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Be a Medical Assistant for a Dermatologist: Job Duties and Requirements

Learn how to become a medical assistant for a dermatologist. Research the education requirements, training, certification information and experience you will need to start a career in healthcare. View article »

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  • 0:03 Dermatology Medical Assistant
  • 1:14 Meet Education Requirements
  • 1:57 Train on the Job
  • 2:21 Earn Certification

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Video Transcript

Dermatology Medical Assistant

Medical assistants perform administrative and basic clinical tasks in physicians' offices, hospitals, and other medical facilities. The duties of a dermatology medical assistant are tailored to the needs of a dermatologist. For example, they might record patient histories, prepare patients for procedures, prepare laboratory specimens, and discuss dermatological conditions and care with patients.

Medical assistants typically work on a full-time basis, but schedules will vary depending on the dermatologist. They work in an office setting, though there is some walking and moving about involved. A minimal risk of infectious disease is associated with working in healthcare facilities.

Degree Level High school diploma or equivalent; many employers prefer a postsecondary certificate/diploma
Degree Field Medical assisting
Certification Certification is voluntary, but preferred by employers
Experience Entry-level; experience not required
Key Skills Attention to detail, problem solving, and interpersonal skills; knowledge of business, accounting, and medical software; ability to use a variety of clinical instruments, such as ostoscopes
Salary (2015) $31,910 annually (mean salary for all medical assistants)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*NET Online

Let's learn what it takes to become a medical assistant for a dermatologist.

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Meet Education Requirements

Medical assistants typically have a high school diploma. Some employers prefer medical assistants with formal training. Community colleges and other academic institutions offer medical assistant programs that award diplomas, certificates, or associate's degrees. These programs generally take one to two years to complete and cover topics like medical law, pharmacology, lab procedures, computer applications, and medical terminology.

While completing their education, prospective medical assistants might look for jobs in dermatology offices or other healthcare facilities where dermatologists practice. Gaining related experience could prove beneficial when seeking a full-time position.

Train on the Job

New medical assistants typically receive training revolving around medical terminology, identifying instruments, and performing daily tasks. Assistants are also trained on how to perform various administrative duties, such as coding health records and recording patient information. The length of training varies by facility and might take several months to complete.

Earn Certification

Though certification is voluntary, certified medical assistants might have more career opportunities. Several certifications are available, such as the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) designation from the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To be eligible for CMA certification, medical assistants must complete an accredited medical assisting program and pass the CMA certification exam, which covers topics like clinical principles, medical terminology, and professionalism.

Other certifications medical assistants might consider include the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA), National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA), and Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) designations. CMAs must continuously recertify by earning continuing education credits or taking a recertification exam.

In summary, a dermatology medical assistant needs a minimum of a high school diploma. However, most employers prefer assistants with some formal training. Voluntary certification in medical assisting could increase job opportunities.

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