Medical assistants are unlicensed healthcare workers who perform administrative and clinical tasks to keep the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, and other health practitioners running smoothly. They should not be confused with physician assistants, who examine, diagnose, and treat patients under the direct supervision of a physician. The term "Medical Assistant" may have legal status in some nations, whereas elsewhere they may be a loosely defined group.
The Medical Assistant is a Royal Navy medical rating. Medical Assistants serve on all types of ship in the surface and submarine fleet, or ashore in a sick bay, hospital, or other establishment. The equivalent rate in the United States Navy is Hospital Corpsman.