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Medical Assisting

Medical assistants are multiskilled health professionals specifically educated to work in a variety of healthcare settings performing clinical and administrative duties.  The practice of medical assisting necessitates mastery of a complex body of knowledge and specialized skills requiring both formal education and practical experience that serve as standards for entry into the profession. 

The administrative duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Receiving patients in a professional and friendly manner
  • Performing numerous office duties and public relations functions
  • Administering first aid.

The clinical responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • helping patients prepare for examinations
  • assisting the doctor
  • cleaning and sterilizing instruments and equipment

To get your diploma in Medical Assisting, you will complete 11 months of competency-based instruction and a supervised externship.

Program Goal and Minimum Expectations  

It is the goal of the Medical Assisting program at Lake Area Technical College to prepare medical assistants who are competent in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills) and affective (behavior) learning domains to enter the profession.  To achieve that goal, students must earn a grade of C (2.0) or higher in all courses as a prerequisite to MA 240 Administrative and Clinical Externship. Students must earn a passing grade in their clinical externship in order to graduate.


As a student of medical assisting, you will be required to complete a 240-hour, non-paid, supervised externship in a medical facility. The externship will provide you with a total picture of your responsibilities as a medical assistant, including observation of a working health care facility. You’ll also gain valuable experience working with other healthcare professionals as you develop and utilize your technical skills.


The Medical Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Review Board (MAERB).

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
9355 113th St. N. #7709
Seminole, FL 33775


Once you complete the program, you are eligible to sit for the national certification exam. After successfully passing the exam, you will earn the title of Certified Medical Assistant (CMA, AAMA) or Registered Medical Assistant (RMA).


The Medical Assisting program at Lake Area Technical College in Watertown, SD, has the following outcomes based on the most recent Annual Report Form submitted to the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB) and the Commission on the Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP):

The Medical Assisting program at Lake Area Technical College has a five-year average of 91.07% job placement and an 85.45% exam passage rate for the years 2018 – 2022.

Lake Area Technical College’s curriculum for Medical Assisting meets the educational requirements for professional certification. Professional certifications are recognized nationwide. Read more here regarding Professional Licensure Disclosures.

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