Medical Assistant FAQs

Medical Assistant Frequently Asked Questions

I'm very interested in the Medical Assistant program. What’s the best way to learn more about the program?

Read through the MA website to become familiar with what Medical Assistants do and what the prerequisites are for the program. Set up a time to meet with an Academic Advisor to review your coursework. Careful planning will be beneficial in order to ensure that you have completed all required courses and application requirements. You may also contact the Health Professions Advisors at MAProgram@lanecc.edu. Information packets and applications are available on the MA Application Information page.

How and when can I apply?

Applications will be posted on the Medical Assistant Program website during winter term each year. Applications typically open up in May with a late June deadline, which allows for spring term classes to be included in the application process.

What Prerequisite courses do I need to apply to the Medical Assisting program?

Basic Prerequisites: The following courses need to be completed prior to admission into the MA program. [Note: You will need to take more than these classes in order to get the minimum application points.]

  • HO100 Medical Terminology *
  • MTH052 Math for Physical Science *
  • WR115 Intro to College Writing, or higher
  • Human Relations Course, choose one:
    • CG 203 Human Relations at Work
    • COMM 218 Interpersonal Communication

Recommended Courses for Extra Application Points (But not required prior to entry):

  • HO 110 Health Office Procedures *
  • HO 150 Human Body Systems 1 *
  • HO 152 Human Body Systems 2 *
  • Psych 110 or higher
  • BT 165 Introduction to the Accounting Cycle
  • CIS 101 or CS 120 *
  • Additional courses applicable. See Application Points sheet.

Note: Classes with * can be used towards the Basic Health Certificate as well.

I have taken higher level math classes, do I still need to take Math 52?

Yes. Math 52 is specifically for Health and Physical Sciences. It includes dimensional analysis and dosage computation, which are critical skills to have in the medical assistant profession. MA’s routinely compute medication dosages. This information is not taught in other, higher level math courses. Therefore, higher math cannot substitute for taking Math 52.

It's been awhile since I have been in college. Do I need to retake any classes?

The above classes must have been successfully completed (with a “C“ or better) within the last five years of your application year. If you have worked in a related field within the last five years and have prior course work equivalent to HO100, HO150, and HO152, you are invited to consult the program coordinator, Marty Pittman pittmanm@lanecc.edu to review your experience for equivalency.

Do I have to be an Oregon resident to be accepted into the MA program?

No. International students may also take part in the program with a valid F1 visa.

How many students will the program accept? What are my chances in getting admitted?

We are currently accepting 24 students per year into the program (with potential plans to increase enrollment in the future). Students must have completed the prerequisites for the program and show interest in the medical assistant profession. It is a competitive, point-based application. The minimum entry points will necessitate that students to take more than just the "required" entry courses. The more classes you have completed ahead of time, the more points you will accumulate, and the more prepared you will be to enter the program.

I'm concerned about the criminal background check. How might the outcome affect my program eligibility?

All health professions students must complete a criminal background check prior to beginning the program. Students are not necessarily excluded from the program based on the reported results; however, clinical facilities may exclude you if something in your background is flagged. If the program is unable to place you in a clinical setting due to something in your criminal background check, you will not be able to complete the program (clinical internships are a required component) or test for your national and state credentials. If you have any history of criminal activity that has not been expunged, you are encouraged to contact program advising, MAProgram@lanecc.edu or the program coordinator Marty Pittman, PittmanM@lanecc.edu. You may also contact the American Association of Medical Assistants to make sure you can take board exams.

What about the required drug and alcohol test?

All Health Professions programs have strict alcohol and drug policies. As our professions entail providing healthcare to others, it is imperative that no one is under the influence of drugs or alcohol to any degree. A test that is positive for the presence of drugs or alcohol will eliminate the candidate as a possible applicant for the Medical Assistant Program. This includes prescribed pain killers, and marijuana--even if used for medical purposes. In addition, all MA students can be tested at any time during the program at the expense of the student if drug or alcohol influence is suspected.

I've taken classes outside of Lane that seem similar to the prerequisites. Will the program accept my previous coursework

Students should use the Lane transfer tool to determine if previous coursework will be accepted as the equivalent of the course offered at LCC. The transfer tool is also referenced on the program application. If it’s not in the transfer tool, contact the college degree evaluators. It’s your responsibility to make sure you have obtained the correct equivalency for Lane courses. Transfer Tool

What is the job outlook in Oregon?

Medical Assisting is a fast growing career. We hear from our health care partners in the community that the need for medical assistants is high and will continue to increase. In addition to working with patients, medical assistants are critical in assisting providers in entering medication orders and other patient information into electronic health records.

Is the MA program accredited by a professional organization?

The Medical Assistant Program at Lane Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB). 

Upon graduation, students can take a test through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) or National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) to receive their credential of CMA (AAMA) to become a Certified Medical Assistant.

Contact: CAAHEP: www.caahep.org; 25400 US Highway 19 North, Suite 158, Clearwater, FL 33763, (727) 210-2350