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Riverside Medical Group's Successful Medical Assistant Training Program Expands

November 27, 2023
RMG MA program

Riverside Medical Group (RMG) has continued to grow its Medical Assistant training program, a comprehensive 12-week course that offers students a unique opportunity to enter into the healthcare field.

Launched in 2021 to address staffing shortages from the COVID-19 pandemic, the program is currently taught biannually, once in the fall and once in the spring. Each session typically enrolls eight to 12 students, who are paid to spend 40 hours a week in training.

That time includes classroom instruction and more than 120 hours of hands-on experience with preceptors in RMG clinics. Students sign a contract to work for an RMG practice for at least a year upon course completion, but almost all have stayed on longer.

The program is open to external and internal candidates and provides internal candidates with an opportunity to grow within the system. Students have a wide variety of professional backgrounds and educational levels; some have opted to go on to nursing school.

“We like to grow our own,” says Danielle Pittman, BS, RN, Director of Learning and Development for RMG. “We also like to open doors for talented people who might not normally get such a chance, including those who haven’t gone to college.”

Classes feature guest instructors from specialties across the Riverside system and, as of this year, a full day in the Simulation Training Lab at Riverside Regional Medical Center. Lead instructor Megan Snelling, an RN and Clinical Nurse Educator, and other educators also cover crucial job skills such as preparing for job interviews and writing resumes.

“It’s been really exciting to incorporate more training elements and see how much the students can progress over 12 weeks,” Pittman notes. “Many go from not being able to take vital signs to thinking very critically about patient cases. Their confidence just takes off.”  

Applications for the program’s spring term, set to run Feb. 12 to May 3, are now open. For more information, please email [email protected].