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Can You Become a Certified Medical Transcriptionist Right Out of School?

Sep 2, 2008
One of the areas that greatly confuses people looking to get into medical transcription is the title of Certified Medical Transcriptionist. If you're just getting into the industry it may sound like a great goal to aim for even before you get your first job. You may even think the program you are going through will give you that certification.

This is where many people make their first mistake. The certificate of completion that some medical transcription courses offer has nothing at all to do with becoming a certified medical transcriptionist. These are two entirely different matters.

For one thing, AHDI, the agency that offers the designation of Certified Medical Transcriptionist, does not allow you to take the CMT test before you have at least two years of experience as an acute care medical transcriptionist. The test is extremely challenging, and your typical graduate does not nearly have the knowledge to pass this test. Give yourself time and build up your experience.

If you really want something that shows your skills, you can consider trying the Registered Medical Transcriptionist test. The RMT designation is for less experienced transcriptionists who nonetheless wish to have proof of their skill level.

Fortunately, neither designation is required in order to land a job. I worked for three years in medical transcription without worrying about taking either of these tests.

There are, however, appropriate times to consider these options. Some employers pay CMTs more, for example. Why wouldn't you try to qualify for more pay if your skills justify it? If getting your CMT is the only way to do it, go for it! But if you aren't going to benefit financially, be clear on why it is you want to take this test.

I don't believe that getting an RMT is necessary either, but if you're needing that extra little boost to your resume, it may be worth reading up on to see if you want to spend the money to qualify. However, with good training from a well-recommended school you can certainly skip it.

When you're just getting started, the first thing you should be focused on is making the most of the training course you sign up for. Study the materials do the work, even do it twice if it helps you to really absorb the material. Don't be thinking about certifications you might want in the future. The quality of your training and how well you understood it will matter most to any potential employers.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster runs http://www.medicaltranscriptionbasics.com/ to help people who want to get into medical transcription. Learn about online medical transcription training at her site.
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