Opportunities abound for medical assistants to climb up the ladder to a leadership role. Career paths include everything from clinical team leader and lead medical assistant to medical office manager and medical assistant instructor.
By Janet Sesser, RMA(AMT), MS(HealthEd) From the Winter 2020 AMT PULSE.
When you graduated from your medical assisting program, did you ever imagine yourself as a leader in the profession? Back then, you were probably just happy to have completed the education phase of your career. But let’s take a moment to imagine going beyond entry level and climbing up the career ladder. What does that look like?
In your medical facility, do you have a “leader”? Is it your supervisor, provider or coworker? Anyone can be a leader in a business or organization—regardless of the role that person holds within the company. A leader can be someone who has good intentions, and unfortunately, some have not so good intentions.
Let’s first focus on what it takes to be a desirable leader, one whom others want to follow and imitate. Most importantly, a leader establishes themselves because of their ability to encourage others and their ambition to succeed. So, can a medical assistant be a leader? Absolutely! All you have to do is look at the AMT directory for the leaders of our national organization and those individuals in each state who are Registered Medical Assistants. These people represent the true “Pride of the Profession.”
Endless opportunities abound for medical assistants to climb up the ladder to a leadership role. Career paths include everything from being a clinical team leader and lead medical assistant to medical office manager and medical assistant instructor.
If you do aspire to advance in your career, you’ll need to speak with your employer and find out what is available for you to progress into leadership positions. Ask what requirements the employer needs to fill the position(s). Most employers need to observe specific qualities that will make someone an effective team leader. These qualities may include the need to be a clear communicator with strong organizational skills, demonstrated respectfulness to others and a high level of confidence from the team they will lead.
A leader is able to inspire others toward achieving a common goal. In a medical facility, that typically means patient satisfaction. To do so, the office must run efficiently, with leaders always thinking about the patient and their family when establishing policies.
Leadership also involves making difficult choices. A leader must be fair with all team members and never show favoritism or allow exceptions because the team member is a friend. This is a very difficult part of the position. Just like a parent disciplining a child, from time to time, the team leader must discipline a member of the team. As hard as it may be to talk with someone about a problem or wrongdoing, it is necessary in order to ensure patients’ expectations are being met. A medical assistant can never take shortcuts that may jeopardize the welfare of the patients and staff.
“Anyone can be a leader in a business or organization – regardless of the role that person holds within the company.”
I hope the information in this article has encouraged you to go that extra mile and become a leader whom others will want to follow, support and respect. Thank you for your volunteer spirit supporting AMT, your member organization.