What Is A Medical Transcriptionist?

What does a medical transcriptionist do?

MTinformation - what is a medical transcriptionist

A Medical Transcriptionist’s, also known as an MT, duties involve listening to a doctor or other healthcare professional dictating medical reports into a digital system and then the transcriptionist will accurately transcribing them into a properly formatted and official medical document.

So basically, every time an individual visits the doctor, whether it’s an emergency visit, a stay in the hospital, a regular routine checkup, or a specialist appointment for a specific problem, there is an official record made of the visit. The doctor will dictate this into an audio, which you then transcribe into a medical report to be placed either as a hard copy or digital copy into the patient’s records. A medical transcriptionist can work at home, a doctor’s office, or in a hospital setting.

Can I work from home?

Yes, you can absolutely work at home as a medical transcriptionist, but before you can do this you need to have the right knowledge and medical transcription training. If you are going to work at home, self-discipline is an important skill required. You have to be able to get out of bed every morning and have to separate your home life from your work life.

You also have to own your own equipment, such as a computer, foot pedal, headset, have stable internet connection, a quiet area to work, etc. Many medical transcriptions work from their homes as independent contractors or home-based employees.  Medical Transcription is becoming increasingly popular as a work-from-home profession. The convenience of working at home is appealing to many people and most value the opportunity to stay close to their young children and still support their family full- or part-time.

Is medical transcription a good career choice for me?

Being a medical transcription can be a rewarding career for many, but it’s not for everyone. Medical transcription can sound easy, but it takes a dedicated person to be a medical transcriptionist. It is a career that requires careful attention to detail, a careful listener, good writing skills and grammar, doing repetitive tasks, managing your time well, etc. Make sure and see if this is something that fits your skills before tackling on this career.


What skills are needed?

Having the proper skills before getting started will help ensure your success. Below is list of skills you need to learn and/or already know to become a medical transcriptionist (having past experience in data entry, computer, or secretarial work is a plus and is a start to achieving the skills required).

Skills required for a medical transcriptionist:

  • Excellent spelling, grammar, and punctuation skills.
  • Good listening skills.
  • Have basic computer skills.
  • Excellent research skills (look up words when needed).
  • Medical terminology (you will need to take a medical transcription training course online).
  • Ability to type (your speed will increase with experience).
  • Must be detail oriented.
  • Ability to work unsupervised and stay motivated.
  • Ability to maintain work deadlines.
  • Ability to sit and focus for long periods of time.

How fast do medical transcriptionists need to type?

There’s no official typing speed that you have to have to become a medical transcriptionist, but you should at least start off typing 45 words per minute. Speed is not a big factor when starting out, but if you’re getting paid per line or production then you want to at least type 50 to 60 words per minute. Most medical transcriptions type 65 to 75 wpm. You can achieve this after constant practice.

Test how fast you can type here

Speed automatically improves with time and practice, it did for me. I always looked at the keys when I first started out. If you can only see me now!