on CMA exams, access to the CMA Today magazine, networking opportunities, and more.


American Registry of Medical Assistants

http://arma-cert.org/


The American Registry of Medical Assistants (ARMA) provides prequalification for aspiring Registered Medical Assistants (RMAs), employer verifications through its huge database, and more. The group is registered with the federal government as a non-profit organization.

American Medical Technologists (AMT)

http://www.americanmedtech.org/



The AMT, or American Medical Technologists, has been one of the country’s most widely-known certification agencies since 1939. Through blogs, articles, and other publications, the AMT serves as an excellent source of information about the ever-changing MA profession.






Accrediting Bodies

Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)

http://www.caahep.org/


The Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) is the largest and most highly regarded health science program accreditor in the nation. The CAAHEP regularly audits the 2100 programs it accredits across 30 unique health professions including medical assisting to ensure quality.


Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)

http://www.abhes.org/


The ABHES, or Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools, has been providing health education accreditation for more than 40 years. The non-profit group has been recognized by the US Secretary of Education for its dedication to improving and assuring the quality of MA programs across the country.






Certifying Bodies

American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)

http://www.aama-ntl.org/


The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) offers the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) designation through examination. It also provides certification renewal through continuing education and credit for hours worked during the certification period.


American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC)

https://www.aapc.com/


Many MAs choose to become certified in other important fields, including medical coding. The AAPC offers both training and certification to help you take your career in the healthcare industry to the next level. You can also learn about healthcare compliance, medical auditing, and practice management.


American Society of Podiatric Medical Assistants (ASPMA)

http://www.aspma.org/


The American Society of Podiatric Medical Assistants (ASPMA) is a certifying agency that provides a unique certification for MAs who are interested in working in the podiatry field. The group also offers conferences, events, and a host of resources through its website.


National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)

https://www.ncctinc.com/


The National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) is one of the largest certifying bodies in the country and serves students across numerous healthcare professions. The NCMA credential is provided to students who have graduated from authorized schools (or who have gained enough experience) and passed the rigorous exam.


American Medical Technologists (AMT)

http://www.americanmedtech.org/



The American Medical Technologists (AMT) offers the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential via examination as well as recertification and reactivation through continuing education.


American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)

http://www.ahima.org/



The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) offers an optional membership for MAs and other healthcare professionals. They provide coding and billing certification and recertification as well as numerous conferences and events to help you perform at your peak.


Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO)

http://www.jcahpo.org/


The Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO) offers numerous certifications and designations for MAs who want to work in ophthalmology. These include Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) and Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist (COMT) among others.


National Health Career Association (NHA)

https://www.nhanow.com/



The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) offers the CCMA (Certified Clinical Medical Assistant) credential via examination, and it also provides a wealth of resources for current and aspiring MAs. These include job boards and professional development help, among others.







Financial Aid and Scholarships

FAFSA

http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/



The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is an important tool for MAs who need help paying for their education. This application will help you determine whether you qualify for grants or specific loans at the federal and state level.


Outstanding Student Award

https://www.americanmedtech.org/Schools/Scholarships-Awards


The Outstanding Student Award is also offered by the AMT, and it is specifically for the one student who goes above and beyond in his or her education. The recipient receives a $250 prize, a plaque, and an invitation to the AMT’s annual Awards Banquet.


Technical Writing Award

https://www.americanmedtech.org/Schools/Scholarships-Awards



The Technical Writing Award from the AMT is ideal for students who love to read and interpret information into their own words. To apply, you must submit a research paper in your field of study. First place wins $200, second place wins $165, and third place wins $135. Each winner is invited to the AMT’s annual Awards Banquet, as well.


American Medical Technologists

https://www.americanmedtech.org/Schools/Scholarships-Awards


The American Medical Technologists (AMT) offers five scholarships valued at $500 each year. To qualify, you must be attending a program that leads to an AMT-certifiable profession, and you must also be able to demonstrate financial need.


Scholarship of Excellence

http://www.asahp.org/scholarship/



The Scholarship of Excellence is provided by the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP). The group selects one student each year for a $1000 reward, and unlike many of the other scholarships found in this list, financial need is not one of the eligibility criteria.


The Maxine Williams Scholarship Fund

http://www.aama-ntl.org/about/endowment/scholarship-application



The Maxine Williams Scholarship Fund from the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) offers a $1000 payment as well as a one-year AAMA membership for the winning student. You must apply through your program director as students cannot apply through the AAMA.







