Find out about the membership benefits and options for people studying and working in this field
If you’re a medical assistant student at the Salter School, you’re surrounded by a network of excellent instructors and staff members to guide you with regards to any career-related questions you might have. However, leaving school to begin your first job is a significant transition into a career in your chosen field. One move that can be useful during this time is becoming a member of professional organizations, so that you can continue to build your network and knowledge.
Belonging to a professional organization has a number of benefits, including:
- leads for possible future employment
- paths to earning additional professional credentials
- access to professional connections, peers, and friends.
Joining many professional organizations requires membership dues, so it’s important to do some research and see which organization can best support you in your long-term career goals. It’s also a good idea to talk to others in your program and at your school for suggestions about which ones they find most valuable.
Some of the professional organizations for medical assistants you may consider include:
- American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA): The AAMA provides medical assistant professionals with education, certification, credential acknowledgment, networking opportunities, and advocacy for quality patient-centered health care.
- Members receive benefits such as a complimentary subscription to CMA Today magazine, discounts for CMA certification exams, reduced rates for continuing education credits (CEUs), access to volunteer opportunities, and news on legislation that affects members.
- The AAMA has local chapters (see no. 2, below) that offer members the opportunity to network, make friends, and get involved in the local community.
- The Massachusetts State Society of Medical Assistants is the state chapter of the AAMA. Their website has a “job listing, search and help” page, among many other resources. For students at the Fall River campus, there is a chapter in Greater Fall River area. For students at the Malden campus, there is a Greater Boston chapter.
- The American Registry of Medical Assistants (ARMA): ARMA is a national registry, with members in every state. The goal of the ARMA is to advance the status of medical assistants. Membership shows a commitment to professionalism in the role of medical assistant and can lead to recognition of professional status in the healthcare industry. Its members represent many areas within the medical allied health professions.
- The Association of Healthcare Administrative Professionals (AHCAP): The AHCAP’s mission is to advance professional development, leadership, and excellence of healthcare administrative professionals through education, recognition, communication, and advocacy. Members receive monthly news, access to private forums, a membership directory, and education and professional development opportunities. The association also provides networking events and career assistance.
- The American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM): The AAHAM is a resource center for information, education, and advocacy. Professional development is one of its primary goals. Membership benefits include access to publications, conferences, and seminars; professional certification; networking; and opportunities to increase skills and knowledge.
Joining a professional organization can open up a whole new world to you. Many of these organizations actively represent the interests of medical assistants by participating in healthcare industry groups as well as monitoring legislation and regulations that affect the medical assisting field. Who knows—your membership and activity could even lead to you having a voice in shaping the future of healthcare!
It’s an exciting time to begin training as a medical assistant, with many opportunities to grow in the profession. If you’re just at the beginning of your career search, find out if Medical Assistant training would fit with your skills and interest. We’re eager to support you in a career transition!
This post is part of the weekly blog of the Salter School. We support all of our students in striving towards their career goals. Find out more about our various professional training programs, or reach out to us to schedule a campus tour!