Does coffee offer health benefits?
Answer From Donald Hensrud, M.D.
Coffee has been around for a long time and blamed for many ills — from stunting your growth to causing heart disease — but newer research shows that it may actually have health benefits.
Recent studies have generally found no connection between coffee and an increased risk of heart disease or cancer.
In fact, some studies have found an association between coffee consumption and decreased overall mortality and possibly cardiovascular mortality, although this may not be true in younger people who drink large amounts of coffee.
Why the apparent reversal in the thinking about coffee? Earlier studies didn’t always take into account that known high-risk behaviors, such as smoking and physical inactivity, tended to be more common among heavy coffee drinkers.
Studies have shown that coffee may have health benefits, including protecting against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and liver disease, including liver cancer. Coffee also appears to improve cognitive function and decrease the risk of depression.
However, the research appears to bear out some risks. High consumption of unfiltered coffee (boiled or espresso) has been associated with mild elevations in cholesterol levels.
In addition, some studies found that two or more cups of coffee a day can increase the risk of heart disease in people with a specific — and fairly common — genetic mutation that slows the breakdown of caffeine in the body. So, how quickly you metabolize coffee may affect your health risk.
Although coffee may have fewer risks compared with benefits, keep in mind that other beverages, such as milk and some fruit juices, contain nutrients that coffee doesn’t. Also, adding cream and sugar to your coffee adds fat and calories — up to hundreds of calories in some cases.
The CMA (AAMA) has always set the bar for excellence. Now, to better ensure current competence and knowledge, and thus better protect patients, the Certifying Board of the AAMA has made the following change in policy regarding the time limit for re-certifying the CMA (AAMA) credential by continuing education:
Recertification by Continuing Education Time Limit. Effective January 1, 2020, an individual whose credential has been expired for more than three months forfeits the right to reactivate the credential by continuing education and must sit for the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Examination.
Candidates are allowed three attempts to sit for and pass the exam. If the candidate does not pass on the third attempt, the candidate is no longer eligible for the exam or to recertify the CMA (AAMA) credential. Payment of a $50 reactivation fee plus the current exam fee is required.
Visit the AAMA website to view the Recertification Policies and obtain more information on CMA (AAMA) recertification.
Protecting Your CMA (AAMA) Credential
Your CMA (AAMA) credential is a valued professional asset. The CMA (AAMA) Certification program is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. In addition, the Certifying Board of the AAMA is the only medical assisting certification body that has been accredited under ISO 17024 International Standard through the International Accreditation Service (IAS).
Both agencies require appropriate use of professional credentials and logos. In fact, the ISO 17024 standards specifically prohibits the following:
• Use of certification in such a manner as to bring the certification body into disrepute
• Any statements regarding the certification which the certification body considers misleading or unauthorized
Further, in terms of the credential and the logo, the Certifying Board must document the conditions for use and shall appropriately manage the rights for usage and representation.
Thus, the Certifying Board must remain ever vigilant of abuses and cautious in the uses of the CMA (AAMA) credential and logo to ensure that the highest professional standards are maintained. These two policies were established so that your valuable certification is never compromised:
• State and chapter affiliates may not use the CMA (AAMA) logo for any purpose. State society and local chapter affiliates may not use the CMA (AAMA) name, initialism, and/or logo on display and/or on fundraising items.
• Only medical assistants who pass the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Examination and remain current may use the CMA (AAMA) name and initialism and wear the CMA (AAMA) pin.
Your cooperation in reporting violations of these policies will help the AAMA Certifying Board maintain NCCA and IAS accreditation and ensure that CMA (AAMA) certification continues to set the bar for excellence in medical assisting.
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Online Application for Medical Assistants (Certified, Phlebotomist, Hemodialysis Technician)
The Washington State Department of Health has rolled out an online application for initial credentials for Medical Assistant Certified, Medical Assistant Interim Certification, Medical Assistant Phlebotomist, and Medical Assistant Hemodialysis Technician. Check out the features of the online application portal on YouTube. Information about how to access the online application for these professions are located on the Department’s website.