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Career Profile: Medical Assistant - Jill Vroegindewey, CMA

Career Profile: Medical Assistant - Jill Vroegindewey, CMA

What career advice can you give to future CMAs?

They really need to understand the link between the clinical side and the administrative side. They come out wanting to do one or the other. But some fields tap into both, and I’m an example. The expertise in the medical jargon can open up all sorts of doors, from hospital administration to pharmaceutical sales to medical equipment vendors to occupational health.

What are your pet peeves as a CMA?

The lack of recognition for the credential, challenging of the CMA’s right to practice, the low pay, and people who fail to see the link between administrate and clinical. People with the “that doesn’t fall within my job category” attitude. I certainly would not have gone as far as I have with that attitude.

What are some of the trends that you see in the healthcare field which could help CMA students plan for the future?

You need to be more educated these days to be successful. Look for a program that at the very least, offers a certificate that allows you to easily move into an associate’s degree program if later on you decide to do so. If you decide as you get into it that you’d like more training, and you are enrolled in a restricted program design that won’t transfer, you’re wasting time.

Keep pushing toward a program that can be built onto for further degrees and certification. Look at the ability to later transfer to bachelor’s program. Don’t limit your options.

Education Information and Advice

In retrospect, what do you know now that you wish you knew before you pursued your education in the field?

My education pursued me! I wish I had the bachelor’s right now, for personal satisfaction – I’m 11 credits away.

What factors should prospective students consider when choosing a school?

Make sure it’s an accredited medical assisting program.

Based on what you hear in the industry, what do you think are the most respected and prestigious schools, departments or programs? Does school choice make a difference in landing a good job?

Having the credential from an accredited school is the big thing. But, having the degree with the credential makes a difference. Our community college switched to a certificate program that can go into an associate’s program as a way to get students in allied health fields with a shorter education time commitment to get them employable.

What other advice can you give to prospective CMA students?

Do your research. You are not going to get rich in this job, but if you love caring for people, and get great satisfaction from helping people, being a CMA is something you should look into.

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