A medical assistant is often not an all-around job. Although many choose to master both clinical and administrative responsibilities, you may opt to specialize in either one of these so that you can further build your strengths and work on particular skills instead of being a “jack-of-all-trades” type of medical assistant. Furthermore, having a specific type of medical field for your specialization will enable you to land a job more easily and to end up in one that you can truly appreciate and enjoy.
So how can you determine what to specialize in as a medical assistant? Here are 5 questions that can help you evaluate your interests, skills, strengths, and weaknesses so as to give you a better idea on the specialization that suits you the best.
Are you a hands-on type of person or more of the behind-the-scenes kind?
In answering this question, you should try to imagine yourself in school. Were you the type of student who loved to perform in front of an audience and who’s always one of the first to raise his or her hand when the teacher poses a question? Or were you more of the shy type who would rather help in making the props for the play or fixing the class bulletin board. When you have a new toy, do you want to experience it at once or you take your time checking out the box and the different components? These are ways on how you can check which type of person you are. This will help you realize if you wish to deal more with hands-on clinical work or if you prefer administrative tasks more.
What particular medical field were you most exposed to in the past which can be attributed to your own or a family member’s medical condition as well as due to other factors?
If your mom was a cancer victim or survivor, it would be good for you to go into oncology where you can deal with cancer patients and apply what you have learned firsthand in the past. Of course you will have to be comfortable with this because for some, it might be too painful even if it is a field that they know a lot about. Here is another specific example: For instance, your dad used to work in a foot clinic or he ran a foot massage business. Then this may be an indication that you should specialize in podiatry. There are many other factors to consider so you will have to go over these things that you were exposed to before.
What is your top priority or dream in life?
This may seem like such a profound question that’s too huge to be used in the purpose of knowing what specialization to pursue as a medical assistant. However, if you analyze it closely, you will realize just how influential your answer to this question can prove to be. For instance, if you have always dreamt of helping your family financially, then you will have to go for a specialization that is deemed to have higher salary offers and is in demand in your area. Meanwhile, if your lifelong goal is to be of service to disabled people who were injured in accidents because you have seen how your sister had suffered like them, then you may want to go into orthopedic assistance.
What are your best qualities and talents?
Checking and determining your best qualities and talents can certainly lead you to the specialization that will best capitalize on these. If you are very patient and has a natural knack for entertaining little kids, you may want to become a medical assistant in a pediatric ward. Or if you are a very organized person who also has great communication skills, you may prove to be successful in concentrating on administrative work. These are just some examples that can give you a notion about how you can utilize your topmost talents and qualities in your career.
How physically fit and healthy are you?
For those venturing in the medical assistant career, it’s good to take a good look at your physical health and wellbeing. If you are in good shape and are capable of walking back and forth all the time and carrying heavy things, then maybe you will do well in orthopedics where you can surely handle the weight of handicapped people and be able to constantly move with them. On the other hand, someone who has asthma and gets tired easily may be well-suited for administrative work in a doctor’s office that is not so active.
Carefully consider your answers to these 5 questions as you reflect and review which specialization to pursue as a medical assistant. Although you are allowed to shift to a different field in the future, it would be best to decide for good now so you can focus on strengthening the necessary skills and developing a good knowledge base in one particular field. In doing so, you can become an excellent medical assistant.