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The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)

Updated on October 3, 2015

Very few of us know the importance of medical assistants in running a hospital or health care center. Medical assistants are health care workers which are usually unlicensed but they are playing a major role in efficient running of many physicians, chiropractors and other health practitioner business. You should not be confused between a medical assistant and a physician assistant, which can even attend the patient under observation of the physician and perform minor surgeries as well. Medical assistants do have some legal status in some countries, but in most of the countries medical assistant does not have a legal status.

If we observe the brief history of Medical assistants, in united stated they used to get on the job training as a medical supportive staff. They learn just by experience without having in depth theoretical knowledge about their field. With the help of American medical association (AMA), American association of medical assistant (AAMA) was founded in 1956.

In past, medical assistant only got jobs in private physician‘s clinic, emergency health care centers or any private health care organization, but, now the scenario has changed. Medical assistants are getting jobs in public and as well as private sector. They are not now only limited to work in private physician‘s clinic rather they are also working with many specialist like ENT specialist, dentists etc.

Medical assistants work varies with the setup of the practitioner or health care organization. If the setup is small, medical assistants are usually involved in both clinical and as well as Administrative duties. Where there is huge setup, like big hospital they seem usually involve in one type of work, either clinical or administrative.

American association of medical assistants (AAMA), is one and the only association in the world that is solely devoted to the profession of medical assistance. It has expanded into more then 43 states and has over more then 320 chapters since its existence. At that time, Dwight D. Eisenhower was the president of the United States of America. This was the year when medical assistance profession was given honors, and the (AAMA) American Association of Medical Assistants came into existence.


The mission of the American Association of Medical (AAMA) is to produce highly skilled and knowledgeable certified medical assistants. Highly skilled medical assistants, which could play a vital role in smooth running of wide range of different health car organizations, hospitals etc. AAMA is here to provide backup support to medical assistants and to fight for their rights. AMA is focusing to elevate and to promote the profession of medical assisting.

Medical assistants Certification process is strongly backed by the AAMA and many other highly famous and respected certification bodies in the United States of America. The reason is to only provide a kind of guarantee and to make assure the competency of a medical assistant. Certification to medical assistant is given after taking tests issued by the National Board of Medical Examiners and AMT, or NAHP, or AAMA . Certification is offered thrice a year, like in January, June, and October. Over 200 test centers are arranged in different states of united states of America. Candidates who get pass in the exam are given the certification and they are called certified medical assistant or (CMA). Any medical assistant can not use the designation of CMA and it illegal, unless he/she does not pass the exam and get certification from certified bodies.

Becoming CMA (certified medical assistant) is not only the way for the medical assistant. They may choose to become RMA (registered medical assistant) instead of CMA. The body which is responsible for certification of RMA (registered medical assistant) is knows as The American Technologists (AMT) agency. AMT is offering this certification since 1972 and it was through a computerized exam, quite similar with the one taken by AAMA.

AMT has its own committees, officers, laws, policies. It is compulsory to be 18 years of age to get the title of RMA or the applicant have passed a medical assisting curriculum at such a school which is accredited by either CAAHEP or ABHES. Or applicant must have minimum of 5 years of related experience.

AAMA Strategic Plan

AAMA has got a very unique strategic plan. AAMA plans to provide Career development to medical assistants. This involves, fighting for medical assistants rights, creating new horizons of opportunities for medical assistant, asking for their benefits, negotiating with their employers for their benefits. The strategic plan also involves focusing on the personality grooming of the medical assistants, making their broader wider by provoking them to attend different conferences and seminars and also emphasizing on the theoretical knowledge about their field.

The other aspect of the strategic plan is to differentiate between the CMAs and MAs. This is very important, because if we can’t differentiate between them, then CMAs are of no use. CMAs must be recognized and given preference over MAs. This thing can only be achieved by have strong monitoring system.

Services Provided by AAMA

  • Publications that Tap the Knowledge of Experts:

CMA TODAY is published by AAMA bimonthly. AAMA members gets the CMA TODAY s subscription automatically. This contains latest medical news, health related policies updates, impressive articles and other educational stuff which is very handful for the AAMA members. AAMA members also get discounts if the opt for self study courses.

  • Accreditation, Fostering Educational Excellence:

AAMA with the cooperation of The American Association of Medical Assistants Endowment (AAMAE) and commission of Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), facilitates official approval of medical assisting programs being launched at post secondary level. CAAHEP grants official approval and accreditation to medical assisting programs and courses on the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation for Medical Assistant Education. Graduates from CAAHEP s accredited medical assisting programs are fully eligible to participate in the CMA Certification Examination.

Phone / Fax

Phone: 312/899-1500
Fax: 312/899-1259

Mailing address

American Association of Medical Assistants
20 N. Wacker Dr., Ste. 1575
Chicago, IL 60606


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    • profile image

      Terrie Hampton 4 years ago

      would like to get my recertification for medical assisting

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      john street 5 years ago

      Man im an MA, And I am runnig a multiphysician practice where I am the office manager, It doesn't matter if you're a cma or an ma, What matters is that you know your shit and you practice good efficiency, also helping in the business side of medical is crucial like dales of products or maintining tests that can be done periodically. John. Street MA

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      Karen 6 years ago

      I hope that AAMA will be working on the states recognizing that CMA's need to be above CNA's. I am so frustrated that I can not get a job because I am caught in between a CNA and LPN because they hold a license. Everyone needs to be recognized but really a CNA has a license. When will CMA's get a license. You go to school you get a degree, pass a state exam to become CMA, plus continue to keep up knowledge in order to stay a CMA. There are plenty of MA's that are not CMA

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      Edward Happer MSc 6 years ago

      Sorry for any mistake as English is not my first language and i am still learning to write good quality content.

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      LadyB 6 years ago

      Though this information is very helpful I had to re-read a lot of sentences because of the typos and and mistakes.


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      Jas 7 years ago

      i was desperate to get any info on AAMA history. thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      Jack 7 years ago

      Thanks for posting this info really helpful

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      Edward Happer MSc 8 years ago

      Thanks for stopping buy lelanew55

    • lelanew55 profile image

      lelanew55 8 years ago

      Good information for those who are interested in becoming medical assistants.