Healthy minds: TSTC Medical Assistant Graduates earn 100 percent passing rate

BY Debra Gonzalez

Graduates of Texas State Technical College’s Medical Assistant program achieved a 100 percent passing rate on their credentialing exams last semester.

The 13 students who took the test had the option to become Certified Medical Assistants (CMAs) through the American Association of Medical Assistants or Registered Medical Assistants (RMAs) through American Medical Technologists. All 13 students passed.

“Some of them decided to be certified through the American Association of Medical Assistants and some of them decided to go through American Medical Technologists,” said instructor Cinthya Valdez. “These are the two best nationally recognized credentials for medical assistants. To take those tests, candidates must be graduates of accredited programs.”

Members of the department worked together to help students prepare for their credentialing exam.

“We offered a review course. We met for three hours once a week and went over everything they learned throughout the program,” Valdez said. “We also utilized Northstar learning, a web-based review program, where they prepared with practice test questions.”

Valdez said the passing rate speaks to the quality of education the students received.

“These two are the most challenging tests out there,” she said. “Knowing that our students are fully prepared for the workforce is an advantage to our program and our students.”

Starting in the fall, the program, which currently takes 16 months to complete, will become a 12-month program.

“They can become a credentialed medical assistant in less than 12 months,” Valdez said. “The 16-month program is very draining for the students. With the new program, we’re going to prepare students at a faster pace to get them ready for the workforce in less time.”

TSTC’s Medical Assistant program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs and is the only accredited program in the Rio Grande Valley.

For those interested in the Medical Assistant program, information sessions will be held starting on Monday, Feb. 20. Sessions are from 4 to 5 p.m. in room 112 and are held every two weeks on Mondays. Participants are asked to bring their immunization records, an ID and their TSI scores.

For more information on the Medical Assistant program, stop by an information session or visit