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What Is an Externship?

Learn How It Can Help You Become a Medical Assistant

What Is an Externship?

An externship is an experimental learning opportunity required by certain educational institutions to give students short, practical work opportunities in their field of study. Through an externship, it is very possible that an individual may be able to develop a competitive edge when it comes time to pursue entry-level employment.

It is highly recommended to get help and career counseling in performing an assessment of your personal goals, along with the research that can help you connect with the right medical assistant externship.

Medical Assistant Externship

The ability to perform on the job is extremely important in assisting fellow professionals and providing services to patients. A medical assistant externship is an effective way of providing distinctive learning opportunities where knowledge of job performance requirements and short, practical experience may be gained.

Medical assistants who graduate a program need the kind of skills and knowledge that helps them perform from the first day on the job. The externship is 160 hours and it must occur while a student is enrolled in the program.

An externship is an excellent way of learning about the day-to-day work of professionals in your field. It can offer individuals the opportunity to test a career by job shadowing. It can also be a great way of getting one's foot in the front door.

How to Obtain an Externship

In order to get an externship with Everest, you must be enrolled as a student in our Medical Assistant program. Other options of obtaining an externship include using personal networks along with identifying personal contacts employed in your field of interest. Other methods may include using telephone yellow page directories, career fairs, professional associations and companies or organizations that encourage contact through their website.

Here are several tips that may be helpful in getting your externship:

  1. Start looking now rather than later. Start talking with other medical assistants or medical offices to find a compatible work environment. Hard work and dedication generally pays off.
  2. If possible, find an externship that offers an extension. An extension means there may be the possibility of continuing on as an associate. The sooner the search begins, the better chances you will have of finding a suitable opportunity.

What to Expect from an Externship

Watch, listen and pay attention. There will be competent people assigned to you that can give you the support needed to be successful. There may also be those moments where you may make an occasional mistake or two. Relax and be serious, but have fun. Your attitude in helping people can go a long way if you remain positive and upbeat.

The knowledge you learn in school is one thing. The knowledge and experience you can possibly gain in a medical assistant externship is quite another. Patients may get agitated and cranky. Never take these things personally. Many patients and their loved ones are going through challenging times. There may even be patients who will show an open resentment to being around a person who is new to the industry. Again, this is something you should never take personally.

Depending on the type of work and the location, you can reasonably expect to be in the company of professionals who enjoy and understand the importance of the services they provide.

Medical assistant externships can provide students with the opportunity to experience what a new career may be like without having to make a full-time job commitment. Students also get to test and apply what they have learned directly within a medical office.

Contact your Everest representative today to find out more about the medical assistant program and training, the courses available and possible medical assistant externships students can apply for that can help them lay the groundwork for a career.

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For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at