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How Do I Become a Certified Medical Transcriptionist?

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  • Written By: Mallory Hall
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 21 January 2019
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Transcription jobs in the medical field usually are in demand, mainly because most certified medical transcriptionists work on a freelance basis and doctors can save money by hiring them as needed. A certified medical transcriptionist listens to dictations from physicians and transcribes them, while also working on various medical records as needed. To become a certified medical transcriptionist, you generally must earn a high school diploma, complete a medical transcription training program and obtain certification.

Before you can become a certified medical transcriptionist, you first must earn a high school diploma or a General Education Development® (GED®) certificate. It can also be helpful to take classes in high school that will pertain to medical transcription jobs. For instance, English, biology and anatomy classes can be beneficial, as proper grammar, a strong knowledge of the body and a command of medical terms are required. Excelling in these subjects to obtain your high school diploma will help you when you test for your certification later. A certified medical transcriptionist must also have strong typing skills, so computer classes may be helpful as well.

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After earning a GED® certificate or a high school diploma, a student interested in receiving medical transcriptionist certification typically enrolls in a medical transcription training program. The length of these programs is generally between six months to two years for a certificate, diploma or associate's degree; programs typically are offered at community colleges or online. Online classes might be beneficial for those who already have careers and families, or for those who may not have the time to devote to a full class schedule on a physical college campus.

Once you are enrolled in a medical transcriptionist certification program, it is important to do your best to pass the required classes. Most coursework involves English grammar and composition, as you not only will have to transcribe information from the doctors, but you will also have to ensure it is grammatically correct. Typically, students are assessed based on their transcribing skills and their knowledge of medical terms and anatomy. An internship can also be an excellent addition to your resume if you want to become a certified medical transcriptionist.

Most programs offer students the option to test for certification after they successfully complete the coursework and earn a degree. Obtaining certification, while not required, is highly recommended to earn a higher salary and move up in the area of your expertise. To become a certified medical transcriptionist in the United States, you must take a national exam administered by the American Association for Medical Transcription (AAMT) and pass it successfully to earn the title of Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT). Similar certifications may be available from governing bodies in other countries.

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