Advantages of Medical Assistant Certification

If you are considering a career in medical assisting, you should be aware of the advantages of becoming a certified or registered medical assistant.  The New York School for Medical and Dental Assistants (NYSMDA) has an outstanding reputation for producing well-prepared, quality medical assistants in and around New York City.  However, some doctors outside of the city may not aware of the school’s outstanding reputation. Therefore, if you move and conduct a job search outside of New York City, it is very important to have a nationally recognized credential.  By obtaining a nationally recognized credential, you demonstrate to a prospective employer that you have a certain level of competency.

Additionally, doctors who hire staff that are certified or registered receive a larger reimbursement from Medicare and or Medicaid.  Therefore, being certified or registered will make you a more attractive job candidate.  Another advantage to becoming certified is that studying and taking a certification exam allows you to brush up on and demonstrate your theoretical knowledge.  As a result, you will be much more capable of communicating your knowledge with doctors and patients and you will approach the job with a much higher level of confidence.   

The certification organizations listed below have strong continuing education courses and being a member of these organizations allows you to continue taking continuing education courses at a reasonable price.  The three (3) leading medical assisting certification organizations are the American Association of Medical Assistants which administers the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam, the National Health Association (NHA) which administers the Clinical Medical Assistant Certification (CCMA) and the American Medical Technologist (AMT) which administers the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) Exam.  

Although all of these organizations are reputable and have a lot to offer, at NYSMDA we recommend that our students take the RMA exam to become certified and to qualify for membership with the AMT.   The AMT is a nationally and internationally recognized certification agency and membership society for a variety of allied health professions including medical assisting.  The AMT is located in Rosemont, Illinois and was founded in 1939.

AMT certification examinations are developed, administered and analyzed using industry standards and state-of -the-art methodologies.  Each examination is developed by a committee of subject-matter experts.  The AMT is accredited by the National Commission of Certifying Agencies (NCAA) for its competency based examinations.  Upon passing the RMA, you will automatically become a member of the AMT and have the benefits of membership at your disposal.  

The fastest way to be eligible to sit for the RMA exam is to graduate from a Medical Assistant Program accredited by an agency that is recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDOE) that is at least 720 hours in length and includes at least a 160-hour externship component.  If you have graduated from such a program in the last four years, you are immediately eligible to sit for the exam.  If you graduated more than four (4) years ago then you must have worked as a medical assistant for three (3) of the last five (5) years in both clinical and administrative areas.  

You can also qualify to sit for the RMA exam if you graduated from a military medical services training program, or you have worked, and you can document that you have worked as a medical assistant for five (5) out of the last seven (7) years.  This work experience must be full time and must include both clinical and administrative duties.

You can also sit for the RMA exam if you are a current instructor in a medical assisting program that is accredited by an agency that is recognized by the USDOE and you have completed a course of instruction in a healthcare discipline and you have one (1) year of teaching experience in both clinical and administrative areas and you can verify at least three (3) years of medical assisting occupational experience in both clinical and administrative areas.  If you have five (5) years of medical assisting teaching experience in both clinical and administrative areas, then the occupational experience is not a requirement for eligibility.  

The RMA exam is a difficult exam to pass and it is highly recommended that you take the exam as close to your graduation date as possible.  The further away a graduate is from their intense course of study, the more they forget and the harder it is for them to be well prepared for the exam.  It is recommended that a recent graduate spend at least thirty (30) hours preparing to take the exam.