Another thing to consider is getting the first job. Right now there are a lot of newly credentialed coders (CPC-A), without experience that are having a hard time finding a job. If you physician friend is considering giving you a chance I would take it.
You can study on your own (or at least on an online class), but it is not for everyone. You would need at least some one to mentor you and answer questions. Coding is a very gray world so it's hard to get everything from a book.
This is a good website with lot of information for people who have a lot of questions about the industry, just looking into this career, or are working on getting certified.
this page has alot about coding from home and what is expected
If you have any questions use the contact us link at the bottom of the website to reach me.
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