Medical Assistant — Where are the Men?
MALE OR FEMALE OCCUPATION?
Study after study demonstrates that misconceptions about men in the medical assistant profession still abound.
A study held in June 2003 revealed that male students made up less than 10 percent in courses offering medical assisting training! Despite of their interest in the profession men have historically been discouraged and frequently denied access to medical assisting education and entry into the workforce.
WHERE ARE THE MEN?
Although when asked men agree that they would be interested in becoming a medical assistant for the same reasons their female counterparts enter the profession, it is surprising how few men actually do.
CORRECTING MISCONCEPTIONS TO ATTRACT MEN
Opportunities abound for men in the medical assistant profession, however, the deep-rooted stereotypical misconceptions of a man’s ability and suitability in this field is hindering their progress. For example, some men believe that men who display caring attitudes aren’t “real men” and highly feminized pictures of medical assistants on the job enforce the idea that medical assisting is for women but not for men.
To provide men with positive role models, advertising, videos, graphics and publications should not only feature images of women but also men performing action-oriented clinical and administrative tasks. Vocational training and education programs should set enrollment goals for male students and actively recruit them.
The number of male faculty teaching clinical and administrative medical assistant curricula should be increased. Misconceptions that keep men out of the medical assistant profession should be corrected by accurate information about opportunities, challenges, lifelong learning and rewards of service to others in medial offices and clinics.
If medical assisting is to fulfill its potential of providing quality care in a modern health care system, sincere efforts should be made to attract and recruit more men.
The Exception: Medical Assistants Wanted — MEN ONLY!
If you are hired as a medical assistant on a U.S. Navy submarine chances are you are a man. At present women cannot serve in submarines! For that to happen the Navy would have to redesign its submarines to accommodate their female recruits.
As a U.S. Navy medical assistant on a submarine your duties would involve medical skills as well as radiation safety and atmosphere control.
You would receive extra training covering radiation safety, health physics and atmosphere control as well as the basic submarine training that every submariner must do, such as practicing underwater escape.
You would be part of a team of medical assistants who are responsible for the radiological and environmental safety of the crew and to provide the engineering department with technical advice on the safe operating parameters of the reactor cooling system.