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4 Reasons to Study Medical Transcription

Sep 11, 2008
It's not for everyone, but if you have what it takes and the interest and the basic skills to start with, medical transcription can be a wonderful career choice.

1. Learning medical terminology can be a great mental workout.

There's a lot of medical transcription terminology to pick up as you study. If you don't already have a pretty good everyday vocabulary, training to become a medical transcriptionist is going to be pretty challenging.

Remember learning about prefixes and suffixes in school? You'll be doing more work in this area to get familiar with ones you haven't used before. And you'll need it for when the doctor comes up with an obscure term.

2. Despite rumors to the contrary, the industry still looks healthy.

Yes, there are always rumors about voice recognition software and/or outsourcing ruining opportunities for medical transcriptionists. They tend to be greatly exaggerated.

Certainly there are doctors who are using voice recognition software. There are doctors outsourcing medical transcription to other countries.

Quality matters tremendously, however, as does privacy. Voice recognition still has trouble with medical terminology, and it is expected that the worst this will do will be to make it necessary for doctors to employ transcriptionists as editors, so that mistakes do not persist in their records. We're talking about people's health, after all.

Outsourcing similarly has problems with accuracy if the foreign transcriptionists are not well enough trained. It also suffers from privacy considerations, as United States law does not apply to people in other countries.

3. The work is interesting if you enjoy medical topics.

Some reports may make you glad that you're just typing them up, not seeing them as they happen. Others will just be fascinating as you hear about the medical conditions people are dealing with.

One of my favorite parts of being a transcriptionist was learning about the different conditions. Once in a while it would even come in handy in my own life for a family member. Then again, it was hugely frustrating when my son had a condition I'd never heard of because I didn't specialize in pediatric transcription.

4. You can decide where to work and whether you want a job or a business.

Many medical transcriptionists work at home, but others do work onsite. There are advantages to each, and you can decide which suits you best. Search for the jobs with the working conditions you desire.

But if you want to earn more, there are also great possibilities for running your own transcription business. You can be just a single person running a business with as many clients as you feel comfortable handling, or you can hire your own employees.

The biggest challenge with running a transcription business is getting time off. Even if you go the solo route, I strongly recommend getting to know some subcontractors. You will want a vacation someday, won't you?

You can also set your own hours, within the limits of the turnaround time you need to achieve. If you're running your own business, this will be vital to your success. If you're employed by someone else but work at home, you can still probably set your own hours, so long as you notify your employer. Probably the only time you have no control over your schedule is when you work onsite.

Overall, medical transcription is an exciting and challenging field to study. If you have the determination and interest, you can earn a good living while enjoying your work.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster runs http://www.medicaltranscriptionbasics.com/ for people interested in getting into medical transcription. Learn more about getting your medical transcription education at her site.
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