Medical Transcription Basics

Medical transcription training and schooling tips

Category: Future of Medical Transcription

Are Medical Transcriptionists Being Phased Out? Is It Still Worth Studying?

One of the big things new and current medical transcriptionists are concerned about are the changes in the industry. They’re a big deal. Electronic medical records and voice recognition are changing the need for medical transcriptionists, and some have lost their jobs over the changes.

This doesn’t so much mean you shouldn’t study medical transcription as it means you should study for the changes so you can work with them. Giving up on a career that is still considered to have good growth potential isn’t a smart move. Knowing where that career is moving to and preparing for it is a much better move.

This is something you can do as a part of you medical transcription education. Some schools do offer additional courses to help you prepare to become a medical transcription editor. This does still require the full medical transcriptionist training, but you also learn how to edit reports created by voice recognition software. Given that the software doesn’t do everything perfectly, this is still a part that doctors need medical transcriptionists to handle for them.

You can expect an editor position to have a different pay scale from a transcriptionist position. Corrections should be possible to handle more quickly than transcribing a complete report, and so you should be able to get through more of them at a lower cost per report to the doctor.

It’s also helpful to remember that it’s not just doctor offices and hospitals that use medical transcriptionists. Dentists, veterinarians, chiropractors, pharmaceutical companies doing studies on new medications – any place that needs to keep track of medical information is going to use medical transcriptionists. They aren’t all going to make the switch to voice recognition right away.

Working as a transcriptionist is also a way to get into other medical work if that’s your interest. Most other positions won’t allow you to be home based as transcription may, but when you’re ready to take a new direction with your career, you’ll have options. You’ll know a lot about medical reports and medical information in general, and that’s a useful skill in other careers. You could do proofreading for medical journals, train other medical transcriptionists, and so forth.

Another important factor to remember is that while electronic medical records make it a matter of pointing and clicking to record the basics of patient care, they don’t cover everything a well dictated and transcribed report does. There’s valuable information that should still be dictated. You provide the skills to help with the electronic medical records and files generated by the speech recognition software, and you can keep yourself in demand.

The change in required skills is a big part of what’s driving the fear surrounding the future of medical transcription. Not everyone wants to learn the new skills when the old are so comfortable. Make yourself comfortable with a wide range of skills for this industry and you have a better shot at keeping yourself employed for the long term.

Get free information from Career Step about their online medical transcriptionist training.

What Are the Future Prospects for Medical Transcriptionist Training?

You’re ready to learn medical transcription, but you’ve been hearing some things that have you a bit worried about the future of this industry. Will it all be worth it? What kind of future is there in getting medical transcriptionist training?

It’s not as bad as many would say, I believe. There is a future for medical transcriptionists, and you can use your time in training to prepare for it.

The big thing medical transcriptionists are concerned about is the growth of electronic medical records and voice recognition software. Why should a doctor pay a transcriptionist to do work that his or her computer can handle for him at the instant of dictation? It would save money to skip that part, right?

There’s some truth to that, and certainly many doctors are going to voice recognition software. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need someone to check to make sure the dictation came out right. There’s still a need for an editor to confirm that the software got it right, and that the doctor didn’t misspeak. They both make mistakes, and it’s important to keep such mistakes out of the medical records as much as possible. That’s where the future of medical transcription is likely headed.

This is something to consider during your training. Schools such as Career Step now offer training that includes preparation for dealing with electronic medical records. While it’s hard to say just how important that’s going to be, anything that gives you a step up in career related knowledge is likely to be a good thing.

Even so, you need the basic medical transcriptionist training to do the work of a medical records editor. You still need to know all the terminology, all the physiology, anatomy, disease processes and so forth.

As a career, medical transcription is still expected to continue growing in demand. Just think of all the requirements of an aging population, as the Baby Boomer generation gets older. Jobs in the medical field in general will probably continue to be high demand. The technology may change exactly what is demanded by the work, but the work will not disappear entirely for some time.

You’ll probably encounter some naysayers when you talk about pursuing this career from people who know how the technology is changing. Don’t let them get you down. Instead, learn to discuss the great options you have to keep things going. The changes don’t mean your career will vanish overnight, just that it’s changing. Be prepared and you’ll do fine.

Get free information from Career Step about their online medical transcriptionist training.

How to Keep Up on Medical Transcription Changes

The medical transcription industry keeps changing. It wasn’t so many years ago that transcriptionists had to pick up and drop off their work. Then they started being able to dial into phone systems to listen to dictation, and send in their reports by fax or over an internet connection. Now pretty much all of the work is done over the internet.

And that’s just the technology changes transcriptionists have had to deal with, not the new medications, drugs and procedures they have to keep up with.

But the biggest change for medical transcriptionists may be coming as doctors and hospitals move over to electronic records and the frequency of doctors using voice recognition software increases. Will you be ready as a medical transcriptionist to keep moving your career forward?

Medical Transcription Forums

One way to keep up is to participate in a medical transcription forum. What you haven’t heard about on your own, someone else on the forum is certain to have heard of.

Find a good, active forum. There may be one associated with your school that graduates can use, but there are several others available as well.


AHDI is the largest group of medical transcriptionists and other healthcare documenters in the world. It gives you access to further training that may benefit you as a transcriptionist. It’s also a great resource if you’re thinking about other career paths a medical transcriptionist can take.

