Medical office assistant (MOA) is a growing occupation with a lot of potential career opportunities for the future. If you are looking for a job with stability, interesting tasks, room for advancement and great benefits, this may be the career for you.
Here are some of the top benefits of working as a medical office assistant.
Start your career quickly: The Medical Office Assistant program at Accelerated Career Institute (ACI) takes only 22.5 weeks to complete. Once you finish the program, you will be ready for work. Medical office assistant is one career where you can begin working in your desired occupation right after graduation.
Job prospects: There are plenty of medical offices that require the skills you will be obtaining in your program. It’s not difficult to find work in most major cities. Smaller towns may be more challenging. The outlook for medical office assistants is excellent with the demand for medical services high due to an aging population. A large number of people in this position are likely to retire in the next 10 years.
Hours: Unless you work in a hospital, you will likely have fairly regular hours. Most stand-alone clinics do stay open late or open on weekends to serve those with nine-to-five jobs. Some doctors’ offices will also have varied hours to better serve these people. However, the schedule is usually straightforward. Some people even specialize as medical transcriptionists so they can work at home. A career as a medical office assistant is great for parents because you will not normally need to work shifts or be called in to emergencies like other healthcare professionals.
Interesting tasks: Some people like the clinical tasks. Some like the administrative tasks. Others love serving customers. You day will be busy with lots of different things competing for your attention. For many MOAs this level of activity is very satisfying because they are never bored.
Helping people: As you work in this role, you will have the opportunity to meet many people from your community. You’ll develop patience and communication skills as you assist people with their appointments. You’ll be showing them to the exam room, taking down their vitals, assisting the doctor, and answering what questions you are able to answer. As an important member of the team you’ll feel fulfilled knowing that you’re helping people with receiving their health care.
Room for advancement: Many people take on more tasks during their career and move up the ladder to positions such as office manager or patient coordinator. Others acquire certifications or additional skills. Some become so interested in the medical field that they go back to school to become nurses or complete other diplomas or degrees. If working in the healthcare sector is right for you, there are numerous options for advancing your career, which is one of the greatest benefits of this role.
If you think a career as a Medical Office Assistant is right for you, please contact Accelerated Career Institute to learn more about our program.
The UBC medical program is a highly competitive program, which attracts the best students from all over British Columbia. If you are a BC student with an interest in medicine, you have probably considered this program.
Out of about 1,400 applicants, 288 are accepted according to the 2016 statistics.
The most common preparation for this program is a four-year Bachelor of Science degree. Although you don’t need to have completed a four-year degree, it would be helpful based on the statistics. Many applicants even have a Masters degree. As well, you don’t need a degree in the sciences, but you may need to complete certain courses. The majority of overall averages were above 85 per cent, though the requirement is only 75 per cent for BC applicants. Out-of-province applicants must have an average of 85 per cent or higher, but most spots go to in-province applicants. As you can see, getting into the UBC medical program can be a daunting proposition.
Alternatives to attending the UBC Medical Program
Apply to another province: Like UBC, most university medical schools give priority to in-province applicants. This is because they want graduates to stay and practice. Although there are spaces available to out-of-province students, you may have to provide higher qualifications.
Apply for another medical program: UBC has different masters programs in the medical field that you might consider applying to on completion of a Bachelor degree. These include Audiology and Speech Sciences, Genetic Counselling, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Midwifery, Population and Public Health and Biomedical Research.
Wait and apply another year: Statistics change from year to year although the size of the entering class only increases occasionally. You can try taking some additional credits, getting a masters degree or, if you are quite close to the statistical average, simply hoping that you make the cut in another year.
Take the Health Science program at Accelerated Career Institute (ACI): The Health Science program at ACI is a diploma program, so you will not be able to attend the UBC medical program directly. However, you will be guaranteed a placement at the Xavier University School of Medicine (XUSOM) in Aruba upon successful graduation. This program includes clinical rotations in the United States. Upon graduation, you will be qualified to practice in the United States or Canada.
Use your ACI diploma to prepare you for university: You can also use the knowledge you acquire at ACI to help you succeed in an under-grad health science or other program at a Canadian university. The math, science and learning skills you develop at ACI may help you maintain the high averages you need to apply to a Canadian medical program, such as the UBC medical program, down the road.
Although it’s possible that you could become a medical office assistant (MOA) with just a high school diploma, most positions will require a certificate, diploma or degree. Medical offices require varied and complex tasks from their MOAs. If you want to succeed in this field a certified program will help you. Beyond the day-to-day office tasks there are certain educational requirements that you will get from a certified post-secondary program, such as:
- Insurance and billing
- Medical terminology
- Clinical procedures
- Medical ethics
It would be very hard to learn all the skills on the job, which is why a diploma is highly desirable.
What you will learn
You may already have some administrative skills. For example, you may have taken computer training, Microsoft Office and other courses at the high school or college level, or you may have used these skills in another office job.
