fb icon outlook icon bb icon w icon

Medical Assistant

Medical Assistant student inserting needle in another student's veinMedical Assistant Associate in Applied Science

Program Curriculum
The Medical Assistant program provides a balanced blend of administrative and clinical courses to prepare students for entry level medical assisting in doctors' offices and clinics.

Students in this two-year Associate in Applied Science Degree program are required to take 62 to 65 credit hours of course work covering areas such as anatomy and physiology, psychology, medical terminology, office coding, insurance billing, office procedures, computer applications, medication application, clinical practice and other general electives.

This allied health care profession offers work primarily in ambulatory settings such as medical offices and clinics. A supervised internship at a physician’s office is required. Prior to placement the student must be CPR certified and submit evidence of good health, including up-to-date immunizations and tuberculin screening results. A background check may also be required, and any person committed of a felony will not be allowed to write the certification exam.

The Alpena Community College Medical Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), upon the recommendation of the Medical Assistant Educational Review Board (MAERB).

Program Facilities

You will learn in a dedicated lab featuring equipment you will use on the job such as EKG machine, blood pressure cuff, and AED trainer. You will also test your skills with several computer simulation programs.


An interest in helping people, strong organizational skills, and attention to detail are personal qualities that successful students bring to this program. The ability to handle several tasks at one time is important, as well as possessing strong written and oral communication skills and computer skills. Before starting the program, your academic background and assessment scores or testing results are reviewed to determine the right courses to take. Review classes are also available to prepare you to meet the academic requirements of ACC’s Medical Assistant program.

Career Options

As a medical assistant, your duties will vary from office to office, depending on your employer’s location, size, and specialized work. In a smaller practice, you may be expected to perform both clerical and clinical work while reporting to the office manager. In larger practices, however, you will often specialize in a particular area and report to a department supervisor.

Your job responsibilities will include many clerical duties. These may include handling correspondence, scheduling patients, updating and filing medical records, and maintaining billing and bookkeeping records.

Clinical duties vary according to state law and may include taking medical histories and vital signs, sterilizing instruments, performing routine laboratory procedures, preparing patients for examinations or x-rays, removing sutures, or conducting electrocardiograms. You may also be required to instruct patients regarding medications or special diets and prepare and administer medications under a physician’s supervision.

Employment of medical assistants is expected to grow 23% through the year 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Job prospects should be best for medical assistants with formal training or experience, particularly certification. Your average annual salary depends on your employer and your experience and skill level. Median annual earnings for medical assistants were $31,540 in 2016.*

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2015-16 Edition, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh (visited July 14, 2017)

American Association of Medical Assistants

The mission of the American Association of Medical Assistants is to provide medical assistant professionals with education, certification, credential acknowledgment, networking opportunities, scope-of-practice protection, and advocacy for quality patient-centered health care. The Certification from the AAMA is the only medical assisting cerfification that requires graduation from an accredited postsecondary medical assisting program. The association helps provide professionals with internships, volunteer opportunites, job leads, and gives them access to a number of documents that can help them to learn more about their profession and licensing requirements.

Program 5-Year Outcomes

The Alpena Community College Medical Assisting Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs , upon the recommendation of the Medical Assistant Educational Review Board (MAERB). 

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158
Clearwater, FL 33763
Phone: 727-210-2350
FAX: 727-210-2354
Website: www.caahep.org 

Medical Assistant Educational Review Board (MAERB)
20 N. Wacker Dr., Ste.
1575 Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: 800-228-2262
Website: www.maerb.org

Contact the Program StaffKimberly Salziger, CMA (AAMA), CMSA, M.Ed.
Medical Assistant Program Director

Lisa Brege
Program Secretary