One of the great parts about being a member of a professional organization is that it gives you the chance to network with others in your same career. This is truly wonderful for people who work at home and don’t get the daily social time people who work in offices get. It’s nice to know that others in your industry are dealing with the same challenges.

Additional Training

You may also want to consider additional formal training. It is possible to get training now to deal with electronic medical records and editing reports generated by electronic medical records. This training can qualify you to work as a medical transcription editor, which some feel is where the industry is headed.

There are programs that can train you as a medical transcription editor whether you’re just starting your training as a medical transcriptionist or you have years of experience. For people who haven’t done medical transcription before, the course is simply combined with the training all medical transcriptionists need.

Taking on this training is a great addition to your resume. It opens up more positions for you and is an assurance that you can continue in this industry as it continues to change.

Career Step offers training to help you become a medical transcription editor. Get more information from them today.

Where Does Medical Transcription Go From Here?

One of the big topics of concern for medical transcriptionists is the future of their career. While voice recognition software isn’t perfect, and many doctors don’t care to do the work involved in training it, it’s getting better. What does that mean for medical transcription as a career?

Whether you’re considering training as a medical transcriptionist or working as one now, it’s something to pay attention to. It may well be more important than concerns about outsourcing medical transcription overseas.

For now, there’s still a good amount of regular medical transcription work out there. As an industry, it’s still expected to grow at an average rate. The jobs aren’t going to vanish overnight.

That doesn’t mean you can’t start preparing for future possibilities.

Even as medical records go to electronic versions, people trained in medical transcription are going to be needed. The difference comes in some of the additional skills you may want to be trained in.

You may want to be trained in checking the transcripts that come from voice recognition software. This is going to be an important skill. Voice recognition software has been getting better, but it’s not likely to be perfect anytime in the near future. Consider that medical transcriptionists have been hearing about it for more than a decade. Improvements to the technology have been slow.

That means humans will need to continue to be involved in the process.

The likely change is that you will start doing more editing, and less direct transcription. You may be checking to see that the software got all the dictation right, and ensure that the transcripts are formatted correctly.

That will take skills much like medical transcriptionists have now. You can’t outdo the software if you don’t understand the doctor yourself.

The good part is that an individual medical transcription editor can go through reports more quickly than someone transcribing from scratch. You’re likely to spend more time listening to make sure everything matches, and just a bit of time fixing the mistakes.

Pay rates will likely change to reflect the difference.

Increased productivity may well mean that fewer transcriptionists are needed. This can sound like a problem, but remember that the field already has good demand, and that the population overall is aging. The change may or may not be offset by the added demands for people working in the medical field in general.

In other words, things are not too bleak for medical transcriptionists, in my opinion.

Can You Get Trained Now?

Career Step now offers training for people interested in working in medical transcription editing. They’ve noticed the need and made it possible for you to be ready to work in offices that don’t need traditional medical transcriptionists.

Their training can be done by either new students who have never worked as medical transcriptionists before or by experienced workers. Your degree of experience determines the course you take with them.

It’s a great time to get prepared for what may be the future of medical transcription. There’s no point in being unprepared for changes you can see lying ahead of you.

Contact Career Step for free information today.

Will Voice Recognition Ruin Your Medical Transcription Career?

One of the biggest fears medical transcriptionists have for their careers relates to voice recognition software. And indeed, some doctors are using it to transcribe their reports. But voice recognition is far from reliable enough to take over all that a good medical transcriptionist can do.

Current software just isn’t up to the job. Medical reports need an exceptional degree of accuracy that is incredibly difficult for a machine to match. It goes beyond figuring out which word or drug the physician said, and includes issues such as accurate punctuation.

When you think about words that might challenge a voice recognition software, you could think of too, to and two, or their and they’re but these aren’t even the biggest problems. Many drugs have similar names, sometimes just because you’re talking brand name versus generic, but other times the two drugs aren’t related. Then there are words that can run together, such as "you’re in" versus "urine".

The learning curve is a big part of what will keep many doctors from using software. It takes time to train the software to your voice, as well as to train yourself to speak slowly enough. I can tell you from personal experience that many doctors dictate their notes for transcription at an incredibly fast rate of speech. Many will simply be unwilling to slow down so that a computer can do the work.

And of course then the work would still need to be proofread. The extra work will not be of interest to many doctors.

However, some medical transcriptionists have tried voice recognition software too. It can work for transcriptionists, rather than against. The added step of needing to proofread is not always too much of a burden. But it can be challenging to speak as you listen. This technology is certainly not for all medical transcriptionists.

Voice recognition does better in other areas. My father loves using ViaVoice as he works on his computer, strongly preferring it to Dragon NaturallySpeaking. It’s a way to put less strain on his wrists as he works on the computer.

Then there are the formatting and punctuation issues. Once again, obvious to a transcriptionist, not so clear to a computer.

People have been worried about voice recognition destroying the medical transcription industry for at least a decade. The changes are happening so slowly that you can pretty much rely on it taking a very long time for the software to reach a point where it could be a danger.

But there is one possible combination in which doctors dictate using voice recognition software, and transcriptionists clean it up. Faster for each, and cheaper per report for the doctor. It’s a distinct possibility that would allow doctors to take advantage of the technology without adding too much to their own workloads.

In other words, going through with getting your medical transcription education isn’t too bad an idea. The jobs should hang around for a long time yet.