An interview with Whitney Guthrie, a graduate of the Medical Assisting program at American Commercial College in Abilene, Texas.

Q:  What program did you attend?

Medical Assisting and billing and coding. It’s a certification, and it is 9 months long.

Q:  Describe a typical day in school?

We took three classes a day. The first semester included anatomy and physiology class and some computer classes. The second semester we went on to clinicals, where we learned to draw blood, give injections, take blood pressures, and how to do all of those basics. The clinicals were at a lab at the school. The first semester is 15 weeks, the second is about 15 weeks, and then the third semester is 180 hours during internships at the doctor’s office.

Q:  Were you happy with the training that you received?

Yes, when I was at the doctor’s office though I learned a lot more than at school.

Q:  What was your favorite classes and why were they your favorite?

Anatomy and physiology was my favorite because of the teachers were really good.

Q:  Who were the teachers?

Bridgett Gann and Amy Doherty

Q:  How much did it cost for you to complete the program?

It cost $12,500.

Q:  Did you receive any financial aid or scholarships?  Which ones?  Were these easy to obtain?

They don’t offer scholarships there, and they offer financial aid but I didn’t qualify. I have loans.

Q:  Did you go to school on a full-time or part-time basis?

I was full-time. Part-time classes are only offered at night.

Q:  Were any of your classes online?

No, they don’t offer any online.

Q:  Did you consider other programs?

I did consider other schools.

Q:  Why did you choose the one you did?

I did not have a test to get into college, but at ACC I didn’t need it because ACC is a career college.

Q:  What other programs did you consider?  Why did you choose the one that you did?

None others I knew this is what I wanted to do.

Q:  Would you recommend this school to someone else? Why or why not?

Yes and no.  No because you can work as a medical assistant without certifications, and the pay you get is not good. I guess in a bigger city you might start out better, but here you start from $8 to $11 dollars an hour, and you have to start paying back student loans 6 months after you’re out of school. But I would still say yes, because I guess you do learn a lot. I learned a lot that I didn’t know before, plus it will help you more to get a job

Q:  What was the most difficult part of the program for you?

Coming Monday through Friday all day. It’s just about getting used to it. It’s hard to pay for daycare all day.

Q:  About how many other students were in your classes?

About 9 students in my classes.

Q:  For your particular program, are there any special licenses or certifications that you need to receive before getting a job?  If so, what are they and what do they entail?

You can work as a medical assistant with out certifications, but ACC does give you a certification.

Q:  What advice would you give to other people considering this school?

Be sure to look around see what situation is cheaper for you, and think about it because for example your credits don’t’ transfer from here to anywhere else.

View a list of all schools in Texas that offer a medical assisting program.