New MA Chair Opens up about Her Life and Gives Advice to Students

Published on October 15, 2014 by arothstein

New medical assisting and medical administrative assistant program chair Melissa Urquhart has recently joined the Broadview–Orem campus.

Tell us about your personal background.

I lived in Michigan my entire life until about seven years ago when my family and I transplanted to Utah. I’m married with three boys – four if you count our puppy.

Tell us about your professional background.

My professional background began in 2001 when I completed a medical assisting program and was hired for a job was at Munson Urgent Care, where I did my externship. I worked both in the clinical and administrative portions of the clinic.

I later worked at a family practice where I got to rub shoulders with an amazing physician who showed me things that were not generally taught to medical assistants. She took the time to explain what she was looking at when looking at x-rays and lab results, and I got to experience every aspect of the clinic.

Teaching was something I kind of fell into. After moving to Utah, I was looking for a part-time job and a lady I knew worked for a college and encouraged me to apply for a position there.

Why did you pursue a degree in the medical profession?

I have always wanted to be in the medical field for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, I wanted to be a veterinarian but didn’t think that I could put an animal to sleep (even knowing that was best for the animal).

While I was on maternity leave, I saw a TV ad for the medical assisting program. I had never heard of medical assisting before but they got my attention with: “Be done in only nine months.”

What are some things you have planned for the MA program in the near future?

My plan for the MA program is to help it grow. Medical assistants are in high demand and I would like to get the students involved in the community and help them realize the importance of networking. The old saying: “It’s not what you know, but who you know,” is very true.

This year we have started a toy drive to help the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. We have some great guest speakers coming in and we’re planning on some more activities to get students out into the real world.

Do you have any advice for our students?

My advice for student is to never give up. It may seem like a lot of work now, but remember it is a short-term sacrifice for a long-term goal. School is only a small fraction of your life. The results, though, will last forever.

Surround yourself with supportive people – this makes a big difference. Give yourself a pat on the back every day. You make the choice to come to school and put in the work when there are probably fifty million other things you would rather been doing.

Be proud and confident in yourself and your abilities and don’t let anyone tell you that it’s not worth it or that you can’t do it, because you can!

What is your philosophy of life?

My philosophy is a quote by Elaine Maxwell: “My will shall shape my future. Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man’s doing but my own. I am the force; I can clear any obstacle before me or I can be lost in the maze. My choice, my responsibility; win or lose, only I hold the key to my destiny.”

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