medical assistant schools

Medical Assistant Externships

A medical assistant externship could be a great way to learn about the day-to-day duties of medical assisting, while gaining first-hand knowledge and skills that you could apply if you pursue a career in the field.

What Is a Medical Assistant Externship?

An externship is typically set up through schools in order to give students short, practical work experience that may help them develop a competitive edge when they enter the workforce. Some externships are shorter, while others may last an entire semester. If you’re thinking of pursuing a career as a medical assistant, you may want to consider taking part in an externship.

Why Should I Pursue a Medical Assisting Externship?

A medical assisting externship typically involves job shadowing (following and observing a professional during the workday) with an experienced person in the field. You will likely work directly with medical assistants, patients and doctors and get a chance to learn first-hand from these professionals. As such, externships may also be a great way to meet contacts that may be helpful once you graduate. You also may have the option to pursue work in multiple healthcare settings such as clinics, doctor’s offices and hospitals to give you a better sense of the type of area that you would like to specialize in.

A medical assistant externship may also give you an opportunity to apply what you’ve learned in school to real life situations, and to help develop your skills. During your externship you may provide different aspects of patient care, perform treatments such as taking blood, and help doctors with procedures. You may also greet patients and collect information, coordinate patient care with other healthcare providers, and explain medications or treatments to patients. And the potential benefit to taking part in a medical assisting externship is that when you are interviewing or applying for jobs, your externship could count as experience in the field.

What Are Some Medical Assisting Externship Opportunities?

Now that we’ve explained what medical assisting externships are and why they may be beneficial, let’s look at some specific externship opportunities from our sponsored schools that you may want to consider applying for while you’re in school.

Medical Assistant Fellowship Program

This is an advancement externship program from the Community Health Network, providing 300 hours of extensive training during an eight-to-ten week period. Participants will rotate between physician offices and urgent care settings to develop valuable practical clinical experience.  To qualify, students will be interviewed and they must be: actively pursuing a degree from a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited MA program in which they have completed all prerequisite course; be approaching the final phase of their program; and have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Medical Assistant Externship and Evaluation

This externship course from Kaplan University requires 160 nonpaid hours of clinical and administrative experience in an approved healthcare setting. Students will be evaluated on their competencies performance, including a certification exam at the end. Required prerequisites include that you be in your last term of studies and that you’ve completed the following courses: HS 101, HS 210, HS 220 and MA 270.

Medical Assisting Clinical Externship

This externship is through Rasmussen College and eligible students will complete 240 hours of medical assisting training in a physician’s office or medical center.[iv] Students will perform medical assisting job duties in administrative and clinical areas. Some of the requirements include: completion of a series of series of Hepatitis B immunizations; completion of a 2-Step Mantoux screening test within 6 months of starting externship; completion of all immunizations or verifications of immunity required by program and site; and successful completion of a background check.

Medical Assistant Student Externship

Offered via Vanderbilt University Medical Center, this externship allows students to practice their patient care skills in a clinical setting. To qualify, students must be in the last quarter or semester of their program and apply through their college. Each externship length is based on college requirements and can vary from 160-180 hours and 10-12 weeks on site.

Medical Assistant Externship

Offered through the University of Utah Health Care (UUHC), students must meet the following requirements for this externship: show proof of successful drug screen; provide proof of successful criminal background check; provide proof of immunizations; have familiarity with HIPPA and information on patient safety; and provide proof of current BLS certification.

Clinical Externship Placement

Offered via the Bay Area Medical Academy, students are chosen and placed at various healthcare facilities through a rigorous evaluation and interview process that considers class ranking, top scores on certification exams, and practical skills. Requirements include: an updated resume; immunization records; CPR certification; passing a Medical Assistant course; passing the final clinical skills evaluation from your Medical Assistant instructor; passing the NCCT National Exam for Phlebotomy Technician and Medical Assistant; passing a drug screening; and passing a criminal background check.

Ultimate Medical Academy
A.S. Health Sciences - Medical Administrative Assistant
As a UMA student in this online program, you’ll learn how to keep the healthcare system moving forward. That includes learning how to greet patients and get them checked in, schedule appointments, assist with patient insurance claims, perform medical coding and more.
Medical Assistant Career Diploma
Offered through Penn Foster College, the self-paced Medical Assistant diploma program can help you prepare to take the next steps toward becoming a skilled medical assistant. Geared toward students who don’t want or need to earn an associate’s degree, the course will cover 41 lessons, as well as a 160-hour externship for hands-on experience.
Purdue University Global
Medical Office Administration Certificate
Purdue Global’s online medical office administration program is designed to equip you with the knowledge and technical skills necessary to pursue entry-level positions in this exciting field. Coursework focuses on areas including insurance processing and fundamental medical office administrative and clerical tasks.
Grantham University
Associate of Applied Science in Medical Admin Assistant
The Medical Administrative Assistant (AAS-MAA) associate program provides a solid foundation in basic medical office functions, teaching you the skills needed for providing administrative support to healthcare professionals. This program can also serve as a step toward a more advanced degree in healthcare. Upon completion of the program, students may sit for the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) exam, an entry-level medical assistance industry certification from the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Independence University
Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting
The Medical Assisting AOS degree program is designed to provide the students the knowledge and clinical skills for gaining entry-level employment in a medical facility in both administrative and clinical areas. Specific training is provided in preparing instruments and materials, vital signs, phlebotomy, medication preparation and administration, clinical documentation and assisting the physician with exams and procedures. Training in computer and administrative skills is also provided as they pertain to electronic health records and medical office procedures. The student will be able to function independently with administrative duties as well as clinical duties and computer functions of the office.