Medical assistants (also known as MAs) provide patient care as well as administrative and clinical support to physicians and other medical professionals. This unique collection of abilities allows even entry-level medical assistants to become valuable contributors to patient care.

Do you want to be a medical assistant but aren't sure if it's the right job for you? Like any career, there are pros and cons. For many, the good outweighs the bad, but understanding the medical assistant pros and cons will help you make an informed choice. 

Why Become a Medical Assistant?

Medical assistants collaborate with physicians in private offices, outpatient clinics, hospitals, and other medical settings to provide patient services and care. As a result, medical assistants are cross trained to undertake administrative and clinical roles.

A typical day for a medical assistant may include answering phones, organizing patient appointments, updating medical records, filling out insurance paperwork, arranging tests and referrals, and completing regular bookkeeping activities within a clinical setting. Medical assistants may also accompany patients to exam rooms, take vitals, help during examinations, do basic lab tests, and educate patients about treatments, drugs, and other physician-directed recommendations in the clinic.

In other words, medical assistants wear several hats and collaborate with practically everyone on staff in a medical clinic or hospital unit, including physicians, nurses, office managers, billing professionals, lab personnel, and, of course, patients. A medical assistant's ultimate goal is to maintain patient care under the supervision of a physician, generally with a unique combination of clinical and administrative tasks.

Benefits of Being a Medical Assistant

Being a certified medical assistant has several advantages, including a relatively short path to graduation, working with a team, having a professional career, and gaining the satisfaction of helping patients. Here are some pros to consider.


A medical assistant may be able to work in a specialty capacity. For example, if they work at a podiatrist clinic, they may be making foot casts, producing X-rays, or even aiding the doctor while operating on a patient. If the medical assistant works at an optometry clinic, they may be responsible for discussing eye care with patients and showing them how to insert and remove contact lenses.

If they choose to work in a cosmetic surgery facility, their clinical duties could include sterilizing medical equipment. They might prepare the room for surgery, administer necessary injections to patients, assist the operating doctor, and follow up with the patient after surgery. They may be responsible for sterilizing the room again and making it ready for the next appointment.

The point is the MA doesn't just have to work in a family or general practice. There are plenty of opportunities to expand and develop specialty skills that can help you move up in your career. You can even take specialty certification exams.

Job Security

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistant jobs are in high demand in the healthcare industry and demand is anticipated to rise. The pace of medical assisting employment growth between 2021 and 2031 is 16%, which is faster than the average rate of job growth.

The increased need for medical assistants and nurses can be attributed to a variety of factors. The first reason is that many hospitals and medical care facilities are staying open for longer hours than ever before, including holidays and weekends, making it necessary to hire more medical assistants. Also, the expanding population and medical issues require a preventative approach to healthcare. As the baby boomer generation ages, the number of older individuals in need of medical care will result in an increased need for medical professionals like MAs.

Location, Location, Location

MAs can pass a certification test that is recognized across the country, as opposed to a license that is only valid in one state. Although not all clinics demand MA certification, there are potential benefits to obtaining it, such as higher pay and more job opportunities.

There are a number of certifications that are widely accepted in the healthcare sector. Which one you will pursue is determined by your MA program's accreditation status.

Work/Life Balance

Medical assistants often work in a doctor's office, which means that many in the U.S. have a conventional 9-to-5 work schedule because most physician's offices aren't open at night or on weekends. Of course, some medical assistants work nights, evenings, and weekends, but the job is often not as demanding as other health support occupations, and medical assistants may manage a healthy work-life balance.

Cons of Being a Medical Assistant

Of course, no job is free of challenges. Potential cons to consider include:

  • That 9-to-5 schedule isn't absolute. You may end up working in a practice that has late hours, is open weekends, or is open 24/7.

  • Any role in healthcare can be stressful. Not only are you working with people who may not feel well, but it can also be a high-pressure environment.

  • Medical assistants frequently form deep ties with their regular patients. As a result, it may be particularly difficult for medical assistants when a patient receives bad news or loses a lengthy battle with an illness.

  • ManyMAs work in a medical practice. That may feel limiting to some looking for more options. Medical assisting may not be challenging enough for some, too. You can expect to be busy, but there are limitations to what type of care you can give. While that is true in most healthcare careers, the limitation on a MA may feel too restrictive for those who want more. For example, you can’t operate some equipment or do triage.

If you want to interact with patients but are not looking to become a nurse or doctor, then a career as a medical assistant is a practical choice.

How to Become a Medical Assistant in Texas

The Medical Assistant Certificate Program at The College of Health Care Professions (CHCP) is designed to get you on your way to a career in medical assisting. CHCP is institutionally  accredited by ABHES and offers training in  the skills required to meet the demands of today's healthcare sector.

We are a physician-founded organization that is solely dedicated to healthcare education and training, and our certified programs have been educating healthcare professionals for over 30 years. CHCP teachers have real-world, on-the-job experience and are here to help our students achieve their goals. Equally important, our diverse online and blended program offerings provide our students with the flexibility to learn on their own time. 

CHCP can provide you with opportunities for the hands-on experience you'll need to begin your career as a medical assistant. Externships and career placement assistance are available . We concentrate on helping you learn the skills you'll need to be an effective medical assistant.

We also have locations throughout Texas and online. Find out more about CHCP and becoming a medical assistant by visiting us online or at one of our campuses today.