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Medical Transcription: A Work from Home Career

By Nancy Higgins

Anyone who’s in the market for home-based careers will know how hard it can to find genuine opportunities amidst all the scams. When everybody, but everybody seems to want a piece of your hard earned money or personal information in exchange for a “home-based job”, it can easily make you believe that work-at-home careers are a myth.

The truth is working from home is a more real possibility than you think. It’s all about separating the grain from the chaff or finding that one genuine opportunity that promises you the comfort of knowing you’re not being made a fool of and brings in a steady stream of income.

If you’re still wondering whether such a job actually exists, let us tell you it does and it’s called medical transcription.

What is medical transcription?

Medical transcription may be low-key, but it’s an important function in the healthcare industry. Medical transcriptionists (MTs) listen to taped dictations by doctors and other healthcare practitioners and convert them into written text.

The documentation prepared by medical transcriptionists includes medical and diagnostic reports, progress reports, autopsy reports, patient history, discharge summaries, patient referrals, medical correspondence, and administrative material.

How does medical transcription happen?

There was a time when doctors used mini cassettes to tape their dictations. Medical transcriptionists listened to these tapes using a headset and keyed the text into a word processor.

With advances in technology, the way medical transcription is done has also become a lot more advanced and sophisticated. Most physicians now give digital dictations that are sent to medical transcriptionist over the Internet. Once transcribed, the reports are either emailed or uploaded directly on to the client’s server by the MT.

Another modern innovation in the medical transcription industry that is increasingly becoming popular is speech recognition software, which transcribes spoken word into written text and creates drafts of reports. The need for a medical transcriptionist, in this case, arises when these drafts have to be reviewed and edited.

How do I become a medical transcriptionist?

Medical transcription is a highly specialized job and like any other specialized job, it has its own demands so far as the necessary skillset is concerned.

To perform the job well, a medical transcriptionist needs a more than working knowledge of medical terminology, pharmacology, anatomy, medical records, etc. that only a formal medical transcription training program can provide.

Additionally, medical transcriptionists should also know shorthand and have excellent English language, grammar, editing and proof-reading, and typing skills.

Where can I get medical transcription training?

You can get your medical transcription training from a community college or an online vocational school. Training program at an online medical transcription school will likely be more affordable and offer greater flexibility in terms of schedule and pace of learning.

Once you are through with your medical transcription training, you should also look to get professional certification. The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) offers two voluntary certifications that can positively impact both your marketability and paycheck. The two AHDI designations are:

1. Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT)

2. Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT)

Note that it is mandatory to have at least two years of acute care experience for the CMT credential, so it’s more of an advanced-level certification that you can consider for career development at a later point in time.

How do I start working from home as an MT?

As soon as you complete your medical transcriptionist training, you should start scouting for companies that hire home-based professionals.

Keep in mind that some companies may ask for prior experience before taking you on board, but some may be willing to hire people with zero experience in medical transcription, especially if they have excellent credentials.

After you have a list of such companies, start marketing yourself and before you know it, an opportunity will come knocking on your door!

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Higgins, Nancy "Medical Transcription: A Work from Home Career." Medical Transcription: A Work from Home Career. 8 Apr. 2012. 24 Jul 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Higgins, N (2012, April 8). Medical Transcription: A Work from Home Career. Retrieved July 24, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Higgins, Nancy "Medical Transcription: A Work from Home Career"

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