Medical Assistants in California


Stephanie Taché, Susan A. Chapman

May 2004

Medical assistants are multi-skilled health care practitioners who are trained to assist physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners with administrative and/or clinical duties in an ambulatory care setting; they are an integral part of any medical practice. This issue brief provides an overview and description of this workforce and examines factors leading to chronic shortages of these professionals in California. The critical issues and policy concerns addressed for this workforce in California are: Difficulty Recruiting, Turnover Rates and Workforce Shortage, Lack of Consistency in Requirements, Scope of Practice, Lack of Career Path, and Future Directions in Training.