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How did you become a medical assistant?

I am going to trade school.

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Jennifer’s Answer

I became a medical assistant to help future employers understand what I was doing when working in an Optometry office. I was already a medical assistant at the time. Now that I have a piece of paper that says I am certified as a medical assistant, it would seem that employers still do not understand what I do in an Optometry office. Employers from any other kind of doctor’s office just do not respect Optometry. However, out of the gates you will make a lot more money in Optometry than what any other doctor office or medical facility will pay you. In fact you are severely underpaid in all other offices. Their excuse is “Oh I’m sorry, you have zero clinical experience.” Oh really? I’d like to see an all-clinical kid with only clinical skills try to navigate the other 90% of what it takes to run a doctor’s office. I’m laughing so hard. The clinical kids don’t know the fist thing about patient triage. I tried to get out of Optometry and I laughed when I was offered $15/hour. At an Ophthalmology office! How does anyone exist on that salary? Are you kidding? I paid probably about $8000.00 on my certification in classes and supplies. Probably more if you factor gas money. Anyway, I really loved my medical assisting program, but the way I was treated in my interviews makes me think there should be an anonymous review site that puts these offices on blast for how they act in an interview. It’s just inappropriate. Anyway, if you are young, you might be excited to just get your foot in the door. I have a bachelor’s degree and a ton of marketable experience where clinical skill is just a matter of 2 months to get the hang of it. I deserve more pay and respect than the way some of these pretentious doctors are treating me in an interview. I have literally put up with so much condescending behavior. I am worth way more than $15/hr. It’s not surprising that nurses are walking out on their jobs. They work even harder and get short changed too. Good luck to you. Get into Optometry if you need more money right away. Get certified with the American Board of Opticianry. It’s very inexpensive.
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Laura’s Answer

I wanted a career that would be sustainable and not the same day after day. I enrolled myself in a short medical assistant program at the age of 17. Worked hard and devised and stuck to a master plan for my life.
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Jane’s Answer

I went to a hybrid program at a state college and then did a 160 hour externship, and then starting applying for jobs. Most of the jobs I applied to didn't seem to mind a lack of experience or a lack of certification. I had my program completion certification, but not my license certification because I wasn't too interested in paying for a piece of paper, but it didn't seem to affect me badly at all. I got offers from 6 of the 7 jobs I interviewed at (I applied to about 30 jobs) and I'm working as a medical assistant now. I think it's a lot of fun and I'm learning a lot!
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Joseph’s Answer

Lots of hard work and dedication to the craft of medicinal arts.
Thank you comment icon Hi, Joseph. Thanks for your response — Could you be more specific about the hard work involved in pursuing this career? I’m sure the student would benefit from any insights you can offer about how you achieved your position! Alexandra Carpenter, Admin
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