Historical Perspective of Medical Assisting

Historically, when physicians began their practices, it was common for them to hire individuals and train them on the job. Physicians originally hired nurses, but eventually they came to realize that nurses could not perform the variety of duties that are required when working in medical offices and ambulatory care centers. The nurse's role was limited to assisting the physician with clinical procedures, whereas the medical assistant's role was and is much broader and includes a multiplicity of activities, procedures, and responsibilities, both administrative and clinical.

Today, with a much more informed patient comes the need for educated and credentialed medical assistants. Additionally, in today's litigious atmosphere, which makes health care providers vulnerable to malpractice suits, most employers recognize the importance of employing medical assistants who are professionally prepared through formal education. Employers want knowledgeable and dependable medical assistants in order that physicians can focus their time and attention on the medical decisions, treatments, and techniques for which they have been educated and licensed. This leaves in the hands of the medical assistant assisting the physician and the operation and management of the practice.

It was in 1978 that the profession of medical assisting was formally recognized by the United States Department of Education. Twenty-four years prior to this official recognition of the profession, a group of medical assistants gathered to establish a professional organization. With support, encouragement, and guidance from the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) was founded in 1956, Figure 1-5. The first president of the organization was Maxine Williams.

In 1991, the AAMA's board of trustees approved the present definition of medical assisting as,
Medical Assisting is a multi-skilled allied health profession whose practitioners work primarily in ambulatory settings such as offices and clinics. Medical Assistants function as members of the health care delivery team and perform administrative and clinical duties.
That was a short info on the historical perspective of medical assisting. I hope you liked it!