American Association of Medical Assistants sample essay

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Throughout the medical community there are a growing number of organizations whom offer certification exams for those looking to enter the medical assisting field or other allied health profession. Few of these organizations offer the high standard of quality and largely respected and recognized credentials as that of The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and The American Medical Billing Association (AMBA).

The American Association of Medical Assistants

The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1955 by The Kansas Medical Assistants Society. Over the last fifty-seven years the AAMA has been steadily growing with over 20,000 members to date. The goal of this organization is “to provide the medical assistant with education, certification, credential acknowledgment, networking prospects, scope-of-practice protection, and advocacy for quality health care.” (AMAA, 1996-2012, Mission and Core Values) The AAMA administers the CMA certifications exam that is overseen by the National Board of Medical Examiners. This exam includes approximately 200 multiple-choice questions which are broken into a total of four 40-minute sections. The maximum allotted time for completion of this exam is 195 minutes.

The certification that comes along with passing this exam is known to be the premier credentialing when it comes to the medical assisting field due to the AAMA’s diverse and on-going training requirements even after the CMA exam has been successfully completed. Each and every person that has earned the CMA(AAMA) credentialing must complete sixty hours of Continuing education units in the three required categories every five years and hold a current CPR certification at all times in order to recertify their membership and credentials with the AAMA.

“The CMA (AAMA) exam is the only one credential that requires candidates to be graduates of a programmatically accredited medical assisting program” (AAMA, 2007-2008, Occupational Analysis of the CMA(AAMA)) An individual whom has earned this prestigious credential, possesses not only general medical office and administrative skills and knowledge but is also certified to perform numerous clinical duties as well. The training and versatility that is held by any individual whom earns the title of CMA (AAMA) makes them an asset to any medical office setting.

American Medical Billing Association

The American Medical Billing Association (AMBA) was founded in 1998 by Cyndee and Larry Weston whom have been the owners of a medical billing center in Davis, Oklahoma since 1989. Over the years, they have seen the start of many medical billing associations that were more self-serving and for-profit companies rather than out to serve the needs of their joining members. The Weston’s made it their mission to design an organization that would work for the needs of the small biller, thus AMBA was born. “AMBA is dedicated to helping its members become successful Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialists”, (American Medical Billing Association, 1998-2012, Information on Joining AMBA) which they do through medical billing certification, online training courses, coding certification prep and webinars, to name a few.

AMBA also holds a certification exam, the Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist exam and has been for the past 10 years. AMBA is the only organization that offers an exam that is specifically designed for the medical billing professional. “Although there is no state or Federal requirement of a medical billing professional to become certified to practice medical billing,” it is the goal of AMBA “to provide a professional certification exam that upholds a high ethical standard of knowledge that recognizes the competency of a certificant.” (American Medical Billing Association, 1998-2012,Certified Medical Billing Specialist) This exam includes a wealth of information such as ICD9, CPT4, HCPCS coding, HIPPAA. OIG compliance, insurance claims, billing, denials and appeals and much more.

The exam itself is taken online and consists of over 800 questions with a minimum grade of 85 in order to receive certification, which is then valid for 1 year. The CMRS is broken down into 16 different sections which must be completed with 45 days of the start date of your exam. AMBA does require those whom have passed the CMRS to complete 15 continuing educations units per year in order to recertify. As the CMRS is the only exam of its kind, those whom earn this credentialing have the proven knowledge and skills thus giving them an edge in their field.

Medical Terminology

Medical terminology creates a standardized communication between all of the numerous professions that make up the medical community. “Medical Language is the key to a successful career in healthcare. If you want to “walk the walk” then you have to “talk the talk” of medical language” (Turley, 2011, p. 2) As I pursue my education and aspire to one day become a medical administrative assistant, I realize the importance of having a strong grasp on medical terminology in my field. For any person in or looking to enter a position in the medical field, being able to fully understand medical terminology is vital to their success, and an asset to not only themselves but those whom employ them as it can aid in communication to other medical professionals and also to the patients, increase the quality of care, and reduce liability.


Both the American Association of Medical Assistants and the American Medical Billing Association offer high quality and well regarded credentialing to those in the medical assisting and billing fields. Having a large knowledge base of medical terminology will aid in the completion of the exams given by these two organizations and also in working towards a successful carrier in the medical industry in the future.

American Association of Medical Assistants (1996-2012) Mission and Core Values. Retrieved September 28, 2012 , from American Association of Medical Assistants. American Association of Medical Assistants (2007-2008) Occupational Analysis of the CMA (AMAA) Retrieved September 28, 2012, from American Association of Medical Assistants. American Medical Billing Association (1998-2012) Information on Joining AMBA

Retrieved September 28, 2012, from American Medical Billing Association (AMBA)
American Medical Billing Association (1998-2012) Certified Medical Billing Specialist
Retrieved September 28, 2012, from American Medical Billing Association (AMBA)
Turley, S.M. (2011). The Structure of Medical Language, Medical Language Immerse Yourself (2nd ed). (p. 2) New Jersey: Pearson

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