Medical Assistant or Medical Office Specialist: Which Is For You?


Similar names and responsibilities can make understanding the differences between a medical assistant and a medical office specialist confusing.

Both handle routine administrative and clerical tasks in a doctor’s office or medical clinic. Both make or receive phone calls, deal with mail, process paperwork, and deal with electronic filing systems.  And both are in high demand.

Key Differences

There are a few key differences between the two fields.  Medical office specialists are in many ways, medical secretaries.

Medical assistants act as generalists who regularly interact with patients to perform basic functions necessary to keep the office running.  They may record vital signs, prepare blood work for testing, and help conduct medical examinations. While medical assistants are not physician assistants, they do need to learn additional vocabulary and skills in order to fulfill their various duties.

Promising Careers in Healthcare

Both medical office specialists and medical assistants face promising market outlooks.  Demand is expected to continue growing for the foreseeable future for both careers.

These roles are also a good launching point for further education and opportunities.  Proficient medical office specialists can often move up to administrative roles. They may seek additional training to become a health care service manager.

Medical assistants can also move up into supervising positions and may find it good preparation for a future career in nursing.

Getting Started as a Medical Assistant or Medical Office Specialist

While ultimately which position will be the best fit is an individual decision, it’s not a choice that has to be made on your own.  With training programs for both medical assistants and medical office specialists, the admissions office at Ayers Career College can help you get started on the best career path for you.

To learn more about our Medical Assistant program, or our Medical Office Assistant program contact us today by filling out the form you see on the top of this page. You can also call us at 1-800-317-0131 or stop by our campus in Shreveport.

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