Medical Assistant Spotlight

Medical assistants are inspirations!

Every day they touch people’s lives with their extraordinary skills and caring ways. Each issue of CMA Today shines the spotlight on a medical assistant with a unique story.

Here are the latest stories of medical assistants in Spotlight.


September/October 2021
Back to School
Medical Assistant Achieves Her Dream of Working in Education

CMAToday-SO-2021-spotlight

“It’s important to show that medical assistants are educated and trained properly. I can do my part to make sure my students prove this when they leave [college] and begin working in the field.”


Name: Heidi McLean, CMA (AAMA)

Occupation: Medical assisting program director at Cleveland State Community College in Tennessee

In the spotlight: The second person in her family to pursue higher education, McLean has built her career around her love of education, teaching, and medical assisting. After years of working as a medical assistant in various specialties, she shares that experience with her students at her dream job as a medical assisting program director at a community college.


July/August 2021
Switching Gears
Medical Assistant ​​Turns from Human Resources to Human Care

CMAToday-JA-2021-SL“I get to make a difference in someone’s life. In today’s society, it’s important to be a light for someone, even if it’s in little ways. Sharing a smile and showing them that someone genuinely cares about them and their health is really what it’s all about.” 

Name: Mark Zaragoza, CMA (AAMA), EMT-B

Occupation: Medical assistant at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas

In the spotlight: A first-generation college student, Zaragoza began his career in human resources before deciding to enter the medical field. Earning and maintaining his CMA (AAMA) and EMT-B certifications has allowed Zaragoza to explore various health care specialties and improve patients’ experience through positive interactions.    


May/June 20​21
Comfort in Crisis
Medical Assistant Prioritizes Mental Health During Pandemic

CMAToday-MJ21-sl“A patient might come in initially not doing well. As their recovery journey progresses, it is rewarding seeing them staying sober, attending their appointments with the provider, going to therapy, and taking medication as prescribed.”

Name:  Bailey Nissen, CMA (AAMA)

Occupation: Medical assistant at Broadlawns Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa

In the spotlight: After accepting a job in an outpatient behavioral health clinic, Nissen discovered her passion for helping patients with mental health disorders and working to end the stigma associated with mental health. During the pandemic, new challenges—such as expanded telehealth and increased mental health issues due to COVID-19—have reaffirmed the importance of Nissen’s role.