As is the case with almost any type of health care career, medical assistants who specialize in one particular field have better opportunities of advancement, pay raises, and job stability throughout the length of their careers. Specialization only comes after years of experience and education, so the more you are able to advance your own career in one particular direction, the better your chances of success. Although medical assistant specialties are rarer than nursing (or physician) specialties, you can develop your own niche within this booming industry.
There are no official medical assistant specialties, in that you can’t get certified or licensed in any one field. You can, however, expand your continuing education credits in one direction and spend years working within a specific setting. In many cases, your employer will even pay for advanced education, since the better your degree, the better equipped you are to handle patients.
You might also opt to get additional degrees in medical careers like massage therapy, phlebotomy, or sonography. Dual degrees can come in handy if you find an employer looking for more than just a traditional medical assistant.
Types of Medical Assistants who Specialize
Virtually every type of medical specialty is open to medical assistants. This includes both clinical and administrative medical assistants. Because medical assistant duties range from greeting patients at the front desk and answering phones to performing actual hands-on care in the exam rooms, this is a very diverse field with plenty of options.
Within a clinical capacity, medical assistants might find themselves immersed in:
- Allergy and Immunology
- Family Medicine
- Holistic Health Care
Within an administrative capacity, medical assistants might also specialize or get a degree in:
- Medical Coding and Billing
- Health Information Management (HIM)
- Financial Management
Health care specialties can go a long way in boosting your career to the next level, but remember that the setting must be right. For example, more advanced specializations are common in larger cities, where patients might make special trips to receive a higher quality of care. Your success will depend on your employer and just how far they’re willing to let you go in a professional capacity.