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5 Medical Assistant Career Facts You Should Know

Posted: June 5, 2018 by Kasey Bowser

Pima Medical Institute has been training medical career professionals since 1972, providing decades of education and support to those entering the healthcare industry as medical assistants.  
Some people may have a misconception of exactly what a medical assistant does and just how strong the job growth is for this career. 
Here are five facts you should know as you decide whether or not you’d like to enter into the medical assistant field.
Job Demand is On the Rise
The career outlook for medical assistants is very high. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 29 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.*
As the healthcare field advances and the aging population has an increased need for healthcare services, the demand for medical assistants will continue to climb.  
What Medical Assistants Do
Medical assisting, like all work in the healthcare field, can change lives. It’s a profession that requires dedication and empathy, making it a meaningful career for almost anyone who chooses it. 
Medical assistants work side-by-side with doctors, nurses and the healthcare team and perform an array of clinical and administrative responsibilities. The duties will vary depending on where you’re based and may include:
  • Interviewing patients to gather medical information, as well as measuring their vital signs
  • Preparing and administering medications and/or treatments as directed by a doctor
  • Cleaning and sterilizing medical equipment prior to and after use
  • Explaining treatment procedures to patients
  • Performing general office duties such as scheduling appointments and filling out insurance forms
Where Medical Assistants Work
A great fact about medical assisting is its variety. Medical assistants work with all types of doctors in every kind of medical practice like pediatrics, orthopedics, medical weight loss or plastic surgery. The most common areas of employment are:
  • Doctors’ offices
  • Outpatient care centers
  • Specialty offices
Medical Assisting Can Be A Stepping Stone Into Another Healthcare Field
It’s uncommon for your first medical assistant job to be your last. While some medical assistants stay with the same doctor and practice until they retire, most branch out to experience work in larger, smaller, or specialty offices. Some medical assistants further their education and become nurses, radiologists, physician assistants, medical assistant instructors or grow into a healthcare management role. 
Medical Assistants Are Constantly Learning
After becoming certified, medical assistants can be trained new duties from their physician or practice. Beyond vitals and patient preparation, medical assistants may collect blood, run ECGs, or even take out stitches, depending on the practice. Medical assisting is always changing as the healthcare field advances with new innovations arising frequently. Meaning, you’ll always be learning something new.
Find out more about the medical assisting job outlook by downloading the diagram below. 


Pima Medical Institute offers certificate, associate and online bachelor’s degree programs—all in the healthcare field. Programs focus on medical, dental and veterinary careers. For more information about Pima Medical and its programs, visit

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical Assistants, on the Internet at (visited May 3, 2018).

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