How do I Choose the Best Online Medical Transcription Courses?

Carol Francois
Carol Francois
A person transcribing.
A person transcribing.

There are four items to consider when choosing the best online medical transcription courses: accreditation, course offering, faculty, and support services. Online medical transcription courses are available from both traditional colleges and dedicated online schools. Medical transcriptionist courses provide the training required to work as a medical transcriptionist. The transcriptionist is responsible for transcribing audio files into a written document. In addition to a verbatim transcription, he or she is also responsible for ensuring that the correct term is provided and that the written document follows standard grammatical structure.

Online schools provide access to course materials and instructors through the Internet. Students log onto a website where they can communicate with other students, submit assignments, and receive instructions and support. Many online schools provide access to academic counselors and other support staff to assist students.

When looking at online medical transcriptionist courses, the first item to check is the accreditation status. An accredited school has been reviewed by an independent third party. Courses from an accredited school can be transferred to other post-secondary institutions. Verify this before paying the course fees. Accredited schools are able to offer students access to government student aid programs. There are a large number of non-accredited schools offering online medical transcriptionist courses. Take the time to investigate the school before providing it with any payment.

Look at the list of all the online medical transcription courses available, which should be provided in the school's calendar. Check the course description to ensure that all the appropriate material is included in the course. Almost every course should require the use of a stenographer’s machine. This is the primary tool used to quickly type the information from the audio file.

Almost all online medical transcriptionist schools provide the biographies of their faculty or instructors on their website. The information listed typically includes the academic credentials, work experience, special training, and any awards they have received. Review this information and verify it independently, making sure that the accrediting agency is recognized.

All online medical transcription courses should provide access to instructor lectures, course notes, and group discussion tools. Most schools include the cost of the textbook in the course fee and send it directly to your home. Look for schools that have customer service to support the online course software available 24 hours per day. Most students complete their course work during evenings and weekends, and support during these times is very important.

The most important part of selecting online medical transcription courses is to ensure that you are able to complete the work. It is a common misconception that an online school is easier. In fact, success in an online course requires students to be more disciplined, focused, and self-motivated.

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Discussion Comments


@talentryto- You make a very good point. Many doctors, dentists, and hospitals have transitioned to computerized medical charting, which has seriously reduced the need for medical transcriptionists in these practices. What once was a career field that offered workers many available positions and created medical transcription schools and courses around the country is now in decline.

Some medical facilities and practices do still use medical transcription to chart patient notes. However, it is a good idea for anyone interested in this field to check with these facilities in his or her area before committing to an online medical transcription course. He or she may find that there are no positions available, or that there is a need to learn how to use the latest medical transcription technology and equipment to qualify for such jobs. This may require hands-on training in a classroom setting instead of online instruction.


I have heard that with new technology, it is difficult to find a job as a medical transcription specialist these days. If this is the case, wouldn't it be a waste of time and money to take an online medical transcription course?

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