9 Questions to Ask of a Medical Assistant School


Medical assisting is among the most popular careers in the healthcare industry. Openings are projected to grow by more than 23 percent from 2018 to 2028, according to the . For students looking for a stable future, the time to take the leap is now. Vocational training programs are lifestyle-friendly, and in as little as one year, graduates are ready to earn. Before applying, prospective students can learn more about medical assistant schools by asking these critical questions.

Question #1: Why Become a Medical Assistant?

Medical assisting has been a time-honored profession since 1955. It’s a dynamic and respected career. Trained to handle a broad array of duties in a doctor’s office or hospital, a medical assistant is part of a team of dedicated professionals working together for a cause, to bring top-quality healthcare to patients in need. The work is never dull, and there’s always something new to learn.

Job security, flexibility and room for advancement are some of the many benefits the job offers, but what makes it so attractive to students interested in medicine is that it’s personally gratifying. Medical assistants make a tangible difference in the lives of the patients they serve. It’s more than a job, it’s a calling.

Question #2: Do Instructors Have Real-World Experience?

A medical assistant is cross trained to perform both clinical and administrative duties, so while individual course instructors may be qualified in their fields, not all may have worked as medical assistants.

Because training programs are short, students rely on the experience of their professors as a resource. Most should be healthcare professionals, and at least half should be experienced medical assistants.

Question #3: How Large are Class Sizes?

Small class sizes enhance the entire academic experience. Research shows adult students learn better in classes of 20 people or less, the benefits are well-documented. With fewer distractions, instructors have more time to spend with each student, personalizing lessons and tracking individual progress. From the beginning, medical assistant students learn to work as a team with other classmates. Also, peers are more comfortable interacting with each other because they feel more relaxed and freer to ask questions.

Question #4: Does Training Include Hands-On Learning?

Hands-on learning is an important part of a medical assisting program. It can include working with computer simulations, participating in off-campus clinical experiences and practicing with medical equipment in the classroom.

Students should ask what type of practical experiences are part of a training program and how many hours are devoted to them. Those who learn best by doing should consider a school that emphasizes a hands-on approach. Asking for a tour gives students a better idea of the equipment and tools the school has to offer.

Question #5: Does the Program Offer an Externship?

Externships, sometimes called internships or clinical practicums, are extensions of classroom training. Students work side by side with seasoned medical assistants in a healthcare setting, practicing their craft and gaining marketable experience.

Externships are a valuable part of training because they give graduates confidence and a chance to network with peers. Most medical assistant certification agencies require students to have a supervised externship of at least 160 hours to qualify for the exam.

Question #6: What’s the Job Placement Rate?

Vocational schools work hard to help their graduates find employment. Most partner with local healthcare providers, designing their curriculum around their needs, while employers depend on a steady stream of qualified applicants from schools. It’s a mutually supportive relationship. Schools with vigorous career placement services should have impressive job placement rates.

Question #7: Is Financial Aid Available?

Most students need help funding their medical assistant education. The four most popular ways are federal student aid, school-based aid, scholarships, and payment plans.

Federal Student Aid

Students can receive financial aid from the federal government in the form of loans, grants and work-study jobs. Loans must be repaid in full, but grants are essentially free money. Work-study programs are not available at all schools, but when they are, they give students part-time hours working at the institution, the money they earn is then applied to the cost of tuition.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, serves as a single application for all three forms of aid. The deadline to complete the FAFSA for the upcoming academic year is June 30th, but to get the maximum aid possible, students should apply as soon as possible after October 1st the year before they attend. Most accredited medical assistant programs qualify for federal aid, and counselors can help students and their families with the paperwork.

School-based Aid

School-based financial aid may be available at select medical assistant schools. It can be used alone or in addition to federal assistance when the amount approved won’t cover the full cost of education. Most schools use the same information provided on the FASFA to make lending and grant decisions.


Like grants, scholarships are not repaid. They come from a wide range of sources from schools and clubs to private businesses and professional organizations. Eligibility varies by need, academic performance or other criteria. Schools are an excellent source of information about scholarships, and many keep applications on hand, but most must be applied for well before classes start, some as much as a year in advance.

Payment Plans

For students who don’t qualify for conventional student aid, payment plans may be an option. Like car loans, students make periodic installments over a designated period until tuition is paid in full. The longer the term, the more likely there will be associated fees and interest, but compared to most credit cards, it’s a bargain. And in some cases, payments can be deferred entirely until after graduation when students are working and able to pay.

Question #8: What Kind of Career Placement 乐乐棋牌 Does the School Offer?

Most vocational schools assist students with job placement after graduation, but the extent of career services and how long they’re available may vary. One school may limit efforts to sponsoring job boards for recent graduates while another may allow lifetime access. Additional services such as resume writing, interview coaching and peer networking are especially valuable for students who will be entering the workforce for the time.

Question #9: Does the School Prepare Students for Certification?

The certification process requires taking a national exam, and certification agencies are independent, schools are not directly involved. However, many design their curriculum to be certification- friendly by ensuring that test content is included. Some organize peer study groups or offer pre-test support to help graduates prepare for exams. Programs that “teach to the test” are optimal for medical assistants who want to become certified.

Final Thoughts

There’s never been a better time to become a medical assistant, and the good news is, there are programs to fit every budget and lifestyle. But students should do their 乐乐棋牌work before they apply, choosing the right school is the first step toward a lifetime of success.

Did learning about questions to ask of a medical assistant school interest you? Meridian College offers hands–on Medical Assistant training from experienced school faculty who know how to prepare you for the daily challenges you’ll face on the job. From assisting doctors with patients to important administrative tasks, our experienced Medical Assistant program teachers will train you for a rewarding new career.

In addition to receiving training from school instructors with real-world experience, you will also complete a school externship in a physician’s office, clinic or related healthcare facility under the supervision of a physician, nurse or health services professional to further develop your skills.

Career Placement Assistance

We are dedicated to the success of our medical assistant training program’s college students and graduates; therefore, we provide career assistance from experienced career services personnel. The goal of Career 乐乐棋牌 is to assist all medical assistant training program college graduates to obtain in-field or related-field employment. Career 乐乐棋牌 is available to assist medical assistant training program college students throughout their training programs and continues to offer assistance beyond graduation. It should be understood the career services offered are not a guarantee of employment.

Contact Meridian College today to learn more about becoming a medical assistant.