dcsimg
Find a School >
Healthcare Colleges Home > Healthcare Programs > Medical Office Assisting Programs

Medical Office Assisting Programs

Medical Office Assisting Programs

What are Medical Office Assistants?

Medical office assistants complete various administrative duties in healthcare offices. They may schedule appointments, take insurance information for billing, and even order and stock medical supplies, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov/ooh, 2012). Other responsibilities may include filing papers, updating medical records, and understanding the business procedures that need to be followed in an office. For more information, see our medical office assistant career page.

Medical Office Assisting Program Information

A broad number of postsecondary institutions, including vocational schools and community colleges offer medical office assisting programs. Some of these programs are campus based while others are completely online. Some even offer a combination of class-based and online learning through a hybrid format. Requirements vary for programs based on the length and scope of the training available, but generally medical office assisting schools train students to be knowledgeable in the administrative skills and tasks that are helpful in keeping a healthcare office running smoothly.

Medical Office Assisting Program Types

The following medical office assisting programs are available to those looking to enter the field:

  • Diploma/Certificate: Full-time students may only need several months to complete these programs. Medical office assisting courses typically introduce students to word processing and spreadsheet software, basic medical terminology, billing and insurance practices, and healthcare laws and ethics. Students may find flexible class offerings and coursework available during the day or evening, or even online.
  • Associate Degree: The coursework in this program can generally be completed in two years. Like diploma and certificate programs, this program offers a broad base of learning in essential administrative healthcare functions, but tends to feature more general education classes. Students may explore business, computers and writing in greater depth and could be better prepared to complete a bachelor's degree in a related healthcare field if that is an objective. Students in an associate degree program may also need to complete an externship.

Upon completion of one of these medical office assisting programs, students may be ready to take a certification exam offered through an organization such as the National Healthcareer Association or American Medical Technologists. The BLS notes that certification is not required to gain employment, but that employers do favor workers who are certified (bls.gov/ooh, 2012). State regulations are always changing, however, so check with your state's department of health for the latest information.

Medical Office Assisting Course Descriptions

Coursework in medical office assisting schools can be similar, whether the program offered helps lead to a diploma, certificate or associate degree. Students can expect to gain basic administrative healthcare knowledge and learn important communication skills as part of their training. Students may find any of the following courses comprise part of the core curriculum in medical office assisting programs:

  • Medical Terminology: Students learn about the basic language of healthcare, including root words and commonly-used prefixes and suffixes. This terminology applies to many of the basic systems of the body but also be functional in doing billing and coding.
  • Healthcare Computer Applications: Students learn about the type of computer programs that can be used in a medical office and how to keep track of important information like insurance. They may learn about the processes that are needed for bring a new patient onboard and what needs to be done in the computer to set him or her up for a first appointment.
  • Medical Coding and Insurance: Students are introduced to the coding procedures needed to fill out and process insurance claims in an office or healthcare setting. Students may also learn about different types of health insurance and the specific terminology that may applicable to each.

Related Career Options

As medical office assistants gain experience, their goals and interests may change, prompting them to seek other healthcare positions. Related career paths might include pursuing employment as a:

  • Health Information Technician: Code patient information for billing and insurance purposes and help organize and track healthcare records. Requires postsecondary credential and oftentimes certification.
  • Nurse Assistant: Offer basic patient care in nursing homes, hospitals and other medical facilities. Requires a postsecondary credential and state certification/licensure.
  • Pharmacy Tech: Works under the direction of a pharmacist and help process prescriptions for customers. May require formal postsecondary education and certification.

Links to Sources and Associations

Visit the following websites to learn more about medical office assisting:

American Medical Technologists

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical Assistants, 2012

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, 2012

National Healthcareer Association

Explore these online and campus healthcare programs

Refine School Matches
LOCATION
Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
SUBJECT
Clear All

DEGREE

PROGRAM TYPE

START TIME

 
Results:  7
Matching School Ads
Administrative Medical Assistant
  • Offers career programs in accounting, cosmetology, massage therapy, physical fitness training, and more.
  • Provides hands-on training led by instructors who have relevant, on-the-job experience.
  • Each campus features a public salon and spa for student practice.
  • Campuses are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) and Council on Occupational Education (COE).
  • 11 campuses across California, Texas, Nevada and Idaho, as well as 8 additional Milan Institute of Cosmetology campuses.
Show more [+]
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
Medical Office Specialist
Brightwood College , Indianapolis

Why Brightwood?

Real-World Training

We keep education relevant by employing instructors with real-world experience in the field, who bring their career backgrounds to the classroom. Our programs are continually assessed by faculty, staff and members of the business and education communities to help ensure your studies align with your career goals. Programs offered by Brightwood College focus on local employment needs, in areas such as allied health, nursing and technical and professional programs.

Medical Office Assistant
CDI College , Richmond
  • Has been one of the leading career training institutions in Canada for over 40 years.
  • Gives students the chance to complete a career-focused program in a matter of months.
  • Offers programs in healthcare, business, and technology.
  • Emphasizes hands-on training with practical projects.
  • Works with industry specialists to create relevant, up-to-date programs. 
  • Offers flexible schedule options— students can choose between day and evening classes.
Show more [+]
Medical Office Assistant
  • Offers career placement assistance, helping students prepare their resume, conduct job searches, and find employment after graduation.
  • Class sizes range from 10-25 students at a time allowing for more one-on-one instruction.
  • Provides diploma programs in business, healthcare, legal administration, and art & design.
  • Instructors are industry-experienced professionals whose offer real-world expertise and insight into the current job market.
  • 5 campus locations across the Alberta province in Canada.
Show more [+]
Medical Office Assistant-CERT
Mildred Elley , Pittsfield
Good for Working Adults
  • Mildred Elley has been a provider of quality higher education since 1917, where it was founded in the Capital District of New York.
  • We have 3 conveniently located campus locations in Albany, NY, NYC Metro, NY and Pittsfield, MA with online options as well.
  • Our campuses feature student-run massage therapy clinics at Albany, Pittsfield and New York City Metro campuses, and a cosmetology clinic at the Pittsfield campus.
  • We offer over 20 Degree and Certificate programs with classes in the day, evening, and weekends.
  • Financial Aid and Scholarships are available for those who qualify.
  • We are dedicated to seeing our students succeed offering Lifetime Job Placement Assistance
Show more [+]
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
Medical Office Specialist Diploma

The goal of Virginia College lies in its responsibility to its students, the technical and business communities, and the general citizenry. We have a long history of offering new direction to students.

  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Administrative Medical Assistant
  • Offers medical and cosmetic programs, including dental assisting, massage therapy, cosmetology, esthetics, and more.
  • Features a public salon and spa where students may get real-world experience.
  • Offers scholarship opportunities for students wo qualify.
  • Accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
  • 2 separate Vacaville campuses, one is for medical careers and the other is the beauty academy.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid