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Medical Transcription Explained


Medical transcription is a growing industry that's a good fit for some who want to work from home.  However, there are some scams that you should avoid. The more informed you are about medical transcription, the more likely you'll pursue legitimate opportunities.

Medical Transcription Jobs

You can land a medical transcription job as a contractor. The primary duty is to transcribe what a doctor, or other health professional, dictates while giving medical care. Doctors and hospitals need to bill your health insurance (unless you're paying cash) to receive payment for the care you receive. Your health insurance company often requires reports, letters, and other written documents from the doctor detailing the care you received before they'll pay. Doctors don't have the time to transcribe those details. That's where a medical transcriptionist comes in. While some hospitals and doctors will hire an employee to do this, the majority of health care providers will outsource it to a medical transcriptionist. Other duties include identifying discrepancies in medical reports and amending patients' records.

The field is expanding as the aging population continues to grow and require more treatment. This results in the need for more transcriptionists to help with the paperwork required by health insurance companies and government programs.

Medical Transcription Certification

You don't need formal training for medical transcription, but having a certificate makes you competitive. Doctors sometimes prefer to hire those who have completed a certification program beyond high school. You can get certified at your local community college or through a distance-learning program. It usually takes 1 year to complete a course and become certified. The course will cover medical terminology, grammar, punctuation, etc. If you already have experience in the medical field, you can just take a refresher course and shorten the time it takes to get certified.

You can become a Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) or a Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT). The issue of certification must be considered carefully because although some doctors prefer it, others will gladly outsource work to a non-certified transcriptionist overseas. As a result, you may have to work for low pay, and therefore paying for a certification course may not be worth the time and money.

Medical Transcription at Home

Digital dictation technology makes it possible for you to work from home as a medical transcriptionist. It allows dictations to be sent over emails. If they still use analog dictation, then you'll receive it by mail or courier service. Many providers require a fast turn around. The faster you are, the more value you'll add and the more you'll get hired. Keep this in mind if you need more flexibility and control over your hours. Medical transcription entails working long hours, and it can be challenging. The willingness to work hard and fast is key to being profitable. To find a contract opportunity, research national transcription services online. You can also network with doctors and hospital personnel.

You can work at home as a medical transcriptionist, but you should never pay to join any "business opportunities". While you can earn a decent living eventually, plan for slow and steady growth as you work to improve your typing for dictation.


Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.

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