How To Become a Medical Assistant | How Long Does It Take To Become a Medical Assistant?

how long does it take to become a medical assistantTraining programs on how to become a medical assistant range from 10 months up to two years, and even longer. The considerable variation in the time required to graduate depends on the credential conferred by the program (certificate versus diploma versus degree), duration of medical externship, and student factors such as the ability to study part-time or full-time.

Most programs which confer an Associate Degree in Medical Assisting take longer, usually requiring between 60 to 100+ credit hours of study and training before students are deemed eligible to take the medical assistant certification exam. A closer look at their curriculum reveals more comprehensive courses on the clinical aspects, as well as the addition of ancillary subjects such as CMA Review. On the other hand, programs that bestow diplomas or certificates may take only 10 months to complete. Other training institutions even offer fast-track options for students who have already previously taken some of the requisite courses.

The duration of medical externship also affects the time it would take to finish the training program. Externships, or unpaid practicum, may take up to four to six weeks to complete, depending on the arrangement the training institute has with partner clinics, hospitals, health centers, etc. The more partners a training institute has, the faster you will be able to complete the externship. Another factor that affects the duration of the practicum is the prerequisite courses. Externships are usually divided into two parts, and the satisfactory completion and passing of a set of designated subjects is required before you can proceed with the first part of the practicum. The same goes for the second part of the externship. Unfortunately, in some institutions, some of these subjects are available only once a year, and if you fail these, you have no option but to wait until the next academic year to retake the subject/s.

Student factors that influence how long it takes to become a medical assistant include the ability to study full time or part time, financial constraints, and the presence of distractions. Part-time students may not be able to complete their courses on time, perhaps due to more pressing needs such as employment. The costs entailed by medical assistant training programs may delay graduation if one faces financial difficulties. Lastly, any form of distraction may interfere with the ability to listen, focus, and understand the myriad technical concepts that will be thrown your way.

In summary, there are many accredited training programs on how to become a medical assistant, however, how long it takes for you to become one is dependent on multiple variables. Some of these variables cannot be altered, however, personal factors may be modified to hasten the process of becoming a medical assistant.