Grad Q&A with Medical Office Administration Graduate Yessica Gomez
Yessica Gomez graduated from the Medical Office Administration program at SJVC Santa Maria in June of 2021. The academic, professional, and personal support she received at SJVC made all the difference in helping her finish her program strong and find a job she loves.
Here, Yessica shares more about her career journey.
What inspired you to choose a career in Medical Office Administration?
I first tried a (clinical) medical assisting program elsewhere, but when I went to the externship, I felt like it just wasn’t a good fit for me. I really like being on the administrative side of things, doing coding and billing. I really liked looking up codes, figuring things out, and piecing things together like a puzzle. I enjoy the accuracy involved in the job.
What made you want to enroll in the Medical Office Administration program at SJVC?
The program had everything I needed there; there was no wait list, I could enroll right away, get started, finish in (as few as) nine months, and get working.
How was your experience in the program? What was the most challenging part, and what did you enjoy the most?
There weren’t a lot of students in my class, just three or four people, so we had a lot of one-on-one time with the teacher, which was great.
I did face a challenge during my time in the program because I had a traumatic personal experience that really affected me; I started to get depressed. For a whole month, I felt like I was going to fail that class or that things were going to go south. I started to feel unmotivated, I got quiet. I still did well with that module, but I wasn’t completely myself. So I communicated what was happening to my instructor, and she was so understanding—she helped me get help and talk to someone. That meant so much to me.
What was your externship like?
My externship was at a chiropractic clinic. I loved it from the beginning. The manager at the time had me help her with things that she couldn’t get to, so my externship was checking in patients, answering phones, and filing, but also things like sending patients birthday cards, welcome letters, etc. The doctor was very good—he helped me learn much more about what he does, which is important to my job, too. I was later hired on, full-time.
What are your responsibilities at your new job?
A week after I was hired, the office administrator left suddenly—and the doctor put me in charge of managing everything in the office. He had someone help me understand how they do billing, and then I started doing everything—things like billing, coding, checking in patients, receiving payments, following up on personal injuries and workers comp, and still things like birthday cards—just running the clinic. It was a lot to learn so quickly, but I am getting there! I am understanding the system and figuring out the best way to do it all, and right now it’s going great. I love it.
The doctor I work for wants to be included in every decision that is made in the office, and he wants me to learn about chiropractic care, too. I really like that; not a lot of doctors take the time to do that.
What words of advice would you have for a student who is just getting started at SJVC in this program?
Pay attention and don’t take lightly what you learn in the program! Really take notes and take it seriously. Having that knowledge from the program was my lifesaver when I was thrown into my new job; because I didn’t have the experience yet, I relied on that knowledge.
Read Our Career Guide On Medical Office Administration
Medical secretaries and administrative assistants act as the glue that holds together all the other pieces of the health care experience and allows doctors and other professionals to deliver the best possible care to patients.
Our RN to BSN program is a Bachelors degree completion option for Registered Nurses.