November 14, 2022

Medical Assistants are in High Demand

doctor scanning patient arm

Medical Assisting is one of the hottest, in-demand jobs across Southeast Michigan, with many health care systems aggressively trying to fill positions. This makes it an ideal time to explore the Medical Assisting program at Schoolcraft College. The program prepares students for a wide range of careers in healthcare, including primary care, specialty care, surgery, urgent care, and more.

Registration for the Winter 2023 semester opens Saturday, October 29. Classes begin Monday, January 9, 2023.

What’s the job?

doctor reading a patient's arm
Medical Assistants play a versatile and vital role in a doctor’s office.

Medical Assistants play a versatile and vital role in a doctor’s office. This includes registering patients, processing insurance, collecting co-pays, scheduling appointments, returning phone calls and much more.

In addition to data collection, medical assistants have an important clinical role. They take vitals, perform injections, draw blood, perform ECG and other tests, and assist the doctor with minor surgeries and procedures. With all their roles and responsibilities, medical assistants provide a vital link between the patient and doctor to ensure a smooth experience.

Sherry Bishop is the new Program Director for Medical Assisting. Her career proves it’s possible to move up quickly in the field, as she started as a medical assistant then progressed to front desk, biller, assistant office manager and then manager at a physician’s office.

Bishop added to her education along the way, including at Schoolcraft College. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration from Eastern Michigan University and a Master of Business Administration from Davenport University. In addition, Bishop has extensive experience in higher education as an instructor and curriculum author.

“My vision for the medical assisting program is to ensure that every student has access to learn the skills of medical assisting needed to enter and succeed in the workforce,” she said. “We have a brand-new state-of-the art laboratory here in the Health Sciences Center that mimics a doctor’s office so the hands-on training is like the true working environment. The curriculum focuses on all aspects of working in an ambulatory facility.”

About the Health Sciences Center

The Health Sciences Center is Schoolcraft College’s newest facility, opening at partial occupancy in the spring of 2022. Now fully operational, it features:

  • 110,800 square feet
  • 10 lecture classrooms
  • 5 computer labs
  • 23 labs, including 2 for Health Information specialty labs

These outstanding facilities are complemented by experienced and enthusiastic professors and instructors who share a wealth industry knowledge with their students.

“What I feel I bring to the program is real-world experience training for students,” Bishop said. “It is something you cannot learn in a book. I also have a good grasp on the direction of the industry as it relates to ambulatory practices.”

About the Medical Assisting program

shot going into arm

Schoolcraft College’s Medical Assisting program was first noted in the 1983/1984 Catalog and began on January 1, 1983. We are proud to celebrate Medical Assisting’s 40th anniversary!

“Schoolcraft has a long-standing successful medical assisting program,” Bishop said. “Students have the option to continue their education using the credits that were earned in the medical assisting program to obtain their associate degree in general studies.”

Here’s a closer look at the credentials, some of which can be completed in less than a year:

  • Medical Assisting Certificate – 35 credits
  • Associate in General Studies using Medical Assisting Certificate
  • Medical Assisting: Phlebotomy Skills Certificate – 19 credits
  • Associate in General Studies using Phlebotomy Skills Certificate
  • Medical Assisting: Medical Biller/Receptionist Skills Certificate – 16 credits
  • Associate in General Studies using Medical Biller/Receptionist Certificate

All Certificates programs allow students to sit for a Certification Exam to earn their National Credential.

The medical biller/receptionist skills certificate can lead to a career in a variety of health care facilities, providing organizational and operational support.

The phlebotomy skills certificate program teaches students how to draw blood through the venipuncture method, preparing them for employment as a phlebotomist in a doctor’s office, clinic or health care facility.

The medical assisting certificate prepares entry-level medical assistants through areas of cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills) and affective (behavior) learning.

Apprenticeship opportunities

doctor taking measurement on patient's arm

A key advantage of Schoolcraft College’s Medical Assisting program is its apprenticeship affiliations with Trinity Health and Henry Ford Health.

Apprenticeship students “earn while they learn” because the company that employs the student may also pay a portion or more of tuition to support their education. Because of the shortage of medical assistants, employers are turning to apprenticeships to grow their talent pipeline.

“Apprenticeships are really a win-win for the student and the employer,” said Pamela Linton, Apprenticeship Coordinator for Schoolcraft College. “The employers are gaining students who are establishing a foundation with their educational training and bringing that to the workplace where they’re receiving on-the-job training!

“And for the students, they have a job lined up in a place they like. Our latest data on medical assistants shows that after five years about 80% of the student apprentices are still with the company that sponsored them.”

As Bishop can attest, medical assisting can be a truly rewarding career, and she is determined to help ensure student success.

“Our Medical Assisting program works so that students receive the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective skills needed to begin their career as a practicing medical assistant,” she said. “We also continuously update the program curriculum and instructing materials to reflect the current practices in ambulatory care.”

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