Online courses in medical administrative assisting diploma and associate's degree programs are often offered in an asynchronous format, allowing students to access course content through virtual learning platforms and complete studies at their pace. However, associate's degree program may require an internship.
These fully online and blended training programs prepare students to work in medical offices performing duties that include recording patient information, filling out insurance forms and performing other general clerical tasks.
Online medical assistant diploma programs typically take 12 to 15 months to complete and prepare students for industry exams. Many graduates of medical assisting diploma programs eventually earn associate's degrees, and some schools accept transfer credits from diploma programs.
An online medical assisting associate's degree program typically takes two years to complete. Many online medical administrative assisting courses require an internship at an approved health care facility so that students may gain the real-world experience that employers seek.
Online medical administrative assisting courses cover topics such as the following:
- Medical ethics
- Computer applications
- Business math
- Medical care
- Insurance quoting
- Medical terminology
- Health care law
Administrative assisting in a medical setting combines the skills needed to run an office with knowledge of the medical and health care industries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of medical administrative assisting is expected to grow 21%, much faster than the average, between 2014 and 2024. Students who complete medical assisting courses may find work in hospitals, physicians' offices and health clinics. Students who complete associate's degree programs in medical assisting may eventually become medical office managers or further their education and enter other medical fields, such as nursing and radiology technology.
Many medical administrative assistants find certification to be an advantage in securing employment. Certified Medical Assistants (CMAs) must pass the exam offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify for the exam, students must receive their medical administrative assistant training from a school accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.
Medical administrative assisting diploma and associate's degree programs can be completed entirely online, with the exception of a possible internship at the associate's level. Throughout these programs, students receive instruction in the medical and administrative topics needed to help a medical office run smoothly, such as computer applications, medical ethics, health care law and pharmacology.