However, the job of a medical office assistant has an additional layer of complexity as you will be expected to not only handle the administrative aspects of running an office, but you may also need to:
- Take down vital signs
- Handle lab samples
- Perform clinical tasks
- Bill patients and insurance companies
- Write reports using medical terminology
There will be training in specialized computer software programs that will help you perform tasks, such as scheduling, bookkeeping, transcription and billing.
A medical office assistant program, such as the diploma program at Accelerated Career Institute will prepare you for these varied tasks.
Benefits of educational requirements
Every office has different procedures, so you will need to come prepared to learn on the job. However, most software programs have certain similarities, which will help you pick up skills faster. As well, knowing the medical procedures and terminology will help you avoid mistakes and feel confident in your role.
At ACI, you will also have the opportunity to complete a practicum so that you can experience the day-to-day tasks of being a medical office assistant. When you graduate you will feel confident that you can succeed in this challenging, but rewarding, role.
In the future, you may decide to build on your experience with certifications or continuing education in fields such as administration, laboratory assistant, nursing or other related fields. You may also find that it’s possible to advance in your role to positions such as office manager. An MOA diploma can set you on a path towards a life-long career.
To find out more about this exciting career field, contact Accelerated Career Institute and ask about our Medical Office Assistant program.
The fact is Canadian medicine schools are very competitive and most will look at a variety of different factors, not just your overall grade-point average.
Some of these factors could include:
- English and communication skills
- Community involvement
- Leadership skills
- Courses in the Humanities and Social Sciences
The best pre-medicine programs out there will help you develop a well-rounded set of skills and experience.
At Accelerated Career Institute (ACI) our pre-medicine program has been designed to guarantee entrance into the Xavier University School of Medicine (XUSOM) in Aruba upon successful graduation. When you study at XUSOM, your clinical rotations will take place in the United States. This fully-recognized program will allow you to practice medicine in the United States or Canada.
Benefits of the pre-medicine program at ACI
- Medical schools in Canada are extremely competitive. ACI allows you to obtain a quality education that will be recognized in Canada.
- Medical schools in Canada usually require a Bachelor’s Degree for admission. ACI is a 16-month diploma program that will prepare you to succeed at our partner school, XUSOM. This allows you to save time and money.
- The ACI program eliminates the uncertainty that many Canadian students experience as they try to align their degree program to meet the requirements of the different medical schools where they may apply. At ACI we have specially designed the program to give you the classes that you will need to succeed.
- The ACI program cannot be used for entrance directly to a Canadian medical school. However, you may consider the program if you want to improve your health science knowledge and study skills before entering a pre-medicine Bachelor program at a Canadian university.
What aspects do the best pre-medicine programs have?
The best pre-medicine programs focus on student success. At ACI, we have small class sizes with working professionals dedicated to helping you succeed. At the same time, we understand that there are certain skills that will be essential to your success in medical school:
- Learning and test-taking skills
- Health science knowledge and achievement
- Analytical and critical thinking
Find out how you can develop the skills for success in medical school through the Health Science program at Accelerated Career Institute. Please, contact us for more information and to find out if this program is right for you.
Every medical office requires someone to check in patients, handle paperwork, conduct billing and perform other essential tasks. This means that there are a variety of different settings where a medical office assistant can work.
Types of workplaces
Private physician’s practices: A medical office assistant at a doctor’s office will need to have excellent customer service skills as they are the first point of contact with the patients as they make appointments and arrive at the office. This is a multi-tasking role, which may require a broad range of skills including billing, bookkeeping, and basic medical procedures such as recording vital signs.
Dentist offices: Similarly a medical office assistant in a dentist office will book appointments, take billing information and provide customer service. However, a hygienist would likely handle the clinical tasks.
Physiotherapy, hearing clinics, chiropractors, etc: There are a range of specialists in the medical field who require administrative assistance to run their practices.
Clinics: At a busy clinic you may be assisting with patients for several doctors. You may have to multi-task, or sometimes your tasks will be more specialized depending on the size of the office. This could be a walk-in clinic, a specialized clinic, or a place where multiple family doctors share space and administrative resources.
Hospitals: Hospitals also require administrative help to check people in and take insurance information. This could be in an emergency room or an outpatient clinic attached to the hospital. In this type of setting, employees generally have more well-defined roles. Job titles could also include medical secretary, transcriptionist or patient coordinator.
Insurance companies and government agencies: This path is more rare; however, a medical office assistant can work in a more administrative setting. For example, your knowledge of billing, medical terminology and administration could help you find employment at a public or private insurance company or government agency.
Where should you work?
A medical office assistant can work in a variety of different environments. Where you decide to work may depend on your preferences or, if you live in a smaller town, you may take the positions that are available. What type of schedule do you prefer? Generally, a smaller clinic will have more regular hours whereas a hospital could require 12-hour shifts. Perhaps you like to multitask in a busy environment, or maybe you feel you would work better in a quieter practice. Some people apply for jobs at hospitals because of the room for advancement.
Whatever you choose, a career as a medical office assistant provides excellent growth opportunities and an opportunity to apply your skills in a wide variety of tasks.