If you’re considering entering the medical assisting field, one of the first questions you might want to research is how much room for advancement there is in the job. Depending on whom you ask, the answer might seem a bit disconcerting. “There is no hope for advancement,” one website declares. “There is little room for advancement,” another one states. But before you abandon this career path altogether, know that the truth about advancement in medical assisting is not quite so clear cut and not nearly as depressing as this sounds.
While it’s true that there typically aren’t many opportunities for a medical assistant to move up the ladder within an individual doctor’s office, there may be an office manager position that an experienced medical assistant can earn after a few years on the job. (And if there’s not currently such a spot, a particularly valuable MA might consider suggesting the doctor create one.)
If that’s not the case and you start to feel like you’ve reached a dead end in your position, don’t panic; medical assisting is an excellent springboard into other health care careers. If you’re trying to expand beyond basic medical assisting, think of it as a way to get a foot in the door of the medical industry while earning some valuable experience. The knowledge and skill set used by medical assistants make for a solid foundation that can help in a variety of other medical areas. All an MA needs to do is go back to school to further their education in their new chosen field and then upon completion of their classes, apply for a job in their exciting new area.
One option that a medical assistant can explore is the wide range of specialty assistants, from dialysis technicians to medical lab assistants to phlebotomists, each of which requires specialized skills and knowledge. Meanwhile, some MAs with a few years of experience might want to go back to school to become a medical assistant instructor, imparting their knowledge on new MAs to teach them perform well in their future jobs. Others might choose to leave medical assisting altogether and enter another area of healthcare, such as nursing or physical therapy. The bottom line is: as a medical assistant, the medical industry is a wide-open world ripe for you to explore.
(Sources: Wise Geek, Becomeopedia, About.com)