Get into a vocation that lets you make a positive difference every day.
Medical assistant training schools in Canada put aspiring healthcare professionals like you on the path to doing gratifying work that's all about helping doctors and patients. With practical training in this field, you'll be able to go after meaningful opportunities that provide daily variety, a sense of connection, and good pay.
Why MOAs and Medical Assistants Are So Important
Canada's healthcare system serves a huge number of people. And it requires the teamwork of countless different specialists. So you can probably imagine how much coordination must take place between physicians, clinics, diagnostic centres, hospital departments, and patients. In order for people to receive the best care possible, all of the administrative details involved in providing medical services must be handled efficiently and accurately. This is what medical assistants and medical office assistants (MOAs) excel at, and why they are so essential to the health care teams they are part of.
Take a look at some of the facts behind the high demand for well-trained medical office assistants:
- Canada's population of seniors is growing rapidly, leading to an increasing use of health services. In fact, by 2036, the nation is projected to be home to over 10 million people aged 65 and older—double the amount from 2011. It's all part of a trend that's been ongoing for a few decades already. For instance, in 1971, the median age of Canadians was only 26.2. But by 2011, it had reached 39.9.*
- In 2015, the number of doctors per 100,000 Canadians was 228—that’s a 2.9% increase from 2014.**
- The need to shorten wait times for medical services is a big issue across the country. For example, in 2012, at least one in 10 people believed that they had to wait too long inside doctors' offices for appointments to begin. And more than 30 percent of people who went to an emergency department waited four hours or more before receiving care.**
How Medical Assistants Help Keep Things Running Smoothly
The roles and responsibilities of medical assistants can be very diverse. But no matter what kind of health facility they work in, they always play a big part in giving doctors and other medical providers as much time as possible to care for each of their patients. Medical assistants and MOAs often do this by handling tasks related to:
- Patient interactions—welcoming patients, helping them with necessary paperwork, preparing them to see their doctors, scheduling appointments for them, and collecting any necessary payments
- Medical records—updating patient files and making sure they remain confidential
- Communications—distributing office messages, receiving and making phone calls, writing emails and reports, transcribing doctors' notes, and coordinating services with outside providers
- Financial matters—billing insurance companies or provincial health plans, creating invoices, and managing daily banking requirements
- Office management—maintaining inventory of supplies, organizing schedules, refining day-to-day procedures, and setting up meetings
- Clinical assisting—preparing exam rooms, taking physical measurements and basic vital signs of patients
Salary and Employment Outlook
The occupational category that includes medical office assistants is projected to experience one of Canada's highest retirement rates. In other words, the professionals currently in this field are, on average, a lot older than those in other vocational sectors. That means a lot of medical assisting jobs should be opening up over the coming years. Take a look at the numbers: Between 2015 and 2024, nearly 17,200 new openings are anticipated.***
That spells opportunity. Plus, with so much demand for medical assistants and potentially not enough people going after open positions, salaries in the field could rise from where they are now as healthcare employers try to attract more qualified workers (and retain the ones they have).
The typical salary of a medical assistant is already very respectable. Canadians with this career earn a median hourly wage of $19.23. But in some provinces, the pay goes as high as $31 per hour, which is the full-time equivalent of $64,480 per year.***
Becoming a medical assistant requires very little schooling. In fact, many programs take less than a year to complete while others last up to just two years. Plus, you don't need to become certified or take any kind of licensing exam. All you need is a small amount of formal vocational training.
Begin Your Pursuit of a Medical Assisting Career Right Now
Getting started in this field is as easy as finding a school where you can get the short education you need. And the search tool on this site makes that very simple and convenient. Just enter your postal code to pinpoint the medical assistant training programs that are available in your area.