From Good to Great: Top Student Becomes Leading Teacher

Posted by on January 16, 2013

medical assistant program

Kathy Daniels

Every year, the medical assistant program at Minnesota School of Business-Rochester graduates competent healthcare professionals. Leading the way for medical assistant students is Kathy Daniels, medical assistant program chair, who has years of in-field experience. After she agreed to drop the requirement of using me as a venipuncture test dummy in exchange for the blog, I dried off the nervous sweat from my forehead and asked some fun questions. Enjoy! 

So you’re new as the medical assistant program chair. Tell our readers about your pre-MSB days.

I came into this position with seven years’ experience in the medical assisting field.  I went back to school after having been out of high school for 25 years (believe it or not, I wasn’t the oldest student in my class, either).  It wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be, but after getting set into studying routines with classmates, and having a family that helped me, I graduated with a 3.8 GPA and started working in my new career.

 I worked in OB/GYN for over five years and then I wanted and needed a change, so I applied for a position in the internal medicine department; I got the job and worked there for about one year before coming here. It was something totally different and I was able to use other skills that I had learned in school, but hadn’t practiced in years.

Since part of your duties involves teaching, what do you teach? What do you enjoy most?

I am currently teaching Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) Review with six students who are very excited to get out there and start working in their new career.  I feel that the girls are very well educated, very professional and will do a great job in their externship. Seeing them combine their enthusiasm with the ability to learn the technical aspects makes for marketable students who will be employable in their chosen field.

Part of your job surely involves outreach with local clinics and hospital, yes?

We work very closely with Olmsted Medical Center and Mayo Clinic and Mayo satellite clinics.  I have just completed meeting with our current students and their facility managers and have received a lot of outstanding comments about our students and Minnesota School of Business. In an effort to always update our training with the most relevant information, enhancements to hands-on learning have been incorporated into additional courses within the program.  This improvement has increased the confidence levels of graduates who are working in the field.  

What type of growth do you anticipate with local clinics that employ medical assistants?

I have learned that Olmsted Medical Center has some changes in their organization coming in the upcoming year with some bigger and better opportunities that will be available to our MA students. This includes expanding existing facilities and also adding additional locations during the near future. All of this makes sense due to the growth of Rochester and the number of baby boomers retiring at an increased rate over the next 10 years.

In closing, how much fun are you having in the challenging, but rewarding, role?

I was a little concerned about my new position when it was offered to me, but I absolutely love the challenges that I encounter on a daily basis.  I look forward to teaching my students the knowledge that I have gained in this profession, the real life situations that have occurred to me while working and helping them to be the best medical assistants possible.   My co-workers have been very helpful and have made each and every day a fun experience.  I love coming to my job every day! 

Want to learn more about the medical assistant program? Contact Kathy at or 507-536-9500.

Thank you for your Interest in Minnesota School of Business.