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4 Traits Every Good Medical Assistant Should Have

Medical assisting is a medical profession in its own right and not everyone is cut out for the job. While the job does have its perk and the demand is very high, motivation alone won’t guarantee that you’ll have a successful career as a medical assistant. Here are six traits every good medical assistant should have.

Communication Skills

You need good communication skills to be a good medical assistant. You need to be able to break down the medical terminology to explain conditions and treatment regimens to patients with all sorts of backgrounds, education levels, and varying degrees of intelligence. You’ll need to work with patients with different beliefs and lifestyles, as well as communicate what they need to do or stop doing in order to get on the road to recovery. If you’re bilingual, that’s a plus.

Honesty is an essential trait as well. Be honest and direct when something is bad for the patient, or else they’ll revert back to the bad habits or choices that led to their initial visit. In short, waffling or trying to minimize the emotional impact of a warning will end up hurting your patient.

You must also be able to understand the essential information the patient needs to communicate and share it with the doctor or nurse practitioner time.

A Thirst for Knowledge

If you want to be successful as a medical assistant, you also need to be a continual learner since medical technology, medical procedures, and the laws that medical professionals must follow are continually changing. However, it’s also important that you choose a program that’s in touch with current changes in the profession. Sites like list the best medical assistant programs and information on their curriculums as well.


You will need to have patience when dealing with patients. They may need time and dedication to be properly taught how to take care of themselves. If you rush through procedures, their quality of care suffers.

Another variation of this is having the patience to listen to patients as they speak. It may be the little details you miss when you push them to rush through the description of the problem that leads to a proper diagnosis. Or, they may need time to admit to embarrassing health problems that present a severe issue that needs full medical attention.


A good medical assistant needs to have a degree of compassion and care for how the patient feels. Compassion is not the same thing as empathy. If you feel the patient’s pain personally too much, you may carry their suffering as a burden, which could hurt you in your functions. Instead, you need to be able to recognize and respond appropriate to how they feel while having a certain level of emotional detachment.


These are just some of the traits that you need to exhibit if you want to be successful as a medical assistant. The good news is that you can always work to acquire them if you have the determination to do so.

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