Description of the Profession of Medical Assisting

"Medical assistants are multi-skilled health professionals specifically educated to work in ambulatory care settings performing administrative and clinical duties. The practice of medical assisting directly influences the public's health and well-being, and requires mastery of a complex body of knowledge and specialized skills requiring both formal education and practical experience that serve as standards for entry into the profession" (Medical Assistant Education Review Board, 2008).

Administrative medical assistant duties may include...

  • Using computer applications
  • Answering telephones
  • Greeting patients
  • Updating and filing patient medical records
  • Coding and filling out insurance forms
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Arranging for hospital admissions and laboratory services
  • handling correspondence, billing, and bookkeeping

Clinical duties may include...

  • Taking medical histories
  • Explaining treatment procedures to patients
  • Assisting the physician during the exam
  • Collecting and preparing laboratory specimens
  • Performing basic laboratory tests
  • Instructing patients about medication and special diets
  • Preparing and administering medications as directed by a physician
  • Authorizing prescription refills as directed
  • Drawing blood
  • Taking electrocardiograms
  • Removing sutures and changing dressings

What duties may be delegated to a medical assistant in the state of MI?

Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, chief executive officer and legal counsel for the American Association of Medical Assistants, has written his legal opinion regarding the duties that may be delineated to medical assistants practicing in Michigan and has provided additional resources to help answer this frequently asked question.