Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Vital Signs: A Medical Assistant’s Role

Medical assistants perform administrative and clinical tasks to keep the offices of physicians and other health practitioners running smoothly. Assistants work directly with patients, whether in small or large healthcare settings, to ensure that patients receive the care they need while providing health professionals with vital patient information. As an essential part of the healthcare team, a medical assistant is responsible for obtaining general health data and performing a variety of back and front office duties.

students practicing skills

While the role of medical assistants is often overlooked, they provide critical services in preparing patients for a physician’s visit. PCC’s Medical Assisting program provides you with the tools necessary to become a medical assistant. You will develop skills in the clinical and administrative aspects of the medical office. In our program, you can gain the entry-level skills necessary to be competitive in the workforce.

Degrees and Certificates

In this program you can earn the following:

  • One-Year Certificate
    • Medical Assisting

See the Catalog for information regarding program requirements.

Nationally Accredited

PCC’s Medical Assisting program prepares you to function under the supervision of a licensed physician or health care provider. Our program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Educational Programs (CAAHEP) in collaboration with the American Association of Medical Assistants. Our graduates are eligible to take the national certification examination, conducted by the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants.

CAAHEP requires all Medical Assisting Programs in 2015 make public one or more measurable program outcomes. In compliance with this rule, Portland Community College would like to make public the following 5-year weighted average on program outcomes:

  • 95% graduation rate
  • 82% employment after graduation
  • 100% employer satisfaction rate
  • 100% student satisfaction rate

The program is designed to correlate classroom and laboratory experience with practical experience in ambulatory medical facilities.

What's Next?

Medical Assisting program flag
  1. Attend an information session
  2. Complete the steps for new students
    • The admissions form will ask you what you plan to study. Since this is a restricted entry program, you should choose Associate of General Studies for now. You can change your major once you've applied and been accepted into the program.
  3. Plan how you'll pay for college
  4. Apply for the Medical Assisting program