Online Health and Medicine Associates Degree
Students who are earning an associates medical degree online will examine the key concepts and theories in the field of health and medicine in order to build a foundation for future learning. Typically, this includes courses in medical terminology, billing and coding, and health care administration.
If you combine all of the tissues and cells in your body, there are 25 million new cells being produced each second. That’s a little less than the population of Canada—every second.
Associates Medical Degree Online: Basics
Many associates degrees in health and medicine require you to complete a number of core courses in order to fulfill general education requirements in addition to the courses focused on health and medicine.
Plus, many associates programs are designed in a similar way, have similar admissions and graduation requirements, and take students a similar amount of time to earn their degree.
Admissions Requirements: Online Health and Medicine Associates Degree
Some of the common admissions requirements for an online medical associates degree include:
- High school or GED equivalent diploma
Keep in mind that the specific requirements vary from school to school. For instance, some schools may ask that you earned your high school diploma with a minimum GPA, while other schools may not have this requirement.
As a result, be sure to check with each of your favorite schools before applying to make sure to find a school that matches your current academic standing.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Associates Degree in Medicine?
Many full-time students, which most schools define as five courses a semester, can earn their associates medical degree online in two years.
Want to earn it in less time? Well, some students may be able to if they take multiple courses during the summer or if they have a number of transfer credits.
Some students choose to pursue their associates degree as a part-time student in order to meet responsibilities outside of the classroom. While this may provide more freedom and flexibility, it usually takes part-time students longer to earn their degree.
In order to earn your associates medical degree online, typically you only need to complete the required courses. Usually, this includes a combination of general education courses, major courses, and electives.
Many programs use this cocktail of courses in order to provide a complete education in your chosen field. Laying this base may prepare you to pursue a bachelors degree if you choose to further your undergraduate education.
What Are the Types of Online Associates Degrees in Medicine?
With such a wide variety of responsibilities needed in the health care industry in order to better serve patients, there are a number of options for you when deciding to pursue an associates medical degree online. These topics range from the business and administrative side all the way to preparing patients for exams.
Many of the associates degrees have overlapping coursework. For example, most programs ask students to complete a course in medical terminology in order to provide a solid foundation for other courses. Usually, there are a number of other courses that are similar between different health and medicine programs.
Four of the different types of health and medicine associates degrees include those listed below with some of the common coursework and key topics you may study in each.
Type 1 - Health Informatics
Health informatics is the acquisition, storing, retrieving, and using of patient health care information so that various health care providers can better serve patients.
Therefore, while earning an online health informatics associates degree, programs teach how to analyze and manage patient data. Many programs also emphasize technical skills, such as specific types of software commonly used throughout the health care industry.
Some of the other topics you may look at while studying health informatics include:
- Ensure the accuracy of medical records
- Help prevent medical complications
- Organize and maintain data for clinical registries
- Track patient outcomes for quality assessmenti
Common Courses in Health Informatics:
- Health Information Law and Ethics
- Pathophysiology and Pharmacology for Health Information
- Introduction to Health Information Management
Type 2 - Medical Billing and Coding
As one of the most important roles inside a health care facility, while earning a medical and billing online associates degree programs usually teach how to organize and manage health information data by ensuring its quality and accuracy.
This may include ensuring compliance with federal standards, such as specific codes, formats, and other requirements. In addition, many programs are designed to prepare you to take tests, such as the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) or the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) credentialing exams.
Some of the key topics you may study in medical billing and coding include:
- Medical language and classification systems
- Code procedure and duties
- Various clerical and administrative duties
- Meet practical insurance requirements
- Identify guidelines that the Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) places on health care systems
Common Courses in Medical Billing and Coding:
- Basic ICD-10 Codling
- Coding Cases Practice Experience
Type 3 - Medical Office Administration
As opposed to focusing on the patient care like some of the other health and medicine degrees, a medical office administration degree focuses on the business and administrative sides of the health care industry.
Many of these programs strive to teach how to handle customer service in a fast-paced environment and how to provide administrative support to the medical staff.
Some of the key topics you may study while earning an online medical office administration associates degree include:
- Medical terminology
- Medical office systems and procedures
- Medical office billing and bookkeeping
- Apply records management, transcription, and scheduling skills to healthcare industry
Common Courses in Medical Office Administration
- Applied Anatomy and Physiology
- Medical Office Infection Control
- Medical Terminology
Type 4 - Medical Assisting
Many online medical assisting associates degree programs examine all of the different health care fundamentals. Therefore courses may cover topics that range from clinical procedures, such as preparing patients for exams, to administrative tasks, such as how to maintain medication and immunization records.
Because of the amount of interaction with patients, medical assisting is a much more hands-on degree than some of the other degrees that are more focused on the business side of health care. As a result, some online programs may ask students to come to campus or other physical learning facilities to perform some clinical course requirements.
