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How can I Begin a Career in Medical Transcription?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2017
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Medical transcriptionists write down dictated information from doctors. They then write reports based on dictation. Even if one is excellent at shorthand, one usually requires training to work in medical transcription. Some on the job learning can be offered, but physicians tend to employ only those fully trained in medical transcription.

To be successful in medical transcription, one must have excellent typing skills. The most important training in medical transcription is education in medical terms. You will need both quick typing and medical term knowledge to quickly produce reports.

Most physicians will expect completion of a certain number of reports per day. Honing listening skills is important to increase speed. Not all medical transcription uses short hand. Many are required to know shorthand, especially if they take oral reports directly from a physician.

Some junior colleges and local trade schools offer classes in medical transcription. Most often, training is completed through online or correspondence schools. Doctors tend to accept any certification of completion from an accredited school. The proof is in one's skills, however, so researching online or correspondence schools should be done carefully.

Many study medical transcription to work from home. Often those beginning a career in medical transcription have a better chance of employment if they work in a doctor’s office or hospital. Usually after a year or two of work, the medical transcriptionist can then work from home, either with the same employer, or by starting one’s own home business.

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A medical transcriptionist working from home may be paid a little more in salary, but may not have access to medical benefits. However, if employment continues with a doctor or hospital, access to benefits may still be available. Small businesses can also apply for insurance through small business co-ops to help to reduce costs.

Those working in medical transcription are now in direct competition with experts in foreign countries. Using freelancers allows doctors to pay much less than minimum wage to foreign employees. Estimates suggest that the median salary for experts in medical transcription has dropped about 10% in the last few years. This may continue to drop as doctors decide to hire medical transcription experts from a foreign country to reduce health care costs.

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Discuss this Article

renjith
Post 3

What are the chances of a medical transcriptionist in India getting work for individual wishing to work at home?

anon357034
Post 2

If you would like to have a career in medical transcription, which I would not advise if you are the main support of income for your family, you would need to go to Andrews School of Transcription or Career Step. Most companies will not even let you test unless you go to these schools.

I have been in transcription for almost 10 years and have seen a drastic cut in my pay due to VR (voice recognition). You also do not need a degree in medical transcription. I do not have one and found a job before I even graduated by going to one of the above-mentioned schools. Both offer online options. Good luck in whatever you choose.

anon333089
Post 1

The best chance of getting into this profession is to go to an accredited school and get an Associates Degree in applied science with an MT option. A lot of companies do not like hiring anyone directly out of school, but I found it to be helpful to make nice with the instructors, even when you hear rumors that he/she is not very nice.

I happened to get along very well with my instructor, despite the rumors, and we ended up friends. After graduating from college two years later with my Associates Degree, to my surprise, I got a phone call and was offered a job! They called the school and asked my instructor, who also happened to be the

head of the medical department for their best student and she gave them my phone number. I will forever be grateful to her, as I had no idea that she thought that highly of me.

I have been in this business eight years now, working from home and still love what I do. I was told that I would probably have to work in a hospital or doctor's office for a year or two before working at home, but I have worked from home from day one! There were 60 people in my class and only three of us graduated and I was the only one with a degree.

The other students, the last I heard, were working at Walmart, so don't listen to posts or people who say a degree doesn't matter because it does!

I am employed with a company and have health benefits, paid days off and love what I do more and more each day. Once you're finished with school and are looking for a job, networking is the key! Good luck to everyone who pursues this career!

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