Medical Administrative Assistant

Program Outline

Here's how it works
Your program consists of courses designed to take you step-by-step through the knowledge and skills you'll employ in your new career as a Medical Administrative Assistant. Your first course will be sent to you as soon as your enrollment has been accepted. Other courses will follow as you complete your exams, so that you will always have training materials to work with.

You will need access to a Microsoft® Windows®-based computer (running Windows Vista® or later), high-speed Internet, and Microsoft® Office 2010 in order to complete your program with Penn Foster.

Note: A High School Diploma, Secondary School Diploma, or equivalent is required to enroll in the Medical Administrative Assistant Program. If you did not complete High School, you can enroll in Penn Foster High School with a Concentration in Health Care. Graduates of this program will earn a fully accredited High School Diploma along with the basic health care courses needed to accelerate your studies for a career as a Medical Administrative Assistant, Medical Transcriptionist, or Medical Billing and Coding Administrator.

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal: The Medical Administrative Assistant career diploma prepares students for a career as an entry-level medical administrative assistant. Students will gain basic knowledge in office procedures as well as medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology. Students will develop written and oral communication skills, and they will apply their new knowledge and skills in their final course, Electronic Medical Records.

Program Outcomes:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in analytical and quantitative problem-solving
  • Demonstrate computer and information literacy
  • Understand laws and regulations regarding HIPAA and confidentiality in electronic health records
  • Comprehend basic medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology
  • Understand basic pharmacology
  • Perform basic medical administrative tasks by using Electronic Medical Record software

Starting Your Program
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program. Understand how to use your Student Portal, including your My Homepage and My Courses pages; access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers; and connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.

HIT100: Introduction to Allied Health
This course is designed to provide a discussion of strategies for completing the allied health programs as an independent learner. In addition, it gives an introduction to health care and the role that medical administrative assistants, medical coders, and medical transcriptionists play in that industry.

ALH028: Law, Ethics, and Confidentiality in Allied Health
The Law and Ethics section of this course covers how law affects medical offices; the origin of law that affects medical professionals; the process of litigation and its alternatives; contract law and the ways it affects health professionals; the duties created between health-care professionals and patients once a doctor-patient relationship is established; criminal law and torts that are relevant to the health profession. The Confidentiality in Allied Health section examines the common-law basis for the confidentiality of health-care information and the laws regulating health-care information collected and maintained by government agencies. Also covered is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), as well as how the management of medical information affects the management and measurement of quality in health care.

BUS090: Office Procedures
This course covers the typical duties of the administrative assistant in any business office: task management, general business machines, telephone call management, business letter writing, electronic and print mail processing, travel and meeting planning, policy and procedures manuals, facility care and maintenance, as well as office math.

ALH016: Body Systems/Terminology 1
Introduction to medical terminology; chemistry/ laboratory; pharmacology; cells, tissues, and membranes; integumentary system; musculoskeletal system; blood and cardiovascular system; respiratory system; digestive system.

ALH017: Body Systems/Terminology 2
Sense organs; nervous system; endocrine system; urinary/excretory system; male and female reproductive systems; lymphatic system; oncology and radiation; surgery and pathology; genetics.

ALH021: Basic Pharmacology
An introduction to basic pharmacology, as well as the type of drugs by body systems. Includes the drug’s generic and trade names, use, side effects, and drug interactions.

CSC102: Word and Excel®
Computer and Internet basics; computer hardware and software; digital electronics and file management; introduction to Windows®; PC applications in word processing, spreadsheets.

ENG010: Business English
Business letters, forms, client records, and memos; organization, grammar, punctuation, and sentence and paragraph construction; coherent paragraphs, well-organized documents, and purpose-focused materials; accurate, attractive, and effective final copies.

HIT130: Electronic Medical Records
The Electronic Medical Records Management Certificate program provides a basic overview on how to successfully manage electronic medical records (EMRs) in different health care settings. Attendees will learn EMR concepts, terminology, regulations, and procedures, and receive hands-on training with electronic medical records.


Online Library and Librarian
Students in Penn Foster Career School have access to an online library for use during their studies. Students can use this library to do the required research in the courses they complete or can use it for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and to assist students in research activities during their studies with Penn Foster Career School International.

Some countries impose certification or registration requirements on certain duties performed by medical administrative assistants. For the education requirements in your area, please check with your department of health or appropriate ministry.

A High School Diploma, Secondary School Diploma, or equivalent is required to enroll in this program.

Microsoft, Windows, Windows Vista, and Excel are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.