Medical assistants work under the supervision of physicians at public and private medical offices or clinics. The state of New York facilitates medical assistants by allowing them to join the New York State Society of Medical Assistants. It is a professional organization that provides additional information and resources to its members.

What Does a Medical Assistant Do

Generally, the duties of a medical assistant vary for each work environment, location & size of workplace as well as the job type. However, a typical medical assistant’s job description includes:

  • Taking and maintaining patient records.
  • Scheduling appointments.
  • Recording vital signs.
  • Taking medical histories.
  • Preparing patients for examination.
  • Drawing blood and administering medications.

Often in smaller workplaces, medical assistants handle both clinical and administrative work, whereas, in larger workplaces they tend to perform specialized duties that focus on only one aspect i.e., either clinical or administrative.

Types of Medical Assistants

There are three types of medical assistants i.e., Clinical, Administrative and Specialized.

Clinical Medical Assistant

Although the job description of a clinical medical assistant is quite broad, the main aspect of their job is performing clinical tasks that include:

  • Taking care of patients.
  • Conducting assessments.
  • Preparing patients for medical examinations.
  • Documenting vitals and medical histories.
  • Performing minor treatments.
  • Assisting the physician during examinations.
  • Carrying out other tasks assigned by the physician.

Administrative Medical Assistant

The Administrative Medical Assistants play a vital role in a physician’s office. To be able to minimize the interruptions in the physician’s work, an Administrative Medical Assistant must have excellent written and oral communication skills. They must also possess conversation etiquette, understanding of medical terminologies, computer skills and knowledge of billing & accounting etc. Administrative Medical Assistants mostly perform the following duties:

  • Managing patient records.
  • Making appointments.
  • Answering phones.
  • Maintaining the front desk & reception areas.
  • Performing general accounting and billing.

Specialized Medical Assistant

The Association of Medical Technologists offers several certifications for Specialized Medical Assistants. To be certified, Specialized Medical Assistants must complete a training program accredited by the relevant authorities and pass the certification exam. In most cases, medical assistants that possess a certification have better job opportunities and earn better wages.

Specialized Medical Assistants perform specified tasks since they receive special training to work directly with the physicians. The duties of a Specialized Medical Assistant depend on the area of specialization, the number of assistants in the staff at their workplace as well as the size and location of the physician’s office.

How to Become a Medical Assistant in New York

The state of New York facilitates its medical assistants by allowing them to receive 4 to 6-weeks hands-on experience during their study. Typically, a 2-year formal education program (i.e., an associate’s medical assistant degree) is offered at various community, vocational and technical colleges in New York. For instance, the Manhattan Institute offers diverse education degrees to prepare medical assistants in performing clinical and clerical duties in any medical setting.

Requirements to Become a Medical Assistant in New York

It is not mandatory for medical assistants to possess a certification, registration or a  medical assisting license in the state of New York. However, to increase the chances of employment and promotion, countless medical assistants obtain a certification or a license to practice. There are 2 authorities in the state of New York that provide certifications, the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and the American Medical Technologists (AMT).

Salary Trend of Medical Assistants in New York

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an annual mean income of Medical Assistants for the past three years as follows:

2016 2017 2018
Annual Mean Salary (NY) $35,530 $36,220 $37,560
Annual Mean Salary (US) $32,850 $33,580 $34,540

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

The above-mentioned salary data indicates that the annual mean income of medical assistants gradually increased each year from 2016 to 2018 in New York. The mean income in New York was also substantially higher than the national average in all three years.