Medical Transcriptionist Career Information
What a Medical Transcriptionist does
Medical Transcription is all about word-for-word translation. It's a process by which orally dictated medial prescription, advice, results of diagnostic tests made by doctors and health professionals are converted into accurate and readable text form.
It works like this. A doctor in a hospital checks, diagnoses and simultaneously treats as many as 60-100 patients a day. But keeping track of all patients' history and physical reports, clinic notes, office notes, operative reports, consultation notes, discharge summaries, letters, psychiatric reviews, laboratory reports, x-ray reports, pathology reports, etc. is next to impossible. That's where Medical Transcription (MT) comes in. As a Medical Transcriptionist, you'll decipher the doctor's discussions, which is usually recorded on a Dictaphone (by the doctor).
Apart from computer-related word-processing systems you also need good listening, language skills and knowledge of medical terminology.If you are planning a career in MT you need a very good ear to be able to distinguish between similar sounding and vastly-different-in-meaning words such as "peri-para", "inter-intra", "arterioles-arterials", "vesicals-vesicles" etc. Another example is tonsils (something that is normal) and tonsillitis (affliction of inflammation of the tonsils).
As a Medical Transcriptionist, you have to note down the data, which is crosschecked by a supervisor (an experienced Medical transcriptionist) and then edited by an Editor.
The editors have about 4-5 years of experience in medical transcription process. The overall work is again controlled by a Quality Assurance Manager who ensures that the work is up to the mark.
As a Medical Transcriptionist you'll work in shifts. But there is scope for even housewives to work part-time from home. As you gain experience you can specialise in a particular field of medical transcription like clinic transcription, hospital transcription, etc.
As a Medical Transcriptionist, you will get jobs in firms specialising in Medical Transcription business. Mostly you will be working in shifts and under contract. Medical transcription companies include Spryance India, Infovision Software, Acusis to name a few.
You can also work from home for an established Medical Transcriptionist on a part-time basis.
Health care is a rapidly growing field, and the demand for MT’s is increasing. By 2007-08 the employment created by medical transcription is projected to reach an astonishing 1,70,000 and the revenue generated by medical transcription would cross Rs. 9,000 crores!!!
Transcribers are especially in demand in hospitals where they have to prepare reports of comprehensive medical histories of patients. As transcribers are well versed with medical jargon, a job in the pharmaceutical industry is the next best option.
Other options include working for a medical journal, drug companies, health insurance firms, research foundations and other private institutions.
Familiarity with medical lingo provides scope for hospital administration. With the arrival of computers, one wouldn't be surprised if medical transcribers become successful consultants and software designers in the field of medical transcription.
A US estimate suggests that there are a total of over 67 billion lines of transcription done annually, in the US. And a large chunk of the market is actually going to be captured by the Indian companies. This is because of the three distinct advantages. Firstly, the time difference between India & US is almost 12 hours. Secondly, India has a large English speaking population. And thirdly, it is cheaper to get good Medical transcriptionists here.
Medical Transcription services not only offers immense job opportunities but valuable foreign exchange too. It falls under a category called IT-enabled services. Even a majority of the State Governments in India is offering incentives and infrastructure for setting up these services. The Central Government has also provided Income Tax exemption to profits from export of these services.
Abilities & Traits Required
So, if we have successfully convinced you into MT, here's what you need to get into the field:
• Good typing speed
• Well-versed with medical terminologies and other medical jargons
• Basic knowledge of English language usage and grammar
• Working knowledge of computers
• An ability to understand different accents and dictions
• Should also be able to work for long hours and often in a high-pressure environment.
Graduation Any Stream. Proficiency in English required.
Starting salary: Rs 12000-20000 a month.
Experienced Medical Transcriptionists: Rs 25000 –35000 or more a month.
There are also some part-time or contractual jobs in which you are paid on the basis of per line of work done. For instance, the payment could be from Rs 2 - 5 per line. You could even be paid on an hourly basis and even on the basis of number of pages done in a day.
Some company’s follow a compensation package comprising of basic salary plus incentives based on one's volume of work.