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Students become available for externships each fall, spring and summer. Extern hours must be completed within semester dates but part-time or full-time placements are possible.


Legally, a student can work in a medical office before completing a certificate but his or her scope of practice may be limited. Training for clinical skills must comply with the California Business and Professions code. Hiring a student to perform administrative duties with future transition to the back office could be an ideal arrangement. 

Externship Basics

Upon successful completion of all required courses, medical assisting students must complete 160 hours in a clinical setting such as a medical office or outpatient clinic.Under supervision of office staff and the MA program coordinator, students can perform all tasks related to medical assisting, from front office to back office —with no cost to the office!

Why Accept Externs?

There are many good reasons to accept externs into your office: Students can support your busy staff in all kinds of daily tasks, from rooming to calling patients to filing paperwork. Your staff may enjoy the challenge of training others. If you are looking for a new hire, an externship is a great way to 'try' a candidate without risk. Accepting externs also greatly supports our MA program and we are always looking for spots to match individual talents with appropriate settings.

Student Qualifications

We cover close to 120 cognitive competencies and 75 clinical skills in 15+ courses over three semesters. The minimum passing grade for all of our courses is a 'C' which drives our curriculum to be especially rigorous. In essence, grade levels represent the following: C-level: must know; B-level: should know; A-level: good to know. Our courses are academically dense and we practice clinical skills over and over throughout the entirety of the program. Students must provide proof of required immunizations and pass a competency test to qualify for externships.


Students are covered by liability insurance through MPC but the externship site retains control over the student’s scope (within legal limits, of course), based on demonstrated competencies and comfort level of supervising staff.Students are also covered under the college's Workers Comp insurance.


Placement Process

If you are interested in hosting a student extern, email Monika Bell at Typically, a short meeting is arranged between our program coordinator and a clinic manager to discuss logistics and paperwork. You will receive student resumes via email and student interviews can be arranged at your discretion. We do our best to match the right person with the right setting but it is the clinic's decision whether or not to accept any particular student for externship.