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What Is a CMA (AAMA)®?

The CMA (AAMA)® credential designates a medical assistant who has achieved certification through the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

The CMA (AAMA) has been educated and tested in a wide scope of general, clinical, and administrative responsibilities as outlined in the Content Outline for the CMA (AAMA)® Certification Exam.

Every day the AAMA responds to more than 100 employer requests for CMA (AAMA) certification verification—for both current and potential employees.

The CMA (AAMA) Fact Sheet offers a quick take on the reasons a CMA (AAMA) credential attests to medical assistants’ high level of knowledge and competence.

CMA (AAMA) Education

USDE or CHEA Recognized  |  The CMA (AAMA) is the only medical assisting certification that requires graduation from a postsecondary medical assisting program accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

CAAHEP or ABHES Accreditation  |  Only graduates of medical assisting programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) are eligible to take the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam.

Graduates receive administrative and clinical training in a variety of areas, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Human anatomy, physiology, and pathology
  • Medical terminology
  • Keyboarding and computer applications
  • Recordkeeping and accounting
  • Coding and insurance processing
  • Laboratory techniques
  • Clinical and diagnostic procedures
  • Pharmacology
  • Medication administration
  • First aid
  • Office practices
  • Patient relations
  • Medical law and ethics

On-the-Job Training  |  Students also must complete a practicum (i.e., an unpaid, supervised on-site work experience in an ambulatory health care setting) as part of the program.

CMA (AAMA) Certification

Nationally and Globally Accredited  |  The CB of the AAMA was awarded accreditation by the International Accreditation Service (IAS) under ISO 17024, the global benchmark for personnel certification bodies, thus ensuring the CMA (AAMA) represents a world-class certification. 

The CMA (AAMA) Certification Program remains accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)—an accrediting arm of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE).

Consequently, the CB and its CMA (AAMA) Certification Program are the only medical assisting certifying body and certification program (respectively) that hold accreditation under both ISO 17024 and the NCCA Standards.

The NBME  |  The National Board of Medical Examiners—responsible for many national examinations for physicians, including the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)—constructs and administers the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam. This CMA (AAMA) exam is the only medical assisting exam that engages the NBME in this manner. As a result, the reliability and validity of the CMA (AAMA) credential are of the highest order.

The CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam is a rigorous exam that requires a thorough, broad, and current understanding of health care delivery as evidenced by the Content Outline for the CMA (AAMA)® Certification Exam. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions administered in four 40-minute segments.

See About the Exam for more information.

 

CMA (AAMA) Recertification

CMA (AAMA) Status  |  All CMAs (AAMA) must have current status to use the credential, including for qualifying to enter orders for the Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Program (previously called the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program).

CMA (AAMA) status is a matter of public record and may be released. See Verify CMA (AAMA) Status or call the AAMA at 800/228-2262 for certification status.

Recertification Requirements |  The CMA (AAMA) credential must be recertified every 60 months by examination or continuing education.

Continuing Education Requirements  |  A minimum number of points in the general, administrative, and clinical areas of medical assisting are required to recertify by continuing education.

CMAs (AAMA) in Demand

Many factors combine to create a driving force for an increased demand for medical assistants who have current CMA (AAMA) certification:

  • Legal perils
  • Managed care pressures
  • State and federal laws (e.g., Occupational Safety and Health Administration [OSHA] and Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments [CLIA])
  • Qualification for entering orders for the Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Program (previously called the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program)
  • Private sector bodies (e.g., The Joint Commission and National Committee for Quality Assurance [NCQA])

See Why More Employers Are Hiring CMAs (AAMA).