What is a CMA (AAMA)?

A medical assistant who has the CMA (AAMA) credential indicates that he/she has graduated from a Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accredited program and passed the national examination. Programs that are accredited have met rigorous standards and guidelines in their curriculum and training of new medical assistants. The Standards and Guidelines are created by the American Association of Medical Assistants Endowment in partnership with CAAHEP.

According to the AAMA website "The CMA (AAMA) credential is offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) - the only medical assisting organization granted Official Observer Status to the American Medical Association's House of Delegates. The National Board of Medical Examiners - responsible for many national examinations for physicians - serves as test consultant for the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Examination. As a result, the reliability and validity of the CMA (AAMA) credential is of the highest order."

In order to maintain certification, a CMA (AAMA) must earn 60 units of Continuing Education Units within a 5 year period or re-test. The CEUs accumulated fall under three categories: administrative, clinical and general. The CPR Provider level is also required for recertification unless a doctor's excuse is given. For more information on typical duties and scope of practice, please visit the AAMA website.

What is the CSMA?

We are the state affiliate of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), which is the national organization that oversees the profession of medical assisting. The CSMA chartered itself as CSMA in the early 1980s and was rechartered by the AAMA shortly thereafter.

What is the difference between a CMA (AAMA) and a CCMA?

A CMA (AAMA), as defined above, is someone who has graduated from a CAAHEP program and has passed the national CMA examination. A California Certified Medical Assistant (CCMA) is a member of an organization that is specific to California and is not affiliated with the national medical assisting organization. The California Medical Assisting Association (CMAA) grants the CCMA credential after passing their examination. The CMA (AAMA) logo is a registered trademark and it is therefore illegal for anyone who has not passed the AAMA examination to use the credential or refer to themselves as a 'Certified MA'.