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The CMA (AAMA) credential represents a medical assistant who has been certified by the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). The CMA (AAMA) is awarded to candidates who have successfully completed the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Examination administered by the Certifying Board of the AAMA.[1] The credential is valid throughout the United States, and requires recertification every 60 months. The CMA (AAMA) is the only allied health professional required to graduate from an accredited postsecondary medical assisting program that focuses on training for work in medical offices, clinics, and other outpatient care centers.[2]

The CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Examination[edit]

The CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Exam is drawn from an in-depth analysis of the general, clinical, and administrative tasks medical assistants perform on a daily basis, according to the Occupational Analysis of the CMA (AAMA).[3] The National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) serves as test consultant for the exam.

Examination questions are formulated by the AAMA Certifying Board's Task Force for Test Construction, a group composed of practicing medical assistants, physicians, and medical assisting educators from across the United States. Alongside the NBME, the Task Force updates the CMA (AAMA) Exam to reflect the changes in the day-to-day responsibilities of medical assistants, as well as developments in medical knowledge and technology. The examination tests knowledge in three major areas: general medical knowledge (e.g., terminology and anatomy), administrative knowledge (e.g., management and insurance processing), and clinical knowledge (e.g., medical preparation and pharmacology).[4]

To be eligible for the exam, an applicant must be a graduate of a medical assisting program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).[5] The exam is offered year-round at test centers nationwide.

Recertification of the CMA (AAMA) credential[edit]

Every 60 months, the CMA (AAMA) is required to keep the credential current by recertifying.[6] The credential must be current for a medical assistant to use it in connection with employment. Certification status is a matter of public record and may be released, and also may be verified on the AAMA website.

A CMA (AAMA) holder can recertify one of two ways: by earning 60 recertification points through continuing education,[6] or by retaking and passing the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Exam.[1]


  1. ^ a b Candidate Application and Handbook for the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Examination. American Association of Medical Assistants. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
  2. ^ Balasa DA. New roles for the Certified Medical Assistant to enhance quality and effectiveness of care J Med Pract Manage. 2008 March–April; 23(5): 276-278. Retrieved May 10, 2010.
  3. ^ Occupational Analysis of the CMA (AAMA)American Association of Medical Assistants. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
  4. ^ The CMA (AAMA) Credential: Rise Above the Crowd. American Association of Medical Assistants. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
  5. ^ CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Exam Eligibility. American Association of Medical Assistants. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
  6. ^ a b CMA (AAMA) Recertification by Continuing Education Application. American Association of Medical Assistants. Retrieved 2010-05-06.