Become a CMA (AAMA)
What is the CMA (AAMA) credential?
The CMA (AAMA) is considered the gold standard of medical assisting professionalism. The credential represents a medical assistant who has been certified by the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). The CMA (AAMA) means a professional edge, increased prestige among colleagues, and greater job security.
The National Board of Medical Examiners—responsible for many national examinations for physicians—serves as test consultant for the exam. As a result, the reliability, validity, and security of the exam are of the highest order.
A greater number of employers are preferring (or even insisting) that their medical assistants be CMAs (AAMA). The AAMA staff receives 100 or more requests per day to verify that current or potential medical assistant employees are CMAs (AAMA).
So, you've decided to become a CMA (AAMA). Now what?
Step 1: Find out if you are eligible.
Review the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Exam Eligibility categories to see if you qualify to take the exam.
Step 2: Enroll in and complete an accredited medical assisting program.
A number of schools offer medical assisting programs. Make sure yours is accredited. Once you find a program, go to the institution's website, or contact the program director to answer specific questions. Here are sample questions you might want to ask:
Your program will offer academic and clinical training in a variety of areas:
You also must complete a practicum (i.e., an unpaid, supervised on-site work experience in an ambulatory health care setting), which is part of the program.
Step 3: Apply for the exam
Fill out the application and provide the required documentation and enrollment fee. (The required documentation depends on your enrollment category.)
Personal checks will not be accepted. Candidate fees must be paid by any of the following methods:
Applications submitted without proper payment will delay the scheduling of your exam appointment or may be returned to you.
Are you ready to apply? Download a Candidate Application and Handbook.
The Certification Department will inform you of your application status within 30 days of the date you mailed your application. If you do not receive notification within that time frame, please notify the Certification Department by calling 800/228-2262 or by e-mailing email@example.com. Include the following information:
Step 4: Prime your e-mail
Step 5: Schedule an exam appointment
After your application has been approved and processed, you will receive an e-mail with Scheduling Permit instructions no later than 20 days before your 90-day testing period begins.
The most important thing you can do prior to taking the exam is study for it. Here are a few sources to get you started:
Step 7: Pass the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Examination.
Once you pass the exam, you will receive an official certificate and wallet card to prove you have achieved your CMA (AAMA) credential. You'll be able to put your name and credential on your résumé, and use the credential anywhere you apply for a medical assisting position across the nation. You'll also be able to direct employers to the AAMA website where they can confirm your CMA (AAMA) status. And, you'll feel the confidence of knowing you have earned the industry's highest standard for the medical assisting profession: the CMA (AAMA).
Step 8: Keep your CMA (AAMA) credential current.
To better ensure current competency and knowledge and thus better protect patients, you are required to recertify your credential every 60 months. You may do so by examination or through continuing education. Become familiar with recertification requirements so that you're always up to date.
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