Post written by Wael S. Mourad, MD, MHCM, FAAFP, Family Physician and Chief Health Officer
A medical assistant (MA) is an allied health professional who supports the work of physicians and other providers such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners, in a variety of clinical settings. MAs can become certified through an accredited program and perform routine tasks and procedures that support the providers’ responsibilities and tasks. They typically work in an ambulatory clinic setting, but can also work in urgent care facilities as well as hospital settings, assisted living facilities and even in administrative and research settings.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Handbook online, employment of MAs is expected to grow by 23 percent, much faster than the average for all occupations through 2028.
Medical Assistants at Health Partnership Clinic
At HPC, we have about 13 MAs with a diverse array of backgrounds. Some of our MAs came to us from completely different industries, such as the hospitality sector. Some were practicing physicians in their home countries. And some first stepped foot in Health Partnership as students and were hired when their training was complete.
A strong medical assistant can make or break a clinic. They are a provider’s extra “eyes and ears” for great patient care.
MAs help check patients in and obtain their vital signs and can often get additional history about a patient’s illness and well-being that the patient may not have disclosed to the provider. They help support a provider with all the paperwork requirements for great and timely patient care as well as communicating with patients, colleagues and outside entities, freeing up the provider to focus on seeing patients.
The medical assistant advocates for his or her provider as well, and the provider and medical assistant form the core of the patient care team. That is why at HPC, they typically sit in the same room or pod during clinics, to facilitate optimal communication. They are part of the backbone of a successful clinic.
We are very grateful for our MAs at HPC:
Diangie Bonilla Acosta; Carolina Barraza; Dalia Barron; Kaliece Brown; Traci Gentry; Jessica Grate; Silivia Heredia; Mayra Lemus; Adriana Lund; Andrea Madrigal; Teresa Najera; Tracie Ostermeier and Taylor Sanders.
Without them, the clinic would grind to a halt. If you see or know a MA, please thank them for all the work that they do!