Duties and responsibilities
A podiatric medical assistant works under the direction of a podiatrist, who is a foot doctor. They provide administrative support and help with clinical tasks to ensure that the practice runs smoothly. Their typical responsibilities and duties include:
- Answering phone calls
- Booking appointments
- Processing payments
- Responding to emails
- Greeting patients
- Assisting podiatrists in surgey
- Taking castings of feet
- Exposing and developing x-rays
There are three routes to becoming a any type of medical assistant:
- Complete a 1-year postsecondary education course in medical assisting. These are available at community colleges, vocational schools, technical schools and universities
- To have even better employment opportunities, achieve an associates degree by completing a two year program
- Alternatively, medical assistants can skip the postsecondary education and get on-the-job training
Skills and relevant work experience
As well as completing the relevant education and training, podiatric medical assistant will need skills such as:
- Written and verbal communication skills, as podiatric medical assistants will work closely with podiatrists and patients. They need to be able to communicate effectively and send emails/letters
- Physical stamina, as podiatric medical assistants may have to stand up when assisting podiatrists in surgery or they may have to bend down when taking castings of feet
- Teamwork skills, as podiatric medical assistants will need to work as part of a team with other healthcare professionals
- Organizational skills, as podiatric medical assistants need to ensure they keep all documents and files stored in a neat and accessible way
Most podiatric medical assistants will work full time, but part time positions may be available. Podiatric medical assistant may work shifts, and therefore may have irregular hours.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for All medical assistants in the United States was $34,800 in 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $25,820 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $48,720. Podiatric medical assistants will earn within this range.
Podiatric medical assistants have a positive career outlook as the aging populations puts them in great demand. With experience, assistants can specialize and move into leadership roles. They may also decide to take more education and move into other healthcare roles, such as being a physician assistant.