I Am AAPC: Yacelin Vazquez, CPC-A

I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cuba, and I taught at a university there. When I emigrated to the United States in 2016, I felt lost and frustrated in my professional life because I had very basic knowledge of English. My first goal was to learn the language, and my second goal was to find a job.

I went through an English program at Miami Dade College and, at the same time, I started working as a cashier in a Dollar Tree store. It took me about two years to feel comfortable with the language.

Changes Careers

After researching and talking with some friends, I decided to make a transition in my career from teaching cultural and social aspects to the health field. In particular, medical coding seemed like a good option for me.

Receives CPC® Credential

A friend referred me to CCM Coding Academy in Hialeah, Florida. I started the Certified Professional Coder (CPC®) training in a classroom setting once a week, heavily depending on my effort and hard work. This academy had certified professional instructors, accredited by AAPC, and offered a bilingual course. This aspect made it easier for me to understand the medical terminology, anatomy overviews, and physiology, as well as study ICD-10-CM, CPT®, and HCPCS Level II.

After finishing the 80-hour program, I decided to buy AAPC’s practice exams to feel more confident. I took the CPC® exam in 2019, held by the Weston, Florida, local chapter. This was a great challenge for me, considering English is not my first language and I had no prior knowledge of medicine. But with systematic study habits and personal effort, I got my certificate on my first attempt.

“I decided to buy AAPC’s practice exams to feel more confident. … I got my certificate on my first attempt.”

Looks Forward to Coding

I know that gaining my CPC® is not the end of my education. New diseases and procedures arise, others are deleted; technology advances and affects the practice of medicine, all of which call medical coders to research and update for life. My future career plan is to get a job in the medical coding field and grow as a professional.


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