AAPC - Back to school
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Thread: Advise from the wise for a new member & graduate

  1. #1

    Smile Advise from the wise for a new member & graduate

    AAPC: Back to School
    Hi, Everyone

    I'm a new member as well as a recent graduate from U.S. Career Institute. I closed with a GPA of 95%,which I thought was good, but now after reading every one's replies about the exam it has made me wonder and a bit nervous about taken it. When I decided to become a medical coder, I was told it was in high demand and you could easily be a non-certified or certified but of course being certified would be more money. Now it seems everyone wants you to be certified and two or more years experience in the medical field. My question is how are you suppose to get experience if no one gives you a chance to show what you can do? Everyone had to start some where and yes I'm aware of the internship but I'm from Gray Court S.C. and this is not offered here and no where close to here.Most of you have described the exam as being so hard and most didn't pass it the first time around. As I stated earlier I just graduated and this was on 2007 and this is 2008 so is the test on 2008 or 2007 or both and if it's on 2008 I'm doomed before I get started. Any advise? Any pointers from anyone? I'm looking for a job in medical coding field and now I'm not so sure if any one even hires a non-certified coder. I really hope I didn't make the wrong choice for my career. I'm 47 yrs. old and no let's change that I"m 47 yrs YOUNG and I have enjoyed doing this as a career goal I just need to be given a chance. I'm human and naturally scared of making mistakes but I know given a chance I can do someone a good job. It seems most all of you have a job in the medical field, I commend you. How did you do It? Any advise would be grateful.
    Karen Blevins,
    Gray Court, S.C.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    Dear kblevins,

    I was 47 years young when I decided to go back to college for coding and billing. I had worked as a lab tech for ten years and then as a stay-home-mom for seventeen years before going back to school. I sat for the coding certification exam in August 2007 and passed! I believe it was harder than the lab cert exam! The difference was time. Going into the lab exam, I had my pencil and my brain --- I either knew the answer or not. For the coding exam, the answers are in the coding books in front of you. Now, how fast can you find the correct answer?! My point is --- if I can do it, so can you!!!! I'm working in a physician's office, which is more billing than coding, but here I am! My advise is take the certification exam! Have faith in yourself and add CPC to your name on that resume!!!


  3. #3


    Thank you for your in-put. This makes me feel better that there is someone else my age that just got started in life. My 19 yr. old asked me when I started back to school,"Mom don't you think you're a little old to go back to school?" I think I screamed it out NO I DON'T THINK SO!!! and little did he know my grade were better than his. Thanks again for your advise and words of encouragement.

  4. #4


    I wish I would have taken my exam fresh out of school. If you work hard through school and know your stuff, I believe you can pass it. Because when you're in school, you learn coding for every specialty and the guidelines pretty well for the cpt anyways. It would have been alot easier for me. I waited a few years after I got out of school. I am in Internal Medicine and e&m coding on my job, so I had to learn everything all over. I encourage people fresh out of coding school to go on and study to take the test. You may have A on the end of your credentials, but at least the hard part will be over. Good Luck. Don't get discouraged. All I used was the 2007 AAPC study guide and a practice test, and learned my guidelines in the ICD-9 coding books real well, and I passed. It was hard, but not as hard as I thought it would be.

  5. #5


    Where do you get the study guide and practice test? I am retaking cpc exam in dec. and would like some extra study materials.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    You can find the study guides here on the AAPC website or there are many other companies that offer such guides.

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