Medical Assistant Internship Guidelines

Medical assistant internships are a a very mixed bag of jobs and career paths. Although the role has many generic common functions, in practice, the need for medical assistant interns tends to relate to the work of the provider. You can achieve many things with the right internship.

Selecting the Right Internship

These internships are extremely good for career opportunities, particularly at the early stages of your career. Most importantly, there are two accredited programs offering internships which can also get your certification. The career track is a bit complex. The basic career path for medical assistants is:

  • Vocational training
  • Internship
  • Certification
  • Professional work

Career Streams

  • Administrative: The administrative role is typical administration work, but in medical practices this work includes a very large range knowledge base of specialist activities and skills. These roles aren’t related to the medical roles, in the same sense as the other forms of internship.
  • Clinical: Includes clinical roles, lab work and some forms of treatment where permitted by law. These are primary medical functions, useful if you’re intending to develop your career in these areas.
  • Specialized classes: Profession specific roles like ophthalmic, podiatric, optometric, etc. 

Finding a Medical Assistant Internship Online 

There are many medical assistant internships advertised online and narrowing down the choices is the main problem when searching. Some internships aren’t mentioned in the job titles and are instead included within the ad text. That means you’ll need to include the word “internship” in the search, so you’ll also need a qualifier as a search term. The quickest search approach is to use a descriptor for the role you want. For example, you can add specific functions, like “X ray internship” to search to a workable level. 

Make sure that any internship you want to apply for relates to  appropriate accreditation. Accrediting authorities are the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and Association of Medical Technologists (AMT).

Medical Assistant Internship Interview Preparation

The medical assistant internship interview is a typical behavioral job interview. Presentation is important, both in dress and communication. You will need to show strong communications skills in these positions, because you’ll be working closely with professionals in sometimes pressure situations. There are some critical areas to consider in your preparation:

  • Job skills and functions: These are naturally a primary focus for interviewers. Research the internship and make sure you fully understand the role.
  • Qualifications and training: These are competitive interviews, so you’ll also need to concentrate on internships which involve your strongest skill sets.
  • Employment history: This is a common type of question. You may be asked about prior experience and your work record. This is a quality control, don’t take it personally, but remember the interviewers are looking for an employee, as well as an intern. 
  • Customer service: In most medical assistant roles, relationships with clients is a central role. Give a relevant example of customer service work, showing the ability to maintain a good working relationship with clients.