Persons on their way from welfare to wealth should be wise decision makers when choosing short term job training or education. The following fields of study are considered hot jobs to train for in the medical field:

  • Health Unit Coordinator

  • Phlebotomy

  • Medical Assistant

  • Pharmacy Technician

  • Medical Billing

  • Medical Secretary

These are fields of study that can be taken in short training formats ranging anywhere from 8 to 30 weeks. Some programs include an externship or a clinical phase to the program, which offers a chance to get some experience on your resume. All sounds great, right? Well it's been said that poverty level incomers tend to look at their right now situation when it comes to spending money. This is in direct contrast to middle incomers who tend to plan for the future when spending money. And believe me attending college training of any kind is considered spending money, even if the amount is not readily coming out of your pocket but under the guise of financial aide (especially student loans). With that little tidbit of information let's disect short term job training programs based upon my recent experience.

Wednesday, I attended a meeting with an admissions advisor at Ross Medical School. I have somewhat of a background in the clerical field and thought maybe I could add a medical element to those skills in order to be more in demand for today's job market. Ross Medical School offers two curriculums, Medical Assistant and Medical Biller. Personally through the years as I have attended doctor's appointments and such, I have noticed that Medical Assistants' responsibilites include clerical duties as well as the position of Medical Biller. So I was indecisive as to which curriculum to pick. The admission advisor went on to explain to me that although some doctor's offices do not require their Medical Assistants to draw blood from patients, it is a componant of the learning process there at Ross. This learning process would include experimenting with other students to perfect my blood drawing technique. Immediately Medical Assistant was ruled out for me. Take note: if you are squimish around blood and bodily functions, like myself, careers in the hands on part of medicine may not be for you.

After eliminating the career choice of Medical Assistant, the admissions advisor and I were free to focus on Medical Billing. She informed me that both curriculums would last 30 weeks and were considered intensive, as I would be attending class daily from 8:50a.m. - 2:50p.m. After explaining my clerical background to her, she also informed me that many of the courses would be courses I would be at the top of my class in based on my previous experience. (Translation, I would be paying to learn things I am already proficient in.) I summized that the medical transcription, insurance coding and billing concepts would be the only new concepts I would be learning . Therefore the only ones offering me value in my educational purchase.

After giving me a direct sales type presentation and administering the wonderlic test(which I passed by the way) she broke the numbers down. Both curriculums had the same cost, drumm roll please--- over $12,000 dollars. Approximately $4,500 of this would be covered by federal pell grants (money I don't have to pay back). I would have to take out a student loan of around $6,000 (money I definately have to pay back). This would still leave a small balance which would then need to be paid for in monthly installments of around $60.00. WHEW!!

Folks please rememeber student loans are no light matter. Especially Federal Student Loans. Please remember this!

  1. Almost every debt can be discharged in bankruptcy, except student loans.

  2. If you default on a student loan (fail to pay back) your income tax refund will be snatched and given back to uncle sam.

Enough said I refused to make a decision right then and there. Never be pressured into making a major decision like this without being able to pray, think, and conduct research. Any pressure to make a rushed decision should raise a huge RED FLAG. I went home, discussed this information with my husband who agreed it was way too costly, but ultimately left the decision up to me. I remembered that our local community college, which is state funded also offered a medical secretary course and a medical billing course. The fee? Are you ready, less than $500. The fact that the college is state funded is important, because the school receives most of it's funds from the state, tuition is in turn kept low to the student.

You know I'm still undecided as to if I will pursue Medical Billing, but now I can make an informed choice and I hope you will too. Please don't be sold or marketed to on this level. Unfortunately there are companies who will play on our socio-economic status and lack of information to make financial gains, that may not truly benefit us in the long run. Am I saying that Ross Medical School is a bad choice. No not by all means. On the positive side their intensive training programs offer students an indepth, hands on approach to learning, that gives them skills to obtain entry level employment, especially in the Medical Assistant Program. You may or may not have a state funded college, offering short term job training in your area. I'm just saying make an informed decision, when spending your money and planning your future career.

For more information on Medical Billing or a Medical Assistant career please click here.