Medical Assistants in California: Legal Scope of Practice


Catherine Dower

September 23, 2013

This summary covers current (as of Sept 2013) scope of practice for medical assistants (MAs) in the state of California. In California, MAs are unlicensed personnel who work in physician (MD), podiatrist (DPM), or optometrist (OD) offices; and clinics. MAs may not work for inpatient care in licensed general acute care hospitals. They are regulated by the Medical Board of California. They must be over 18 years old, trained and supervised. They may be certified. Unless prohibited by law, California MAs can perform basic administrative, clerical and technical supportive services when conditions regarding supervision, training, specific authorization, and records are met. This summary covers MAs in physician and podiatrist offices and in clinics, but does not cover scope of practice for MAs in optometrist or ophthalmologist offices.

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