“This speaks volumes about the quality of our students, programs and faculty,” said Dr. Michael Ballard, chair of EKU’s Department of Health Promotion and Administration.
Dr. Rebecca Newsome, coordinator of EKU’s two-year program in Medical Assisting Technology and four-year program in Medical Practice Management, attributed the success to faculty who “make sure our students are getting the best education possible and who are active at the state and national levels,” a program that is “closely linked with the workplace” and a curriculum focused on national standards.
“Employers can expect that our graduates to be competent in all knowledge-based areas,” she said.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects medical assisting to be one of the 10 fastest growing professions this decade. That need combined with the reputation of EKU’s program places Eastern graduates in high demand, Newsome said.
“Physicians’ offices frequently call, asking if we have graduates who are looking for a position,” she said. “Generally, 100 percent of our graduates are employed upon graduation or shortly thereafter in the health care arena. There are almost unlimited opportunities for formally educated medical assistants.”
EKU’s associate degree Medical Assisting Technology Program was first accredited in 1970 and earned a full re-accreditation in 2002 with no deficiencies or recommendations. About 15 graduates are expected this year.
The two-year program includes study in anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, medical law and ethics, and core courses in medical administrative and clinical procedures. The program includes an externship that provides practical experience.
Graduates of the program are eligible to take the national examination administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants to become a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA).
The four-year program in Medical Practice Management was developed as a 2 + 2 degree option for associate degree graduates who wish to gain additional management skills. Most of the students in the baccalaureate-degree program are currently employed as practicing medical assistants.
Medical assistants are “professional, multi-skilled individuals dedicated to assisting in patient care management,” Newsome said. “They perform a variety of administrative and clinical tasks to facilitate the work of the physician.”
For more information about EKU’s Medical Assisting Program, call 622-6335.