St. Augustine School of Medical Assistants Review

If you've been searching for information about online medical assisting programs you will have probably found links to St. Augustine School of Medical Assistants.

They have a very high presence on the web, so we felt it was an important school that we should review.

In order to prepare for the review I sent them the following 7 questions...

Questions emailed to St. Augustine School of Medical Assistants:

  1. Your website says students can complete your home study program "in as little as 6-8 weeks" - what percentage of students successfully complete the program in 8 weeks or less?
  2. Some of the topics your website says are covered in your program include: EKG, Lab Testing, Specimen Collection, Medication injections, Measuring A Pulse - how do you teach these subjects online?
  3. Do you offer externships as part of your program for students to gain practical experience?
  4. Which recognized qualifications or certificates are your graduates eligible for?
  5. Which organizations have accredited your Medical Assistant Program?
  6. How do you respond to the allegations by Legal Eye On Medical Assisting that some of your advertising is misleading?
  7. What percentage of your students gain employment as a Medical Assistant after completing your program?

The answers we received:

Nothing.

Yes that's correct, it's now more than a week since I emailed them the questions listed above, and no one from St. Augustine School of Medical Assistants has replied. I waited 3 additional days after when I told them we would be publishing this article to give them additional time to respond, before actually publishing it today.

Concerns

I find it disappointing that this school has decided not to respond to us, as the questions listed above are important ones that address the most important question of all, "If I pay for this course will it help me get a job as a Medical Assistant"?

As you read through our analysis below, you'll see that we have been unable to find a positive answer to this question.

Accreditation

They say they are accredited by the National Accreditation and Certification Board (NACB). We checked their website and the NACB states that they accredit "Alternative Holistic Health schools". The work done by doctors and their medical assistants is not 'alternative' - it is mainstream science based medicine. The NACB is not recognized as a formal college accreditation body in the U.S. by either the Council on Higher Education Accreditation or the U.S. Department of Education. We view this accreditation as being essentially worthless.

Most importantly - St. Augustine School of Medical Assistants is Not Accredited for the CMA or RMA Exams.

Course Topics

While it is perfectly reasonable for online schools to provide training in areas such as Administration, Record Keeping, Medical Billing and Medical Coding, it is not reasonable to expect that they can train you to use complex equipment or perform procedures on patients such as Injections or Phlebotomy online - these topics require hands on experience. Their website FAQ has the question "How are basic Medical Assistant clinical tasks taught online?" but they only mention their use of "innovative internet based technology" and they provide no information about what this technology is or how it works. We don't believe some of the classes they offer can be taught effectively over the internet.

Employment Prospects for Graduates

Not only did they fail to answer our question 7 above, but they also fail to answer a similar question in their own FAQ; "Will employers treat my certificate any different because I earned it online?" to which they avoid offering a direct response, instead they provide generic, unqualified information saying "current studies show distance education to be more effective than older traditional classroom methods". If they are unable to answer this question satisfactorily then we are forced to consider that the reason is probably because they can't provide a truthful answer that they want people to read.

Legitimacy

We would very much have liked an answer to question 6 above, because the article we referenced, which was written by Donald A. Balasa - executive director and legal counsel for the American Association of Medical Assistants - makes some serious allegations about the legitimacy of St. Augustine School of Medical Assistants.

Here are just some of the comments we have found about the school which range from relatively recent to several years ago:

Conclusion

Until the St. Augustine School of Medical Assistants responds to the questions and concerns outlined above, I cannot provide a positive recommendation for them.

Further Reading:

Categories: 

Comments

Whoa!

Impressive: this is a real review, and you don't get unnecessarily hostile, you just review the evidence.

It's troubling the St. Augustine "School" has one of the top positions in search results for "Medical Assistant." I hope that the AAMA and other medical assistant organizations take some steps to ensure that is remedied. For one thing, they can link to legitimate schools, legitimate school search sites, etc., and thus help those sites to rank above St. Augustine. Until they do that, students who don't know any better will continue to click the link and visit the site....

I don't think it will be easy

I don't think it will be easy to remove them from the top of the search results, but if more people write reviews like this, or share links to pages like this, then hopefully prospective students will find the information they need to make an informed decision.

St. Augustine School of Medical Assistants Review

I enjoy what you guys are usually up too. This sort
of clever work and exposure! Keep up the excellent works guys I've incorporated you guys to our blogroll.

Education is one thing, certification another

"Some of the topics your website says are covered in your program include: EKG, Lab Testing, Specimen Collection, Medication injections, Measuring A Pulse - how do you teach these subjects online?"

That would be funny if it wasn't so sad. I hope to goodness that no potential medical assistant believes he or she can learn how to give an injection by watching a video.

Fake reviews

I just did a search in Bing and I was lucky to find your review because of the first 5 sites they showed only 1 was genuine and the rest were fake reviews. Do they pay people to make fake review pages?

When I looked into St.

When I looked into St. Augustine for this review I did not find any information about how their other reviews were created.

I will say that their actions are consistent with intense online reputation management.

this is so crazy.

this is so crazy.

Didn't do my homework

Yes, it is true, I didn't do my homework on this school. I work at a clinic full time as a medical office specialist who wanted to obtain my CMA certification to further my education. I was 4 weeks into studying everyday after work and it was time to prepare my taxes. I emailed, info@medassistant, student services, administration and called several times to obtain my 1098 T form for my taxes. To no avail, I didn't recieve any response, however a few weeks prior to my request I emailed wanting to have another co-worker enroll with me and BAMM they emailed me back within 24 hours saying they would refund me $35 on my initail enrollment fee. So here lies the truth. If you ask them anything that might profit them, they will reply. Just for kicks, I will email again and tell them I have 6 more people wanting to enroll under me and PS could you send me my 1098 T. Want to make any bets I get a respone? Doubtful.

I'm very sorry to hear this

I'm very sorry to hear this has happened to you.

Thank you for sharing your experience - the more people we can all help to learn about this school the better. With more information out there hopefully they will either improve their standards, or cease operating - every contribution helps towards these goals.

Someone tried to post a link to St. Augustine

Someone today tried to post a SPAM comment here with a link to the St. Augustine website - I don't know if it was someone trying to be funny, or if it was them generating automated comments trying to boost their search engine rankings without first reading the review above.

Thank u guyz

hey,how grateful I am to u guyz all.waz about to enroll in this school wen i saw de reviews saying "is st. augustine a scam"?then i woke up to do my home work well so i sent them am email and they replied within 24hrs.infact.these guyz are fake.save ur money.am in accra.thank u guyz.God bless u all

Glad this helped you

I'm very happy to hear that you found out the truth before it was too late. Don't forget to spread the word and tell others - you can post this to Facebook or Twitter to let people know.

Jason.

yeah right. I am also glad

yeah right. I am also glad that at least you know it now before it's too late I agree with u jason.