Missoula College UM Re-Establishes Medical Assisting Program

October 10, 2014

MISSOULA – Missoula College University of Montana re-established its medical assisting program this fall to keep up with the local and national demand for certified medical assistants.

Students already are taking introductory medical assisting classes this semester, with their first clinical courses beginning in the spring. Students learn to become the professionals who greet patients, schedule appointments, administer shots and perform routine testing in medical settings, government agencies, laboratories and even insurance companies. 

MC plans to start a new group of about 20 students in the medical assisting program each fall.

 “The medical community here in Missoula has been incredibly excited and supportive of the return of our medical assisting program,” Medical Assisting Program Director Paula Criman said. “This is a great opportunity to start a career with an important and growing role in providing care in area offices and clinics.”

Three years ago, MC discontinued its medical assisting program after local medical offices opted to use licensed practical nurses. But the Affordable Care Act revived the demand for medical assistants, and the college decided it needed to bring back the program. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assisting continues to be viewed as one of the fastest-growing occupations in the country. 

 “Medical assistants play a vital role in freeing physicians to provide care to their patients, which is why they went into the medical field,” Criman said. “I am thrilled that Missoula College will be able to provide another way of serving our local medical community.”

National Medical Assistants Recognition Week is Oct. 20-24. The theme this year is “Medical Assistants: at the Heart of Health Care.”

For more information on the MC medical assisting program, call Criman at 406-243-7907 or email paula.criman@mso.umt.edu.

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Contact: Paula Criman, medical assisting program director, Missoula College UM, 406-243-7907, paula.criman@mso.umt.edu.