Scope of Practice

Speaking the Language of Medicine

Correcting errors is a fairly simple process when it involves a change to a website or some short literature. Language in government publications often proves to be a more time-consuming process.

I was contacted by Rusty Dowling, CMA (AAMA), on behalf of the Michigan State Society of Medical Assistants. Concern was expressed that the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth (DLEG) had classified medical assisting as a “high-growth occupation requiring at least moderate on-the-job training” in one of its publications. I pointed out that the United States Department of Labor (DOL) also classifies medical assisting in this manner, and forwarded to Ms. Dowling letters that I had written to the Department of Labor objecting to the fact that medical assisting is so classified, and is considered an “apprenticeable occupation” by the DOL. I suggested that Ms. Dowling inform the Michigan DLEG of the formal opposition of the AAMA to these classifications of medical assisting by the United States DOL, and further suggested that the Michigan State Society also express its disagreement with this classification to the Michigan DLEG.

Because the legislative landscapes in Michigan and Washington are similar, two public policy leaders of the Michigan State Society joined me in meeting with representatives of the Washington State legislative coalition during the AAMA Board of Trustees meeting in Seattle in early June.

Working against such language is a monumental task, but it is one we must approach with energy if we hope to fix it!