Thursday, November 14, 2013

I am a Certified Medical Assistant

I don’t write about my career as a medical assistant very much. I feel bad about that sometimes, but I think that after nine hours on my feet, dealing with every complaint imaginable – and those just from my co-workers (just kidding) – I like to go into my own little world and make believe with you all.

Once in a while, though, I should pay tribute to my career and this week I would be remiss if I didn’t pay tribute to the individual who got me here. Who got all medical assistants where they are today.

Alice Budny was a young woman working at a doctor’s office in Milwaukee. People of the time may have called her the “office girl”, but she saw something more. She was a medical assistant and proud of it. She wanted medical assistants around the nation to be recognized.

She was in her mid-twenties when she became one of the founding members of the Milwaukee County Medical Assistants in 1945. Ten years later, she and Lois Pluckhan formed the Wisconsin State Medical Assistants Society. She wouldn’t stop there, though. Later that same year, Alice and Lois were invited to Kansas to aid in the formation of a national association for medical assistants. In 1956, Alice chaired the community which hosted the first ever national convention of the American Association of Medical Assistants held at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee.

The last time I saw Alice, in 2004, at the state convention in LaCrosse, she was still promoting the profession of medical assisting. She was tireless in her commitment to the organizations she helped to build. Over the years she had even offered testimony before Congress on questions of professional practice and national health care. Where is she today when our nation is in a health care crisis?

I learned earlier this week that on November 5 Alice had peacefully passed away.