What interested you in becoming a medical assistant?
As I was nearing the end of my high school career I knew that I wanted to explore a career in the medical field. I was initially interested in Radiology but when I enrolled at The University of Akron I discovered there was a waitlist for the radiology program. It was then that I changed career paths and started to look into Medical Assisting. After researching the medical assisting profession and speaking with one of the instructors, I decided to pursue the career and never looked back. To this day, over 25 years later, I am still confident in my decision.
What physical and or soft skills do you need to succeed as a medical assistant?
As a medical assistant it is important to have physical stamina since you are on your feet most of the day rooming patients. It is also important to possess the following skills:
- Excellent communication
- Team player attitude
- Trustworthiness (as you will be entrusted with confidential medical information)
- Organization and time management
- Focused listening
- Accurately and detail oriented multi-tasking abilities
- Initiative and independence
- Interest in continuing education
What advice would you give to interested High School students?
I advise interested individuals to speak with or shadow a Medical Assistant if possible. It is important to ask questions and gather as much information as possible before committing to any career. Additionally, it is very important to choose an accredited academic institution which offers certification. Hands on experience working at an internal medicine or family practice will provide you with a well-rounded skill set.
What interested you in working at Cleveland Clinic?
I have been a patient at Cleveland Clinic since I was 5 years old. As a scared little girl, I remember the kindness and empathy shown to me by my doctors and nurses. As I got older, and was beginning to think about my future, I knew I wanted to work for Cleveland Clinic so I could take care of people the way I was taken care of. I have been with Cleveland Clinic for over 20 years and would not change a thing.
What excites you about working as a medical assistant?
The most exciting part about being a medical assistant is having the ability to work administratively and clinically. I have always enjoyed being able to do a little bit of both. Clinically, my most memorable experiences were assisting physicians with more complex procedures like cyst removals. I also enjoy building relationships with returning patients. I have always worked in Family Medicine so I have had the opportunity to be a part of family’s lives, treating many generations of the same family. It is heartwarming to know they trust you to continue to care for them as they grow older and multiply.
What career options do you have in this field?
Being a medical assistant can lead to other clinical and administrative careers. It is not uncommon for a medical assistant to use this first step into medicine as a stepping stone into nursing, physician assistant school, or other health professions.