One recommendation you will see sometimes in your search for a quality medical transcription school is to choose an accredited program. For many kinds of online education, that’s a good recommendation. For medical transcription, however, I recommend a different criteria. I recommend seeking out AHDI Approval.
Accreditation for an online school in general is a good thing, so long as it is legitimate. The trouble is that some schools set up their own accrediting agency to make themselves look legitimate.
You can solve this problem by checking to see if the accrediting agency itself is legitimate. Visit http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/Search.aspx to see if the agency is listed. This can help you to determine if the agency is legitimate or suspect.
Accreditation means that the school meets the criteria set forth by the accrediting agency. This can be important if you want your school credits to be transferrable to another college. But when you study medical transcription, your goals are a little different.
This is why I recommend AHDI. They don’t accredit schools. They make sure that they are offering high quality medical transcription training. The criteria they check are the exact ones you need for your future as a medical transcriptionist.
Regular accrediting programs don’t do this. They accredit the college as a whole, and there’s no focus on medical transcription. Some accredited online schools do a poor job of training medical transcriptionists. If this is the industry for you, you want to be certain that your training is good enough to get you a job, not just college credit.
AHDI is the largest professional society in the world for medical transcriptionists and others who work in clinical documentation.
AHDI Approval means the schools follow the AHDI Model Curriculum, provide at least 35 hours of real physician dictation, have at least one CMT involved, uses the AHDI Book of Style, must have existed for at least six months and have provided student placement statistics and must offer course instructors to students, as well as other criteria. This approval is well regarded by many medical transcription employers.
They don’t approve a lot of schools. I see 22 schools on their list as of this writing.
It is vital to note that AHDI Approval is a separate thing from AHDI membership. Don’t be fooled by schools simply claiming AHDI membership. Anyone can join AHDI. It has nothing to do with the quality of the educational program. You need to look for AHDI Approval.
You should also still do your research on approved schools, to be certain that it meets your needs before you apply to the school.
As you do your research, remember your goal in studying medical transcription. It’s not about college credit. It’s about qualifying for a career with good growth potential, flexibility and pay.
My personal preference out of the schools approved by AHDI is Career Step. The quality of their education is good, and they are partnered with some employers, giving you a good chance at finding work after graduation