Southwestern College

Do you like helping people?

Do you want to be part of a fast-growing occupation?

Do you want to earn a certificate or complete a program of study within a year?

Then consider a career in Medical Assisting.

What is a Medical Assistant?

Medical Assistants perform administrative and clinical tasks to keep the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, and other health practitioners running smoothly.

The duties of Medical Assistants vary from office to office, depending on the location and size of the practice and the practitioner's specialty. In small practices, medical assistants usually do many different kinds of tasks, handling both administrative and clinical duties and reporting directly to an office manager, physician, or other health practitioner.

Those in large practices tend to specialize in a particular area, under the supervision of department administrators.

Medical assistants collect and prepare laboratory specimens and many perform basic laboratory tests, dispose of contaminated supplies, and sterilize medical instruments. Under direction of a physician, they instruct patients about medications and special diets, prepare and administer medication, telephone prescriptions, drug refills to a pharmacy, draw blood, prepare patients for x-rays, remove sutures, and/or change dressings.

Medical Assistants also prepare examining rooms, instruments, equipment, inventory and order supplies and equipment, and keep reception area neat and clean.

Administrative Medical Assistant

Administrative Medical Assistants update and file patients' medical records, fill out insurance forms, and arrange for hospital admissions and laboratory services.

They also perform administrative tasks such as answering telephones, greeting patients, handling correspondence, scheduling appointments, handling billing and bookkeeping.

Clinical Medical Assistant
Clinical medical assistants have various duties, depending on state law. Some common tasks include taking medical histories and recording vital signs, explaining treatment procedures to patients, preparing patients for examinations, and assisting physicians during examinations.

Certified Medical Assistants
Certified certification indicates that a medical assistant meets certain standards of knowledge and skills. It may also help to distinguish an experienced or formally trained assistant from an entry-level assistant, which may lead to a higher salary or more employment opportunities.

Southwestern College offers several certificates and degrees in Medical Assisting. Find one that is right for you:

Certificates of Achievement

Medical Insurance Billing and Coding
Medical Assistant: Administrative
Medical Assistant: Clinical

Associates in Science Degree
Medical Assistant


Steps to Enroll

Program Information

Program Course Sequence

For more information, call (619) 216-6665 Fax (619) 216-6678



Deanna Reinacher, MT (ASCP), Ed. M. | MLT/MEDOP Program Director
(619) 216-6673 | (619) 216-6678 Fax |

Dr. Luis Osuna, Professor
Velma Alexander, Instructor
Pamela Clinch-Nagy, Instructor
Cheryl Holiday, Instructor
Ruth Oliver, Instructor
Felicity Penner, Instructor
Robert Pontecorvo, Instructor
Elizabeth Sisco, Clerical Assistant II
Sany Ramirez, Outreach Counselor

Gainful Employment Disclosure

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Last updated: 6/28/2017 11:43:29 AM