Caron MacDonald-Lefebvre - An MTTI Success Story

Success Stories

Caron MacDonald-Lefebvre

Medical Assistant 2012 Graduate
Medical Assistant at The Handel Center for Spine, Sports and Rehabilitation

On her first day employed as a Medical Assistant at The Handel Center for Spine, Sports & Pain Intervention, MTTI representatives arrived on-site to present Caron with the Littmann stethoscope she earned as a tool bonus. Even as a new-hire, Caron appeared calm and comfortable as she multitasked to attend to patients’ needs. 

When Caron enrolled at MTTI, she was working as an EMT, and had completed a year’s coursework in Radiography. Caron decided to pursue Medical Assisting, in preference to Radiography, because she wanted to provide patient care at a fast pace and juggle multiple priorities, as she did as an EMT. She also wanted a professional health care career that is expected grow in the future.

When she visited MTTI prior to enrolling, Caron “…liked the whole atmosphere from the minute I walked in the door. The school was very clean and everyone was helpful."

Caron enjoyed getting back into the classroom. “I had hands-on experience as an EMT, but at MTTI I learned medical terminology and computer skills, including Medical Manager and an introduction to Electronic Medical Records (EMR).  I wish I had given even more effort to learning the computer operations that MTTI taught; I realize now how important EMR is to the healthcare industry.” However, the hands-on computer practice she did in the classroom enabled her to learn, at her internship, how to use Turbo-Doc to record patient encounters, and Centricity EMR to enter demographics and schedule appointments.

At the beginning of her six-week internship at the Handel Center, Caron did have doubts about working indoors—and about remaining in one work setting all day.

“I was used to traveling to multiple sites in an ambulance. The first week of the internship was challenging. I had to get used to being inside.” Caron slowly adapted to the new setting and learned to blend her personality with those of the other medical team members.

Caron’s employer, Dr. Todd Handel, recently moved his practice into a custom-designed office with a procedure room.

By bringing in-house the services he had formerly offered only in the hospital, Dr. Handel states, “We will now be able to provide easier access of care for interventional pain management.” Caron thrives in this new full-service center; she especially enjoys working with Dr. Handel in the procedure room. Because she learned administrative as well as clinical skills at school, Caron is well able to help out with front desk operations. “The busier it is, the better I like it.”

Handel Center’s Practice Manager, Roberta Neves, hadn’t originally planned to hire a new Medical Assistant.

During Caron’s internship, Dr. Handel and Roberta recognized how much she contributed to the practice. Roberta explained, “Dr. Handel and I just couldn’t let her go.” According to Roberta, “Caron’s patient care is phenomenal. She knows how to triage—to recognize warning signs such as an increase in blood pressure. And the patients love her.” Roberta characterized Caron as “…catching on quickly and getting along with everyone.” Dr. Handel agreed, “She’s been terrific—she’s really good.” Roberta and Dr. Handel are pleased that Caron is an excellent match for their practice.

Caron offers some straightforward advice to students:

“Never second guess or doubt yourself. Push through by thinking about something positive.”  In Caron’s opinion, “It is not an option to not get through the program!” Caron also stresses the importance of being professional. “You can’t be too loud—you need to blend with the other staff.”  She advises new interns to “…pay attention, listen and observe. Ask for help and listen to feedback to learn your job.” 

Caron appreciates the support she received from friends and family, and from her instructor and the staff at MTTI. “In the future, I will complete an Associate’s Degree, but right now I want to do a good job as a Medical Assistant at Handel Center.”


The Handel Center for Spine, Sports and Rehabilitation

Dr. Todd Handel is an interventional Physiatrist (a doctor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation), who specializes in various spine injections for pain management. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School and completed a residency at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, in conjunction with Harvard Medical School. Dr. Handel specializes in spine treatments, and neuromuscular and sports medicine. He also treats such conditions as low back pain, herniated disks, degenerative spine injuries, sports and golf injuries, and muscle, tendon and nerve ailments.

The Handel Center for Spine, Sports & Pain Intervention (Providence, RI) provides a comprehensive treatment program, including physical therapy and massage therapy on-site. The new center has a lead-lined room with x-ray equipment onsite, allowing precise needle placement. Dr. Handel also offers ultrasonic guided needle placement for localized tendon and ligament injections for musculoskeletal sports medicine. The Licensed Massage Therapist provides deep tissue and manual trigger point therapy, which integrates with the physical services to treat musculoskeletal disorders—all readily available in a relaxed, stress-reduced environment.