Some medical professions have a history that spans centuries, such as family practice doctors, obstetricians and nurses. Other fields, however, evolved over more recent years, as medical care became more accessible to the average citizen.
A medical assistant serves as a helper to the modern physician. Medical assistants have the ability to perform all administration tasks, such as billing, appointments and insurance claims. In addition, the medical assistant does basic medical tasks, under the direction of another licensed professional, such as taking vital signs, recording medical history, and providing an extra set of hands during examinations.
The American Association of Medical Assistants, or AAMA, was founded in 1955. By this point, medical assisting was a distinct and recognizable field of study within the medical field.
The AAMA started issuing accreditation standards for medical assisting programs in 1969. As of 2010, both online and college-based medical assisting program are accredited through the AAMA Program Approval Committee.