Medical Assisting

Program Level: Degrees, Certificates
Department: Allied Health and Kinesiology
Institute: Health & Biosciences
College: SAC
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What is the Medical Assisting program?

This program prepares you for a career in the healthcare profession, assisting physicians in caring for patients. You’ll get hands-on training and experience in both patient care and administrative duties. You’ll also be prepared to test for the certifications you need to work as a medical assistant.

What will I learn?

You will learn the administrative tasks and clinical procedures that a medical assistant performs, including EKGs, urinalysis, phlebotomy, injections, assisting with minor surgery, casting, wound care, eye/ear irrigation, urinary catheterization, vital signs, pulmonary functions tests and more. You’ll also be prepared to assist with scheduling, bookkeeping, maintaining medical records and medical insurance claims, as well as computerized office management systems for scheduling, billing, collections and electronic medical records.

What can I do with this course of study?

SAC offers either an associate degree or a certificate (which includes the same medical assisting courses as the degree program without the additional general education courses). With both, you’ll be prepared for jobs as a medical assistant in a variety of health care settings, including physician offices, acute care facilities, ambulatory surgery centers, hospital outpatient clinics, insurance companies, home health care agencies and medical practice manager positions. This is a high-demand occupation with a median salary of $36,260 in the San Antonio area.

What's special about the program?

SAC offers an affordable path into the healthcare profession, with personalized instruction and a state-of-the-art facility that gives you the practice and training you need to enter the workforce. SAC’s medical assisting program is a leader in the industry: our program became the first accredited medical assisting program in the United States in 1969.

...first accredited medical assisting program in the United States.

*Verified by the Medical Assisting Education Review Board.


The Medical Assisting program is a fall-entry-only program with limited enrollment (24). The open application period starts September 1 of every year.

Acceptance to the Medical Assisting program is considered with the completion of all three phases below and with a competitive ranking process with particular attention given to timely submission of required paperwork and grade point average (GPA).

Phase I

1. Apply & Enroll at San Antonio College

Applicants for the Medical Assisting program MUST be fully enrolled at San Antonio College. 

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2. Meet the Course Requirements

Report to the Department Advisor, Mia Gallegos,

For Medical Assisting, A.A.S.:
  • Complete the following entry-level skills courses:
    • TSAIA-2 990-995/Diagnostic 4-5
    • MATH 0114, 0132, 0124 or higher
    • MDCA 1313 - Medical Terminology (recommended)
  • Possess proficiency in English (reading, writing, and speaking skills)
  • You are at least eighteen (18) years of age
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Must have access to computer/tablet and internet 
For Medical Assisting, Level II Certificate:
  • Complete the following entry-level skills courses:
    • TSIA2 940-949
    • MATH 0410+0105 Pre-Algebra or higher
    • MDCA 1313 - Medical Terminology (recommended)
  • Possess proficiency in English (reading, writing, and speaking skills)
  • You are at least eighteen (18) years of age
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Must have access to computer/tablet and internet

3. Apply to the Medial Assisting program

Complete and submit the online application before the deadline for consideration.

 Medical Assisting Application

For more information regarding the Medical Assisting program and the mandatory informational sessions, please contact: Luis Vega-Maldonado,, or Lori Swaney,

Phase II

Submission of the following by the specified deadline (provided by the program):

  • A completed program health assessment packet which includes a history and physical assessment (physical exam), Technical Standards Form, proof of immunizations i.e., MMR, Tdap, varicella, bacterial meningitis (<22 years of age), hepatitis series, and current TB screen (within 1 year).
  • Background check and drug screen utilizing Alamo Colleges contracted vendors.
  • CPR for Health Care Providers.

Phase III

Students completing Phases 1-2 and who have presented their completed packets to the Program, will receive notification by e-mail from the Program office of their status.

If selected, applicants MUST attend a mandatory orientation meeting in the summer prior to registration for classes.

Please Note: A positive criminal background may prevent you from being accepted into the Medical Assisting program. All applicants with a positive criminal background report must request a waiver from the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

For assistance, please contact:
Katie Gottwaldt
Director of Certification
20 N. Wacker Drive #1575
Chicago, IL 60606

Also, please keep in mind that when you request a waiver you'll need the following:

  1. A written explanation of the events regarding the incident(s). This should include any special circumstances (such as age of the applicant at the time of the incident[s]) as well as any life changes since the incident(s);
  2. Copies of official documentation related to the incident(s), including police report showing the initial charges, court documentation outlining sentencing requirements or documentation showing how the case was resolve.
  3. Successful completion of parole or probation requirements.
  4. At least two written references by individuals other than your family and friends.
  5. Any criminal history since the incident occurred.

The San Antonio College AAS Degree and Certificate Level II programs in Medical Assisting are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs ( upon the recommendation of Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB).

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Medical Assisting Program Preparedness Plan

Occupational Risks

San Antonio College Medical Assisting is a profession with many rewards, as practitioners can perform both administrative and clinical services, filling several roles in a variety of healthcare environments. The Bureau of Labor Statistics clearly outlines that it is a growth field, with an anticipated 18% growth from 2020 to 2030.

Medical Assistants work directly with providers and patients, with the goal of providing healthcare and ensuring patient safety. It is a position with a great deal of responsibility. As with any healthcare position, there are certain occupational risks that come into play with being a medical assistant, and those hazards include the following:

  • Exposure to infectious diseases
  • Sharps injuries
  • Bloodborne pathogens and biological hazards
  • Chemical and drug exposure
  • Ergonomic hazards from lifting, sitting, and repetitive tasks
  • Latex allergies
  • Stress
  • Radiation

At the same time, there are protections set up with the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and those protections are particularly important within a healthcare environment. OSHA has a series of standards that protect the safety of healthcare workers and patients. Accredited medical assisting programs are required to teach students about the hazards that they face on the job and the protocols that can be put into place to ensure a workplace culture that prioritizes safety.


What are our average outcomes for our A.A.S. and Certificate Level II graduates?

Our graduates are eligible and encouraged to take the CMA (AAMA) or RMA (AMT) national credentialing exam for medical assistants. Our graduates are highly regarded by employers as seen displayed by the 5 year outcome for both the A.A.S. degree and Certificate Level II.

Five-year Cumulative Average

Outcomes for Certificate Level II


Retention (2018-2022 Admission Cohort) 85.71%
Job Placement (2018-2022 Graduate year) 66.67%
Exam Passage (2018-2022 Graduate year) 66.67%


Outcomes for A.A.S.


Retention (2018-2022 Admission Cohort) 97.83%
Job Placement (2018-2022 Graduate year) 72.92%
Exam Passage (2018-2022 Graduate year) 70.83%

Contact Us

Mary Mena, BAAS, MSIS
Interim Chair
Nail Technical Center (NTC) 238A
(210) 486-1136

Luis Vegamaldonado, MHA, REEGT, RPSGT, RMA, EMT
Program Coordinator
Nursing Allied Health Complex (NAHC 134)
(210) 486-1670

Robert Inman, MSN, RN
(210) 486-1149

Lori Swaney
Academic Lab Technician
(210) 486-1537