Finding Your Focus: Medical Assistant Specialization Opportunities

Career growth is important for everyone. One of the best ways to grow within the medical assisting field is through the pursuit of specialization opportunities. After obtaining the necessary medical assistant certification programs, which you can read about here, medical assistants can choose to specialize in a variety of areas of healthcare. 

  • Dermatology (SCMA-D): Dermatology is the treatment and study of skin. Medical assistants who are interested in assisting dermatologists may want to pursue this specific specialty certification. Duties in this specialty include collecting specimen samples and disinfecting medical equipment used during dermatology procedures. 
  • Cardiology (SCMA-CD): Medical assistants interested in the heart and blood vessels may choose to pursue a cardiology specialty. This specialty includes recording vital signs, assisting with cardiac imagery, and helping the physician perform tests such as stress tests or echocardiograms. 
  • Endocrinology (SCMA-END): The endocrine system is made up of glands and hormones. Medical assistants with this specialty assist physicians in performing routine tests such as thyroid tests. 
  • Family Medicine (SCMA-FM): Medical assistants who enjoy working with both adults and children alike may choose the family medicine specialty. These medical assistants typically work for a specific physician at an office and can assist with everything from administrative tasks to taking vitals and performing patient intake duties. 
  • Geriatrics (SCMA-G): Geriatrics involves the care of the elderly. Medical assistants who enjoy working with an older population and the challenges they face may choose this specialty. Duties involve working with patients on education and performing basic procedures such as taking vital signs. Medical assistants with this specialty will most likely work in a nursing home or assisted living facility. 
  • International Medical Assistant (IMA): Medical assistants who want to take their skills abroad may want to consider the International Medical Assistant Certification. Medical assistants who pass this examination are certified to work as a medical assistant globally. Obtaining this certificate requires registration, completion and passage of the International Medical Assistant examination. 
  • Internal Medicine (SCMA-IM): Internal medicine deals with the care of human organs. Medical assistants in this specialty assist internal medicine physicians in daily tasks and procedures. 
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology (SCMA-OBG): Commonly referred to as an OB-GYN, physicians in this specialty are focused on women’s health and pregnancy. Medical assistants in this specialty assist in daily procedures such as taking vitals, administering urine tests, and administrative tasks. 
  • Oncology (SCMA-ON): Oncology is the study and treatment of cancer. While not for everyone, this specialty works directly with patients who are going through cancer treatment. Duties in this specialty include basic phlebotomy, scheduling, and assisting with insurance billing. 
  • Orthopedic Surgery (SCMA-ORS): Orthopedics deals with the treatment of bones and is a common area of interest for those who are interested in sports. Medical assistants in this specialty perform typical medical assistant tasks, but they also may assist the physician during a patient assessment. This includes evaluating pain levels and range of motion for injuries. 
  • Pediatrics (SCMA-PD): Medical assistants who enjoy working with children may choose to pursue a pediatrics specialty. This specialty includes making children feel comfortable in a doctor’s office and answering questions that parents may have during the patient intake process. 
  • Transplant Surgery (SCMA-TTS): Medical assistants who enjoy working with surgeons can obtain a transplant surgery certification. This certifies that the medical assistant is able to work in an operating room and assist in procedures that may involve the handling or transportation of human organs. 
  • Urology (SCMA-U): Urology deals with the treatment of the human urinary tract system. Medical assistants in this specialty assist with basic testing and procedures including phlebotomy and urinalysis. 

Each of these specialization opportunities requires industry experience and passage of the appropriate specialty examination. But first, consider the area of healthcare which fits your interests, the type of work which fits your skills, and the demand in your local area. Combined, these factors will help you decide which direction to take.

Read next: Medical Assistant Professional Organizations to Join

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