Some of the other topics you may study in medical assisting include:
- Recognize various treatment protocols
- Providing support to physician
- Process medication refills
- Monitor patient flow
- Explain procedures and treatment
Common Courses in Medical Assisting:
- Medical Law and Ethics
- Phlebotomy Administration
- Medical Computer Applications
Additional Online Health and Medicine Associates Degrees
There are many fields in the health care industry, each of which are designed to provide quality service to patients and their families. Therefore, there are a number of additional associates medical degrees online offered besides those listed above.
Some of these other associates degrees in health and medicine include:
- Health Care Administration
- Health Care Management
- Online Associates in Pharmacology
- Medical Specialties
- General Studies – Human Services
Keep in mind that this is just a sample of the other medical programs that may be offered. Some schools may offer additional programs or have similar degrees with different names. While searching for the perfect school for you, be sure to consider all of your different options.
What Does It Take to Study Medicine?
While it may be one of the most rewarding subjects to study because of the opportunity to learn how to help those in need, studying medicine can also be a grueling process. That’s because there are many different concepts, theories, procedures, and science to the health care field, even at the associates degree level.
One of the most common recommendations given to medical students is to learn about health and medicine as a whole and not to just try to memorize for exams. This may include reading journals, magazines, or even medical blogs. These may all be sources for you to see how professionals have applied the theories and concepts you study in the classroom.
More often than not, students who successfully study medicine stick to a consistent schedule in order to grasp all of the concepts and terminology. This includes maintaining a good school-life balance. This may involve spending time with loved ones and scheduling time to relax in order to avoid burnout. However, every student is unique and different methods may work best for you.
What Subjects Do You Need to Study Medicine?
If you plan on continuing your education with an online bachelors degree in medicine so that you can eventually apply for medical school, you may want to speak to your counselor about which courses you should take and research a number of medical schools in order to see their requirements for yourself.
Typically, there are no pre-med majors available for either an associates degree or a bachelors degree. However, many medical schools require students take a number of science courses, which usually includes biology, chemistry, and a number of others.
However, keep in mind that every medical school is different. As a result, be sure to check with a variety of schools to find out which specific courses you should take while earning an associates medical degree online.
Medical Careers Associates Degree
After earning an associates medical degree online, there are a number of careers that you may be able to pursue. Typically, this depends on which associates degree you choose, because some are specifically designed to prepare you for many of the day-to-day tasks of certain positions.
Five of these career choices include:
Career Choice 1 - Medical Records and Health Information Technicians
- 2016 Median Annual Salary: $38,040ii
- Projected Growth, 2014 to 2024: 15%iii
Career Choice 2 - Medical Transcriptionists
- 2016 Median Annual Salary: $35,720iv
- Projected Growth, 2014 to 2024: -3%v
Career Choice 3 - Medical Assistants
- 2016 Median Annual Salary: $31,540vi
- Projected Growth, 2014 to 2024: 23%vii
Career Choice 4 - Pharmacy Technician
- 2016 Median Annual Salary: $30,920viii
- Projected Growth, 2014 to 2024: 9%ix
Career Choice 5 - Nursing Assistants and Orderlies
- 2016 Median Annual Salary: $26,590x
- Projected Growth, 2014 to 2024: 17%xi
Many of the positions listed above only require that you have earned either a postsecondary certificate or an associates degree.xii There are some positions, such as an orderly, that may only require a high school or GED equivalent diploma.xiii
Additional Licenses and Certifications
In addition to completing any educational requirements, such as an associates medical degree online, many medical positions also look for candidates that have earned a license or certification.
One example is certification for medical transcriptionists. While many states do not require any certification, some candidates choose to become certified in order to show potential employers their level of proficiency.
The most common are the Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS), which is for those with less than two years experience, and the Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS), which for those with more than two years experience.xiv
There may be other certifications for other positions. For instance, most states regulate pharmacy technicians in some way. The majority of states only require, among other things, a criminal background check and continuing education. On the other hand, other states require a license.xv
Whenever you decide to pursue a career in medicine, check with your school, your state, and any other government health care departments for specific licenses or certifications you may need.
Earn Your Associates Medical Degree Online
Are you looking for an associates medical degree online that may prepare you for a career that provides a sense of accomplishment? Do you enjoy helping others through quality health care and service?
Then make your move to find the perfect health and medicine program for you by clicking on any of the sponsored listings on this page. There, you’ll find program descriptions, common courses, and actual admission requirements.
You can even contact your favorite schools directly to request more information and learn how to apply today.
[i] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm#tab-2 [ii] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm#tab-5 [iii] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm#tab-6 [iv] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-transcriptionists.htm#tab-5 [v] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-transcriptionists.htm#tab-6 [vi] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm#tab-5 [vii] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm#tab-6 [viii] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm#tab-5 [ix] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm#tab-6 [x] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nursing-assistants.htm#tab-5 [xi] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nursing-assistants.htm#tab-6 [xii] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm#tab-4 [xiii] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nursing-assistants.htm#tab-4 [xiv] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-transcriptionists.htm#tab-4 [xv] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm#tab-4