Merced College Los Banos Campus debuted its Medical Assisting Program October 2020.

Yes, during a pandemic with social distancing requirements in full force. Three students from of our initial cohort were resilient and just completed their studies. Jon Narvaez, Iris Ortiz, and Princess Solorio showed up to class, spent long study hours, but they achieved such great milestone. They each are grateful to the support they received at Merced College Los Banos Campus and are excited for their future.

Vikki Grijalva, Program Assistant, was thanked by each student for her welcoming demeanor and for all her help in leading them to exactly where they need to go. Students thanked their professors, Professor Mehat, Professor Valdez, and Professor Ipock. It was through the commitment of our program assistant and professors that this program continues to be a success. We expect more graduates in December and in the upcoming months.

The San Joaquin Valley has struggled for decades to recruit and train enough medical personnel to care for its people. For that reason alone, adding medical assisting in Los Banos, after 15 successful years in Merced, was a no-brainer. Students learned the Microsoft Office suite and Medisoft, and practiced handling electronic health records while doing medical office record-keeping. On the clinical side, students learned to take vitals, administer medications and injections, do labs and set up EKGs.

The great news is that it is all tuition-free, since it is a noncredit program. For-profit schools charge roughly $14,000 for the same training. The entire Los Banos program—including certification exams—costs $720 total.

Anyone interested in enrolling can reach out to Vikki Grijalva, program assistant, at or via phone at 209-381-6419.