The nature of a medical assistant's workplace today is different from that of the past. It is characterized by competition, cultural diversity, new technologies, and new management processes that require critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills as well as advanced levels of various complex job skills.
Medical assistant students should be taught more than just skills related to a basic secretarial job and never become a "Girl-Friday" for the doctor on the clinical floors. Medical assistant students should be taught in all aspects of administrative and clinical skills, and be exposed to advanced interpersonal and resume writing skills which will prepare them for the demands and versatility needed to assist doctors and various other licensed health care providers, and land the better jobs.
Medical assistant programs need to provide health and medical skills education in clinical lab classrooms where they take on the role of working medical assistants and patients to practice skills they need. They should role-play scenarios to learn how to run the front and back office efficiently and productively.