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Career & Finance Fridays

Employment & Career

Medical Transcription

Growing up, I had a friend whose mom was a medical transcriptionist. As a kid I didn’t really understand what type of job that was. All I knew is that she worked long hours at a computer in their home office. 

Once in awhile she worked at the hospital as well, but for the most part you could find her typing away at her computer. 

Then, as an adult in my early 20’s my mom decided to become a medical transcriptionist. My dad worked as a police officer and had been transferred to a new city so my mom decided to start a new career.

She got hired at the local hospital as a transcriptionist. She didn’t mind the work itself but the hospital kept making changing to their software system that made the job very difficult. 

Not only that, but they had quotas to meet each day that made the job stressful. If one of the transcriptionists ended up with a difficult tape to transcribe, maybe with difficult terminology or a Dr. with a strong accent, they would find it almost impossible to meet their quota. 

The thing is, having a Dr.’s dictated notes transcribed into a patient file is serious business. If an error is made, it could really mess up the patient’s file and cause a lot of problems moving forward. 

So if medical transcription is on your list of potential careers, make sure to assess all the pros and cons. It can be a great, flexible career that you can work at from home - but it can also be stressful.

Recommended Book

Medical Transcription For Dummies

Dec 06, 2012
ISBN: 9781118461051

Interesting Fact #1

Medical transcriptionists use electronic devices to convert voice recordings from physicians and other healthcare workers into formal reports.


Interesting Fact #2

Many medical transcriptionists work for hospitals, physicians' offices, and third-party transcription companies that provide services to healthcare establishments. Most are full time, but part-time work is common.


Interesting Fact #3

The median annual wage for medical transcriptionists was $34,730 in May 2022.


Quote of the day

“The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.” ― Voltaire

Article of the day - The Importance of Medical Transcription for Healthcare

Doctors and nurses have some of the most important but also some of the most demanding careers. Their patients trust them with their health and lives. To handle such a huge responsibility, they need to keep up with the latest research and technological advances in the medical field. They never stop learning.

To comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) standards, they also have to keep diligent notes on the care they provide. Mankind has had medical records ever since we’ve learned how to write.

These medical records used to be written by the doctors themselves. Later on, they would dictate them to stenographers. The typed information was added to the patient’s file, which was then stored with records from other patients in filing cabinets.

The emergence of audio recording devices made it possible for doctors and medical transcribers to work asynchronously. The way medical records are stored has also changed. Desktops computers have replaced filing cabinets since this allows immediate remote access by authorized personnel.

Nowadays, most transcribers work with audio files sent to them digitally by healthcare practitioners. Smaller providers may still have in-house transcriptionists, but that’s very rare. It’s far more common to work with a medical transcription service provider. In this article, we will explore the importance of this service for healthcare.

Communication and Collaboration

Medical transcription is essential to healthcare because medical professionals need to communicate and collaborate with each other. Even if you go to a small clinic, chances are that more than one medical professional will work on your case. Maybe your primary care physician will want to refer you to a specialist, which means they will need to send your medical information to that specialist.

The specialist will review your medical record, consult you and perhaps prescribe further tests. They will add their findings to your record. Medical transcriptionists facilitate the transfer of information between medical professionals so everyone is on the same page and you get the right diagnosis and treatment.

Once the diagnosis is made and the treatment prescribed, it’s usually the responsibility of nurses and supporting staff to make sure the patient receives the recommended care. They also rely on medical records to avoid complications and keep you healthy.


Doctors, nurses, and pharmacists all need accurate medical records. They rely on it to assess the health of their patients and make an informed decision on the best course of action. In other words, accuracy is vital. Having these records allows them to take into account previous medical conditions and treatment strategies, so their recommendations don’t cause more harm than good.

To ensure this accuracy, medical transcriptionists go through formalized training to obtain certification. During this training, they learn medical and pharmaceutical terminology, as well as the HIPAA standards they must comply with.

Similarly to how doctors specialize in a certain field, so do medical transcriptionists. This is because there is such a high amount of terminology in every single field that it would be impossible for one person to gain a reasonable level of expertise in all of them. There are close to one hundred different medical specialties.

Question of the day - What do you think is the most appealing thing about medical transcription as a career?

Employment & Career

What do you think is the most appealing thing about medical transcription as a career?