Medical Transcriptionist - A Closer Look
Medical Transcriptionist jobs have been around since doctors first took the Hippocratic
Oath. Ancient cave writings indicate that records of what medical treatments were being
performed have been kept for thousands of years. Back then, it was for different reasons
but today, medical transcription and in particular, the medical transcriptionist profession
has been quietly taking steps forward and is "suddenly" making itself known to the world.
In a nutshell, a Medical Transcriptionist transcribes dictated matter by phone or from
electronically recorded messages by doctors, nurses or other health care professionals,
into records of treatments, procedures and up to date patient status reports.
Surprisingly, Medical Transcription wasn't "official" recognized as a profession until
1999 when finally; the United States Department of Labor assigned the profession its' own
job code, in order to monitor statistics about the field. Until that point, medical
transcriptionist jobs were unjustly given the title of medical secretary or typists.
Today, the American Association for Medical Transcription, which overlooks the profession,
administers testing and upon passing the test you earn the title, "Certified Medical
Transcriptionist" (CMT) which lends additional credibility to your knowledge, skills and
abilities over those that are uncertified. Although certification isn't required for gainful
employment, CMT status certainly has its' advantages like; the assurance to your employer
that you are highly qualified and this in turn, increases your "market value" as an employee.
Medical Transcriptionist take on the role of converting the spoken words, of health care
professionals, into written text either as hard or soft copy. But of course, with the dawn
of new technology, this task is becoming increasingly less time consuming per unit produced.
A good example is the ever-increasing use of voice recognition software.
Sounds great but the questions arises, if technology is transforming the profession now,
then will technology transform the profession to such an extent anytime in the foreseeable
future that it more or less makes the role of humans in the profession obsolete? I think
the best way to respond is by using an example. Has the technological advances in every
aspect of the medical profession reduced the role and importance of doctors and nurses? The
answer to that question is clear and the same applies to the field of medical transcription.
Although transcription programs continue to evolve and become more and more adapt they will
never be able to replace the trained human mind. They certainly allow for aspects of the
translation process to speed up but they will never be able to compensate for all the
differences in diction styles like accents, grammar, pronunciation and the list is as varied
as the doctors doing the dictation.