Medical Assisting grad Chris Adams finds success

“My career path since graduation can be described, in one word, fast,” says Chris Adams, who graduated in May 2019 with a medical assisting (MA) degree. “When I starting applying to MA jobs, I was asked for an interview very quickly and hired just as fast.”  

Central Penn’s medical assisting program includes the certification test through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). “I have heard multiple times during my interviews that the national certification through the AAMA is the ‘gold standard’ in medical assisting,” says the Duncannon, Pa., resident.  

“Having that certification made me very desirable to every place I interviewed,” he says. “For the first time in my life, I had more offers that I knew what to do with.” He now works as a certified medical assistant at UPMC Pinnacle Family Care of Newport.  

A Conversation with Medical Assisting grad Chris Adams

We recently caught up with Adams to talk about his Central Penn experience…  

What made you interested in attending Central Penn?  

Chris Adams: What first drew me to Central Penn was the availability of flexible course offerings. The ability to take a combination of online, on-campus and evening courses was a huge draw for me, as a continuing education student. It allowed me to easily balance work, family and college.  

Did you have prior college experience? If so, how was the transfer process?  

Chris Adams: The transfer process was super easy. I just had my previous college, York Technical Institute, send my criminal justice transcripts and then my admissions counselor called me to let me know what credits had transferred.  

You graduated with a medical assisting degree. What led you to that major?  

Chris Adams: I had prior experience in the medical field as an EMT and an Army medic. I wanted to try a career with more patient interaction on a personal level.  

The Central Penn College Experience

Can you talk about your experience in that program? Favorite classes and professors?

Chris Adams: The program at Central Penn was amazing. The small class sizes produced an environment that allowed me and the other students to learn and retain the concepts in a low-stress environment.  

The professors were able to communicate and demonstrate tasks as if they were one-on-one with you. My favorite classes were Med Lab and Anatomy. Professor Nikki Marhefka stands out as my favorite. She really was able to explain the science behind the things we were studying, while adding her own personal experiences to back them up. Her knowledge of all the lessons, along with the science, was amazing.

Her dedication to our class showed through, as she continued to be there every day, while she was being treated for cancer. But, honestly, I was overwhelmingly impressed with every professor I had while attending Central Penn.  

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What are some of your favorite memories at Central Penn?  

Chris Adams: My favorite memories were from Med Lab class and the offsite events we attended. Med Lab class was the start of learning hands-on tasks and procedures that have now become part of my day-to-day work life. Being in a small class, we had to perform the tasks on each other multiple times and it allowed us to become closer as a group.  

The offsite events were fun because we were able to perform procedures, such as blood pressure checks, blood glucose checks and cholesterol tests on the public. Interacting with the public gave us valuable experience for interacting with patients. It also gave us confidence in our ability to effectively perform those tasks in a real-world environment.  

Why Central Penn College?

If someone were thinking about coming to Central Penn, what would you say to that person?   

Chris Adams: I would tell them that deciding to attend Central Penn was one of the best decisions I ever made. Graduating has allowed me to be exactly where I want to be… doing exactly what I want to do, while changing my life and my family’s life for the better.  

Anything else you would like to add?   

Chris Adams: This college was a great experience from start to finish. I enjoyed every class I took including the general education classes. The staff in every department of the school was amazing. Every interaction I had showed me that the Central Penn faculty had a genuine interest in seeing me succeed.  

I especially want to recognize Dan Guerrisi from the veteran’s affairs department. He made utilizing my VA benefits simple and easy. I had previously attempted to go back to school at another college and they did not help me at all with applying for or managing my VA benefits. Working with Dan to manage my benefits alleviated a huge amount of stress from attending college. 

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