Medical transcription terminology can be confusing, and sometimes it starts as you begin learning about the industry. You research what it takes to become a medical transcriptionist and see terms such as Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) and see schools offering a medical transcription certificate, and it’s easy to think they’re the same thing.
Problem is, they aren’t. Not remotely.
A certificate showing you completed your medical transcription training means nothing more than that you finished your training. Any school can give you that if they choose. It’s a little something to show what you’ve accomplished in your education.
Becoming a Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) is entirely different. No school can give that title to you. You test to get your CMT through AHDI, and they’re the only ones who can legitimately offer that. You must have at least two years of acute care medical transcription experience or equivalent in order to take the test in the first place. A newly graduated student, no matter how well they’ve done in their studies, is not qualified or prepared for it.
That doesn’t mean there’s a problem with giving students a certificate of completion, so long as the school does not refer to it as making you a CMT. You can get a certificate of completion for a lot of things. It’s a not uncommon term. If they do make it sound as though you’d be a CMT after graduation, you know that you’ve found a school you can cross off the list for consideration.
If your school gives you a certificate of completion, it’s important that you don’t list yourself as a CMT on your resume. You aren’t one, and with your lack of experience, the employer you’re applying with will know it. Claiming that title when you not only haven’t taken the test but don’t have any experience would be a major mistake on a resume. Many medical terms can be very confusing if you don’t understand what they both mean, and it’s vital to your success as a medical transcriptionist that you not confuse them. Show an employer that you can’t keep “certificate of completion” apart from “Certified Medical Transcriptionist” and they’ll lose interest in you fast.
These kinds of issues are a part of why it’s so important to attend a high quality medical transcription school. If they’re misleading you about what you can claim on your resume after graduation, how much do you want to trust them to train you right? You’re much better off going with a school that employers trust. There’s not much point in going to school for it if you can’t get a job in the industry.