Role of a Medical Assistant in an Internist's Office

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Internists are doctors who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of illnesses and diseases in adults. At an internist's office, a variety of professionals work together to care for patients, and medical assistants form an important part of this team.

Function

The role of a medical assistant in an internist's office is to perform routine tasks that require only minimal amounts of medical training, allowing nurses and doctors to focus on providing more advanced care.

Duties

In an internist's office, medical assistants greet patients, lead them to the examining area, check their vital signs and may collect specimens for diagnostic testing, like throat cultures or blood or urine samples. Assistants also set up the examination room before each appointment.

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Variations

In some internists' offices, medical assistants may perform clerical functions as well, such as answering phones, making appointments, submitting insurance claims, updating and organizing patient medical records and stocking supplies.

Education

In order to perform their role in an internist's office, medical assistants must receive post-secondary education, typically through completing a one-year diploma program at a medical or technical training school or a two-year associate degree program at a junior or community college.

Salary

As of May 2008, medical assistants who worked in physicians' offices averaged annual salaries of $28,820, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2016 Salary Information for Medical Assistants

Medical assistants earned a median annual salary of $31,540 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, medical assistants earned a 25th percentile salary of $26,860, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $37,760, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 634,400 people were employed in the U.S. as medical assistants.

About the Author

Faith Davies has been writing professionally since 1996, contributing to various websites. She holds an LAH insurance license in the state of Pennsylvania and has experience as a bank branch manager and lending officer. Davies graduated cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts in art history.

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