I Am AAPC: Magdalena A. Chmura, CPC
I came to the United Stated from Poland in 2003. I always loved and was good with numbers, and medical coding is full of alphanumeric and numerical codes, so I was intrigued to learn more. I decided to enroll in Branford Hall Carrier Institute in Southington, Connecticut.
Overcame a Language Barrier
I was not sure what I was getting into until I had the medical terminology and coding class. I was a student with at least three dictionaries on my desk including one Polish-English Medical Dictionary. But I did it! And I graduated with honors.
Gained Experience and Learned from Defeat
I got my first job at an urgent care/internal medicine office the same month I graduated. I did not get my Certified Professional Coder (CPC®) credential at the time, but a few years passed and I got in touch with my coding teacher Maria Santiago, who help me study to take the CPC® exam. She was a great teacher who took time on the weekends to sit down with me and go over the material. In 2010, I took the test, but did not pass. I didn’t feel strong enough to retake it back then.
If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again
Years passed and my husband and I had kids. One day, my coworker (who is a single parent) told me about her education and how she did it. I thought maybe I could try again and decided to study and retake the CPC® again. I enrolled in distance learning classes with AAPC in July 2018, and sat for the exam in December that same year.
I didn’t tell anybody that I was taking the test, not even my husband. I passed! Seeing those three letters after my name on the My AAPC app was the best feeling ever. Now I am studying for the Certified Professional Biller (CPB™) exam, and I believe I can do this. I am very passionate about pursuing coding and billing career and I’m not going to stop at the CPC® and CPB™ credentials.
I am thankful for my family who motivates me to do better and for my coworker, CoreyAnn Ruggieri, at Yale New Haven Health System, for encouraging and believing in me!
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