3 Reasons to Pursue a Career as a Medical Office Assistant
People have different motivations for following this vocational path. But a few of the common ones include:
1. Career Security
Almost every doctor relies on other people to handle the bulk of administrative work that's required in the practice of medicine. So as the need for physicians grows, the demand for qualified support staff also tends to grow.
Over the past few decades, Canada has been home to a rising number of medical practitioners. In fact, the amount of doctors per 100,000 people has gone from 147 in 1978 to 220 in 2014.* That's an increase of about 46 percent. And it's a trend that seems likely to continue as the nation's population gets steadily older and requires more medical attention.
Of course, an experienced medical office professional tends to possess skills that can transfer to all kinds of different workplaces—even ones outside of the healthcare industry. Think about it: Office and clerical abilities are needed throughout the business world, non-profit sector, and government.
2. The Opportunity to Provide Invaluable Services
Most of us think of doctors and nurses as the primary keys to good healthcare. But we're only partially correct. Can you picture what would happen if we suddenly demanded that physicians spend hours and hours each day taking care of the administrative work they generate? The amount and quality of direct patient care would decline sharply.
Medical office assistants free doctors up to focus on providing effective clinical care. Without their services, waiting times would be much longer for patients. It's better for everyone involved if doctors can spend most of their time doing what they were educated for.
Besides, a good medical administrative assistant often:
- Catches simple errors in medical records that could potentially have serious impacts on patient outcomes
- Provides a crucial point of contact for patients and outside health providers
- Retrieves lab results that a doctor needs for making a timely diagnosis
- Helps relax patients who may be anxious
Simply put, it is the people who work in this type of support role that hold the healthcare system together. You can become one of the professionals who make receiving medical care possible for those in your community.
3. Low Barrier to Entry
Medical office assisting is a completely open field in Canada. Two years or less of vocational training is all it takes. In fact, a lot of respected programs last under one year. And you don't even need to obtain any special licensure or certification. That makes it fast and straightforward to get into.
* Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), website last visited on August 8, 2016.