How do I Choose the Best Medical Transcriptionist Course?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 05 January 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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A medical transcriptionist course is available from community or career colleges, as well as dedicated online schools. A medical transcriptionist is trained to listen to an audio file of the physician’s notes and transcribe that into a legible document. In addition to excellent listening skills, he or she must be familiar with medical terminology, abbreviations, and standard English grammar. There are three things to consider when looking for the best medical transcriptionist course: method of instruction, qualified instructors, and certification.

There are two primary instruction methods available for a medical transcriptionist course: classroom based or distance learning. Both methods have their strengths and weaknesses. Classroom based courses require travel, dedicated time, and follow a set time schedule. However, the course instructor is readily available to ask questions, get help, and provide instant corrections.

Distance learning can be done anywhere, is available at your convenience, and can be extended over a longer period of time. The downside is that the instructor can only see the results of your work, they cannot see how you are doing it. Correcting technique to improve speed, reduce repetitive strain risk, and better posture for long-term comfort is almost impossible in a distance learning program. In addition, all the motivation and drive must come directly from the student.


It is very important that the medical transcriptionist course be taught by qualified instructors. This skill can appear deceptively easy, but is actually quite demanding to learn. The speed and consistency required to become a professional medical transcriptionist requires a significant amount of effort and dedication. The level of skill the instructor possesses has a huge impact on the depth of material that can be covered.

When comparing courses, ask about the certification programs they offer, as there are several different organizations for professional medical transcriptionists. Avoid any course that does not result in a recognized, independent certification, as this is typically required by employers. The certifying association or agency will typically have a timed exam, a review of your academic credentials, and may have an experience requirement. It is important to be informed of these items in advance, so that you have enough time to meet the requirements before submitting your application.

It is important to note that most transcriptionists are self-employed. The ability to find and retain clients will be negatively impacted if you don't have any certification of your skills. Non-certified courses are usually less expensive, but that money is actually wasted if you have to retake the same course from a different school to obtain certification.



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