Medical assistants (MAs) who are interested in working in dermatology may wonder what role they would play in the average dermatology clinic. Although responsibilities vary from practice to practice, the truth is that medical assistants are now the single largest group of individuals that provide clinical support to dermatologists throughout the country.
In the typical practice setting, dermatology medical assistants not only seat patients in the room and acquire the initial medical history, but also serve as “first assistant” during procedures. Additionally, because of the nature of electronic medical records (EMR), dermatologists are increasingly reliant on their staff to assist with the chart note itself. In other words, the dermatology MA will often act as a “scribe” – entering history and physical exam findings as the dermatologist is performing the visit. Accordingly, it’s critical that medical assistants serving in this role understand the terminology unique to our field.
Dermatology medical assistants also play an important role in patient education. Therefore, a basic understanding of the most common dermatology disease processes is crucial to ensuring patient safety and efficient workflow. In fact, CMS now states that only “credentialed” medical assistants should be allowed to enter orders into the electronic health record (EMR). You can learn more about that rule here.
We invite you to learn more about clinical dermatology by enrolling in our online 16-hour e-learning course. Although it was written specifically for medical assistants, you do not need to be a formally-trained medical assistant in order to earn certification. To learn more, visit our How It Works page.