Starting this fall, Indiana University of Pennsylvania Punxsutawney is offering training for persons wishing to become clinical medical assistants.

The 18-month program is divided into six three-month sessions, five classes per session, with classes offered Monday through Thursday at the IUP Punxsutawney campus. The first class will begin studies on October 16, 2017. (Note: This post was edited to reflect a change in the start date of this program.) A second cohort will begin in April. Federal financial aid is available for those who meet federal aid eligibility requirements. Interested students should complete a 2017-2018 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

The Clinical Medical Assistant program combines training in clinical procedures with training in office skills. This specialized curriculum is designed to provide complete professional training in all facets of managing an administrative medical position in a physician's office, hospital, clinic, pharmacy, medical or surgical supply company, long-term care facility, insurance company, or any other business in the healthcare field.

Students in this program learn medical office administration, including insurance regulations and communication skills, computer skills, anatomy and physiology, patient care, specialty examinations and procedures, minor office surgery, diagnostic testing, phlebotomy, infection control, pharmacology, and patient teaching.

Initial class sizes will be between 10 and 15 participants to ensure individual attention from faculty and hands-on learning by students. Participants will progress through the program as a cohort (group). All of the classes will be taught by experienced professionals.

Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics information shows that the need for clinical medical assistants is growing by 23 percent, faster than other professions. Because of the broad scope of the training, students successfully graduating from programs like this traditionally have close to a 100 percent placement record.

When students successfully complete this program, they will be prepared for several competency exams:

  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Office Assistant
  • Billing and Coding Specialist
  • Phlebotomy Technician
  • HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a federal law about security and privacy of health information)
  • Microsoft certifications in Word, Excel and PowerPoint

“The Clinical Medical Assistant program was the most popular program at DuBois Business College prior to its closing, and students had a 100 percent placement rate after completing this program,” Richard Muth, IUP director of regional campuses, said. “Employers in the region and the academic administration of DuBois Business College approached IUP in an effort to offer this program for both the benefit of local individuals wanting to enter the job market and the health care providers who depended upon their skills.” IUP's program is modeled closely after the DBC curriculum.

“Because this program offers instruction on so many topics, students who successfully complete this training are prepared for many job settings, from patient care to working with computers and insurance information.”

The program is pending approval by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Financial aid for the program is being requested from the US Department of Education.

For more information, contact IUP Punxsutawney at 814-938-6711.