When Medical Assistant Erika Tamayo goes to work at LVMC:Physician Services, she always tries to have a smile on her face.

As a Medical Assistant, she’s busy scheduling, making phone calls, helping patients and assisting in the office. She typically is assigned to work with Dr. Randy Michel, Dr. Dale Amanda Tylor and Dr. John McCaffery.

Patient care is her favorite aspect of her job. “I think about it as my family – my mother, father, sister,” she says. “That’s the way I would like to be treated. I treat all my patients as my family.” She said that Dr. Michel taught her a lot about how to treat patients.

“I learned so much from him,” she says. “He taught me that patient care is the most important thing, to make sure they feel comfortable coming into the office.” She likes to make sure she’s efficient, and works to make sure patients get the results they’re waiting for as quickly as possible. “I always try to put myself in their shoes and do the best I can,” she explains.

Erika has been at Physician Services (formerly Valley Medical Group) since 2004. She grew up in Lompoc and attended Lompoc High School, but didn’t know what to do as a career. She worked at Vandenberg Air Force Base, and had a friend who was taking a Medical Assistant course. So, after her daughter was born, she took an eight-month course at the Center for Employment Training.

She enjoys the active pace of the healthcare practice. “We all get along,” she said of her coworkers. “We help each other.” The mother of three children says she feels as if she’s in the right place.

“I enjoy every day,” she says. “I come to work with a smile, knowing I’ll make their life better by assisting them to get into see the doctor they need to see.”