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Degree Overview: Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree in Medical/Clinical Assistant

Majors Overview June 25, 2014

Get information about the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program in Medical/Clinical Assistant and its coursework, career choices, and continuing education choices.

Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree Programs in Medical/Clinical Assistant

Students enrolled in a Medical or Clinical Assistant Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program are trained to seek entry-level careers that involve performing duties supervised by physicians in medical offices, hospitals, or clinics.

The first year of the two-year program is usually spent honing clerical skills. During the second year, students are taught management skills and medical terminology even as they complete clinical education.

Graduates can expect to develop professionalism, hone their problem solving skills, and become proficient in performing patient-related lab procedures and clinical duties. Admission criteria typically require candidates to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.


Students enrolled in a Medical or Clinical Assistant Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program are taught to perform various duties, including obtaining/recording vital signs, medical record keeping, bookkeeping, medical coding, and receptionist duties. Apart from classroom lectures and clinical rotations, cooperative education courses are also conducted in order to acquire practical, hands-on experience in the real-world medical environment.

Coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Medical ethics and law
•Medical terminology
•Filing and records management
•Health information systems
•Human anatomy and physiology
•Basic electrocardiography

Career Choices

Those that complete a Medical or Clinical Assistant Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program can expect to be adept in performing many duties within a medical work environment. In 2010, physicians’ offices hired the most number of clinical or medical assistants (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). These professionals can choose from various career titles:

•Clinical medical assistant
•Podiatric medical assistant
•Administrative medical assistant
•Medical assistant
•Ophthalmic medical assistant

Continuing Education Choices

Those that successfully complete Medical or Clinical Assistant A.A.S. programs may seek to join the workforce immediately after completion of the program, or they may seek to continue their education by either enrolling in further training or earning a bachelor’s degree to become a healthcare professional, such as a nurse or a teacher.

Certification is not mandatory for medical assistants; however, by volunteering for professional certification, they can showcase their knowledge relating to medical standards to potential employers and boost their employment opportunities. They can obtain certification through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and the American Medical Technologists (AMT).

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