Salary

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Medical-assistants.htm


The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides access to the latest salary information as it relates to MAs at the national, state, and even local level. You can also learn about your overall job outlook, the typical work environment, and more thanks to data collected by the BLS.


PayScale

https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Medical_Assistant/Hourly_Rate


Like the BLS, PayScale offers excellent salary information for medical assistants, but it provides this information in much more detail. You can learn how much overtime pay MAs across the country receive on average, find out about profit sharing and bonus opportunities, and more.







Jobs

National Health Career Association

http://nha.nationalhealthcarecareers.com/jobs/?keywords=medical+assistant&sort=


The National Healthcareer Association hosts a job board on its website that is designed to match talented medical assistants with some of the nation’s best and most prominent employers. Many of these jobs are in some of the country’s biggest university medical facilities.


LinkedIn

https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/medical-assistant-jobs




LinkedIn offers social networking for professionals. As a medical assistant, you can fill out your profile with your education and job experience, then connect with various companies (both locally and nationally) who may be interested in hiring you. You can also utilize LinkedIn to network with other medical assistants at the city, state, or national level.


Indeed

https://www.indeed.com/q-Medical-Assistant-jobs.html



Indeed is one of the largest online job boards in the country with listings for thousands of medical assistant jobs at any given time. You can narrow your search based on the exact specialization or even the city, state, or ZIP code, too. Indeed provides basic career information and even allows you to upload your resume directly through the site.


Monster

https://www.monster.com/jobs/q-medical-assistant-jobs.aspx


Monster is a job listing site much like Indeed, and it may even offer a broader reach. You can create an account here, upload your resume, view company profiles, and even read reviews from those companies’ current and previous medical assistants to learn more about what your job might be like.







News, Journals and Magazines

American Association of Medical Assistants

http://www.aama-ntl.org/news


The American Association of Medical Assistants is an excellent source for news and information related not only to the medical assistant career, but also the healthcare industry in general. Here you will find press releases, reports from the AAMA CEO, and more.


JAMA Network

https://jamanetwork.com/


The Journal of the American Medical Association, or JAMA, is one of the most revered sources for whitepapers, research, and news related to numerous medical professions. You can find interesting facts and stories about the latest findings in medicine worldwide here.







Who to Follow on Twitter

American Association of Medical Assistants

https://twitter.com/aamaofficial


The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) is very active via their Twitter account and offers numerous opportunities for you to engage with other MAs and the AAMA itself. These events include #triviatuesday, which asks MAs to answer random medical questions and discuss them via comments.


American Medical Technologists

https://twitter.com/americanmedtech


The American Medical Technologists is also dedicated to engaging with MAs and other medical professions through its Twitter account. When you follow the AMT, you will be given opportunities to make suggestions, share your ideas, and be among the first to learn about new certifications that can benefit you in your career.







Five National Certification Exams for Medical Assistants

There are several credentials available for medical assistants, and each one has slight differences in terms of its eligibility requirements, exam setup, and recertification requirement. Learning more about these can make the process of becoming a certified or registered MA simpler.


1. Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) Exam

About the Exam

The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) examination is offered via the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and results in the CMA credential. It is a very rigorous exam that requires students to have a broad yet thorough understanding of their roles in healthcare.

Exam Eligibility

To sit for the exam, you must have completed a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited MA program. Students who are about to complete an accredited MA program can take the exam up to 30 days before they complete their program – including the practicum.

Exam Application Steps

After reading the handbook made available by the AAMA, you must gather any required documentation along with your nonrefundable exam fee. Then, you will need to choose a start date for a 90-day testing period and continue to the application.

Apply for the Exam

You can apply online or via the application at the back of the handbook. Remember that you must submit your documentation and your nonrefundable fee at the same time you submit your application.

Exam Content Details

The exam has three sections and 22 subsections consisting of multiple-choice questions focused on various areas of medicine, including everything from scheduling appointments to pharmacology.

Study for the Exam

The AAMA provides a content outline, two practice exams, and other resources that can help you study for your CMA examination.

Anatomy and Physiology Questions

These questions focus on the human body and its associated illnesses. The questions found here will not be found on the CMA exam, but they will be closely related.

Medical Terminology Questions

The Medical Terminology Questions will gauge your knowledge of common terms used throughout the healthcare industry. Similar questions will appear on your CMA examination.

View Certification Status

Though you will be notified via email and postal mail of your certification status, you can also check it through the AAMA website with your Social Security Number or your location and name.




2. Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) Exam

Exam Eligibility

To sit for the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) exam offered by the AMT, you must meet educational, military, work experience, and/or instructor eligibility requirements.

Apply

You will need to apply for the RMA examination online. You will also need to submit any requested documentation based on your eligibility along with your nonrefundable exam fee along with your application.

Exam Content Details

The RMA exam consists of three major sections: Anatomy and Physiology, Administrative Medical Assisting, and Clinical Medical Assisting. The subsections in each contain multiple-choice questions to gauge your knowledge in these areas.


Reference Materials

The AMT has provided a list of helpful reference materials that you can use to study for the RMA examination. These include textbooks, review books, and dictionaries.

Practice Exam

The RMT practice exams follow the same format and style as the actual examination. Incorrect answers are flagged with explanations. You will receive two randomized test attempts with your $30 purchase.

View Certification Status

The AMT will notify you of your certification status, but you can check it yourself any time by visiting the employee verification section of the group’s website and entering your SSN or AMT ID.





3. National Certified Medical Assistant Exam (NCMA)

Eligibility to Take the NCMA Exam

You are eligible to sit for the NCMA exam offered by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) if you meet education, military, or work experience criteria.

Apply

To apply for the examination, you must first create an account with the NCCT, then fill out each field and include your nonrefundable exam fee along with any required documentation.


Detailed Test Plan

The NCMA examination will consist of 165 total multiple-choice questions of which only 150 are scored. Some of the categories you will see on the exam include pharmacology, medical law and ethics, and medical office computer applications.

View Certification Status

You can verify your certification through the NCCT by visiting their website and entering your first and last name along with your User ID.





4. Clinical Certified Medical Assistant Exam (CCMA)

Exam Eligibility

To find out if qualify for the CCMA examination offered by the National Healthcareer Association, you can fill out a short questionnaire online and/or read the candidate handbook.

Apply & Schedule your Exam

To apply and schedule your examination, create your NHA account and be sure that you have any requested documents and your exam fee to turn in alongside your application.

Test Plan

The CCMA exam lasts three hours and consists of 180 multiple-choice questions of which only 150 are scored. Categories include basic science, anatomy and physiology, and clinical patient care as well as their associated subsections.


Study Materials

The NHA provides access to a study guide that was created especially for CCMA candidates. This includes games, flash cards, tips from experts, and more for a one-time $74 fee.

Practice Test

Access to randomized practice tests that mimic the actual CCMA examination come with the CCMA Online Study Guide purchase. Your purchase entitles you to six attempts at the practice test complete with remediation and help in tough areas.


View Certification Status

To view your CCMA credential status online through the NHA, provide your last name as well as your country and state of residence.





5. Certified Medical Administrative Assistant Exam (CMAA)

Exam Eligibility

To qualify for the CMAA exam offered through the NHA, you can review the CMAA handbook or fill out a short questionnaire available through the NHA website.

Apply & Schedule your Exam

You must first create an account through the NHA website and set up a basic profile to apply for the exam. Then, gather any required documents as well as your application fee to submit through the website.

Test Plan

You will be given two hours and 10 minutes to answer a total of 130 multiple-choice questions of which only 110 are scored. These questions fall into categories like scheduling, diagnostic testing, patient intake, and more.


Study Materials

The NHA provides study materials that can help you prepare for the exam. These include the CMAA online study guide and the online practice test. You can purchase these individually, but you will receive a discount if you purchase both.

Practice Test

The CMAA practice test is comprehensive and thorough, and it is designed to simulate the actual testing environment. With the NHA’s Focused Review, you can easily work on problem sections and feel confident on test day.

View Certification Status

To view your certification status, visit the NHA website and input your last name and location. Providing additional information will help narrow your search.







Continuing Education

Continuing education (CE) is an important part of maintaining your certification. There are three groups that provide CE credit and/or courses for MAs.

American Association of Medical Assistants

http://www.aama-ntl.org/continuing-education



The AAMA offers numerous CEUs (Continuing Education Units) that can help you maintain your certification or recertify if your certification lapses. You can also find AAMA approved CE programs that may be available near you.


American Medical Technologists

https://www.americanmedtech.org/Learn


You can obtain CE points via the AMT’s online learning center, REACH certificate programs, the group’s annual meeting, or in-person meetings with your local state society.


National Health Career Association

https://www.nhanow.com/certifications/continuing-education


The NHA makes it easy to earn the 10 credits you will need every two years by making them available to certified MAs at no extra cost. Just log into your NHA account to view all the courses available to you.