Medical assistants perform both administrative and certain clinical duties under the direc­tion of a physician, often in an ambulatory care setting.[1] The number of medical assistant positions in New York City is expected to grow by 23.9% between 2010 and 2020 according to the New York State Department of Labor, adding close to 2,000 positions. Medical assistants will be especially needed in the ambulatory care sector, and ambulatory care jobs in New York City are expected to grow by 36.9% from 2010 to 2020.[2] At the same time, medical assistants play a crucial role in the implementation of healthcare reform’s new models of care delivery that emphasize a coordinated, pro-active, and team-based approach, and an enhanced role for frontline staff. The medical assistant position offers an opportunity for entry-level workers at healthcare institutions to advance within these institutions, placing them on promising career ladders. In addition, these positions can serve as opportunities for unemployed young adults to enter the healthcare arena.


[1] Source: United States Department of Labor, 2010 Standard Occupation Classification
[2] Source: New York State Department of Labor, Jobs in Demand/Projects, Long-term Occupation Projections 2010-2020


“Historically, medical assistants didn’t extensively utilize electronic health records, but things have recently changed.  Today’s medical assistant spends so much time with the patient, and frequently it is the alert medical assistant who catches a discrepancy, such as a misspelled patient name, a wrong insurance number, or an outdated address.”

– Mike Gera, Instructor of Electronic Health Records, BMCC

Medical Assistant Training

This initiative is a program with the Community Health Care Association of New York State (CHCANYS) and City University of New York (CUNY) to train both current entry-level healthcare workers and unemployed individuals as medical assistants. Feedback gathered by CHCANYS from community health centers was used to enhance CUNY medical assistant curricula, reflecting changing healthcare delivery models, especially the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH). Both 1199SEIU Training and Employment Funds and CHCANYS help to recruit participants while Lehman College, Hostos Community College, the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), and Queensborough Community College (QCC) provide instruction. Over the course of a year, part-time students participate in classes, clinical training, and an externship, preparing graduates to sit for the National Healthcareer Association Clinical Medical Assistant Certification Exam. Current workers receive a wage increase or promotion upon completion, and unemployed participants are connected with New York City’s Workforce1 Health Care Career Center to obtain positions as medical assistants.

For more information, contact Anna Leise at

Bilingual Medical Assistant Training Program

This program, offered by LaGuardia Community College in partnership with the Washington Heights Workforce1 Center and various health centers and physicians’ offices, helps students improve their English, learn medical vocabulary in their native language, and train to be a medical assistant all at the same time. This program fills the gap between the highest level offered at many federally-funded English classes in New York City and the level of English proficiency required for training and employment as a medical assistant, ensuring a stronger talent pipeline. The program also aims to meet the demand for medical assistants who are prepared to work in patient centered medical homes and a culturally and linguistically competent workforce. In addition to preparing students for the EKG, Phlebotomy, and CCMA certifications and covering both clinical and administrative duties, the redesigned medical assistant curriculum focuses on NYACH’s Core Competencies for Today’s Healthcare Workforce.

This initiative has been featured in New York Daily News, Crain’s Health Pulse, El Diario, NY1 Noticias, and the Epoch Times. You can find the full press release here.

For more information, contact Anna Leise at

“In today’s fast changing healthcare environment, CHCs have a difficult task recruiting candidates with appropriate skills that meet the needs of our communities. Apicha CHC welcomes the opportunity to be part of an important initiative that helps fulfill that need by recruiting people from the communities we serve, helping them improve their language skills and training them to become the Medical Assistants of the future, ready for the implementation of Meaningful Use, PCMH and DSRIP.”

Mihaela Mihai, Director of Clinic Operations at Apicha Community Health Center (CHC)

Front Desk Training and Advancement Program

This initiative offered by Hostos Community College and the NYC Department of Education’s District 79, in partnership with the West Farms Workforce1 Career Center and various health centers and physicians’ offices, gives young adults the opportunity to build their communication and teamwork skills, in addition to medical office and administrative skills, through an interactive training program and a structured paid internship experience. The program also offers the opportunity to those without a high school diploma to earn their high school equivalency at the same time. After completing the front desk portion of the program and obtaining employment in front desk positions, students may continue on to evening medical assistant classes, in an accelerated stackable course that builds off of their front desk training and experience.

The new medical assistant curriculum, assessment tools, and internship skills check list, developed with input from Hostos, LaGuardia, and dozens of healthcare providers, will be shared across the CUNY system as part of NYACH’s One CUNY initiative to share innovative practices and resources in healthcare education and training.

For more information, contact Anna Leise at