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Can PAs work as medical assistants in Massachusetts?

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Hi,

I am a dec 2018 grad board certified with a MA license, but having a lot of difficulty finding a job due to the "3-5 years experience" clause and the fact that many places are now giving priority to NP.

A few months back family members had suggested I get a job as an MA but I dismissed the idea as I wanted to spend more time looking for a PA position and didn't think I would be hired as one without having completed a formal Medical Assisting program. Now over 6 months post graduation with no job offers and loan payments coming in, a few medical professionals have now mentioned the idea again.

So before I start applying I wanted to see if any one has done this or knows if it is allowed? The other hurdle of course would be if the employer would hire knowing that  I would be looking for a PA position... thoughts?

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I don't think there's a formal licensing requirement to work as a medical assistant in MA. As a licensed PA, you are more than qualified I would think. The pay would be low, however.

I realize you have been looking for a while, but is the job market for new grads really that bad? Have you tried looking a bit farther out from Boston? RI, CT, NH, VT are possibilities. Are you looking for a particular specialty, or setting? 

I surmise from your posts that you graduated from MCPHS Worcester (as did I). Barbara Hayes has been sending emails out with job listings, there was one last week (in NH) open to new grads, have you spoken to her?

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On 7/31/2019 at 8:28 PM, charlottew said:

I don't think there's a formal licensing requirement to work as a medical assistant in MA. As a licensed PA, you are more than qualified I would think. The pay would be low, however.

I realize you have been looking for a while, but is the job market for new grads really that bad? Have you tried looking a bit farther out from Boston? RI, CT, NH, VT are possibilities. Are you looking for a particular specialty, or setting? 

I surmise from your posts that you graduated from MCPHS Worcester (as did I). Barbara Hayes has been sending emails out with job listings, there was one last week (in NH) open to new grads, have you spoken to her?

Hi,

Yes, I have seen her emails, and applied to a few as well as spoken to the career center and alumni services. They didnt have much to offer other than I'm not the only one still looking and that I just need one place to say yes.  I am getting interviews, but they always end with the person with more experience being chosen even if they say in the posting or interview that they are open to new grads. Now that its getting further from graduation I feel like I need to be doing something relevant in order not to have a big gap, but I'm not sure what.

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I had a bit of a gap before starting work, I did some part time coverage as an instructor in physical exam class in PA school. You might also consider volunteering at a local free clinic (I know there is a small network of them, in Worcester) to keep up some skills.

It does sound like the market is a bit tight for new grads. You might need to apply further away, or consider a residency.

Everything in healthcare aside from medical assistant requires a license. You will have trouble getting a medical assistant job, because as a PA looking for work it will be clear that as soon as you get a PA job, you will leave the MA job.

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On 8/2/2019 at 3:52 PM, charlottew said:

You will have trouble getting a medical assistant job, because as a PA looking for work it will be clear that as soon as you get a PA job, you will leave the MA job.

^^That^^ and, I wouldn't do it. It will make your resume look really bad.

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