American Association of Medical Assistants
1959 Mission Statement
The mission of the American Association of Medical Assistants is to enable medical assisting professionals to enhance and demonstrate the knowledge, skills and professionalism required by employers and patients; protect medical assistants’ right to practice; and promote effective, efficient health care delivery through optimal use of the multiskilled CMA (AAMA). AAMA was incorporated in the State of Illinois as a not-for-profit professional organization. The national headquarters was opened in Chicago, Ill. The Scholarship Fund was started with a $200 contribution from Maxine Williams. It was later named the Maxine Williams Scholarship Fund. A Certification Committee was appointed to develop the AAMA Certification program.
The History of the
Definition of the Profession
Medical assisting is an allied health profession whose practitioners function as members of the health care delivery team and perform administrative and clinical procedures.
Tri-level membership in AAMA was voted as mandatory.
The Kansas Medical Assistants Society initiated a meeting in Kansas City, Kan., to consider the formation of a national organization. The name of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) was accepted by vote.
The Certifying Board was established.
A sample examination for Certified Medical Assistants (CMAs) was given at the convention with no credit given.
The Charter Meeting was held in Milwaukee, Wis. The Constitution and Bylaws was adopted and permanent officers were elected. The American Medical Association (AMA) passed a resolution commending the objectives of AAMA. Carmen Kline, CMA-A (KS), was co-chair with Maxine Williams, CMA-A (KS), for the AAMA Founding Meeting.
The first certification examinations were given in California, Kansas, and Florida.
A special committee was appointed to develop curriculum standards for the training of medical assistants, as a prelude to collaborating with the AMA in the accreditation of educational programs on a postsecondary level.
Maxine Williams, CMA-A (KS), was elected the first AAMA president. At the first Annual Meeting, the House of Delegates was accepted as the legislative body of the national association. At this meeting, the first educational sessions were designed to increase the professionalism of medical assistants. The first official publication, The Ambassador, was published.
The AAMA Endowment was established as a public foundation for educational, charitable, and scientific purposes. The name of the official publication was changed to The Professional Medical Assistant.
Essentials of an Approved Educational Program for Medical Assistants were approved by the AMA Council on Medical Education and the AMA House of Delegates. Five two-year educational programs were accredited by the AMA Council on Medical Education in collaboration with the AAMA Program Approval Committee.
Tri-level membership was approved with one membership card for local, state, and national membership. A national emblem was selected.
Student and faculty memberships were approved as new categories of membership. An Education Council was created to coordinate the educational activities of the association.
The Task Descriptor Project was initiated whereby an analysis of 475 medical assisting tasks in 18 categories was undertaken. Continued recognition for a four-year period was extended by the U.S. Office of Education to the Curriculum Review Board in its collaborative accrediting role with AMA. The Continuing Education Committee officially launched the CEU Approval Program, whereby state societies and chapters that met specific guidelines could offer CEU credit to participants.
Certification eligibility requirements were broadened to include medical assisting instructors and students. The AMA House of Delegates...
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