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Growing as a CMA: Shondalyn's story

shondalyn robertson smiling in front of wall

Before Shondalyn began her medical assistant career at Duke Health in 2007, she always knew that Duke was where she wanted to be.  

Born at Duke University Hospital, Shondalyn grew up in a family whose Duke roots run deep. Her mother worked for Duke University Police as an officer and telecommunicator, and her aunt has worked with the Duke Patient Revenue Management Organization as a coder — each for over 30 years. 

Shortly after graduating from her medical assistant program, Shondalyn began her career as a new medical assistant with Duke Primary Care, finding the perfect role for her passion — pediatric patients. 

“I have worked in pediatrics since my start here at Duke. I love working with patients and their parents. I especially enjoy working with babies and first-time parents. I graduated from school knowing that I exclusively wanted to work at Duke and in pediatrics,” said Shondalyn. “Many said I was being too specific, but I knew what I wanted and where I wanted to be.” 

As Shondalyn continued in her career as a new medical assistant, she found the opportunities and support she needed to advance her career — including furthering her education.  

“I love that Duke fosters the continual need for knowledge and growth and encourages employees to never stop learning with their tuition assistance program. When I wanted to go back to school, my leadership team did not hesitate to assist with adjustments to my schedule to accommodate school, writing letters of recommendation, offering support and cheering me along every step of the way,” she said. 

Through this support, Shondalyn was able to obtain her certification and move through Duke Health’s Clinical Ladder, becoming a certified medical assistant II. 

Although Shondalyn has explored employment with other health systems through the years, she always came back to Duke Health for the unwavering support, reputation, and career growth. Now, with the continued support of her team, Shondalyn keeps growing with Duke Health. 

“My current leadership team is the reason I pursued my CMA III through the clinical ladder process," said Shondalyn.

Since advancing her career from an entry-level medical assistant to a certified medical assistant III at Duke Health, she's more confident than ever that her team will continue supporting her growth — no matter where her goals take her at Duke. 

"With their support and encouragement, I am confident that I will attain any future endeavors to advance my career," said Shondalyn. “I will hands down always recommend Duke and often tell people to ‘never leave.’"

Advance your medical assistant career at Duke Health and join an organization truly committed to your growth. 

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