Medical Assistant Programs Guide

Stephan Shinsako Interview

I am 33 year-old male with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology and a minor in coaching. I am a certified IHSA coach, USATF coach level 1 and a certified medical assistant through the AAMA. I held jobs as an exercise physiologist before pursuing medical assisting.


Why were you interested in medical assistant training?
I am interested in medical assisting because I am considering a move into the nursing field.


What did you like and not like about your training program?
I completed my medical assistant training program in Burr Ridge, IL. It was good because it focused only on medical assisting. I didn’t have to take any other classes. But at the same time, I did not think it was initially challenging enough. I say this because the material was structured like a study guide for the CMA exam. I did mention this to the head of the program and the president who has started to make the necessary changes to make the program a bit more challenging.


What types of jobs did you and your fellow classmates get after completing the training?
I had a job as a medical assistant at a family clinic, which I ended up leaving as I did not feel comfortable with children as I thought I would.


What was the total cost for your medical assistant program?
My total cost for the program was $14,000. I have over $5,500 of student loans.


What advice would you give to students regarding paying for their medical assistant training?
My advice for paying for their medical assistant training is grants or loans.


What things should a student look for when choosing a medical assistant program?
They should look for a program that offers an associates degree. I say this because it will give a better background for potential employers. Employers will feel more comfortable with a person who has an associate from a college over a person with a diploma (before certification) from a trade school.

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