Why You Shouldn't Become a Medical Transcriptionist (and What To Do Instead)

general transcription legal transcription medical transcription Apr 12, 2023

You've been searching for reliable work-from-home job opportunities.

You've run across a lot of obvious scams.

But one thing keeps popping up in searches: medical transcription. However, most job descriptions are pretty light on volume, rate, turnaround time, and other details. And what about the stress of dealing with people's personal healthcare information?

Would it surprise you to discover that medical transcription is not an avenue we recommend? Read on to learn WHY as well as the types of transcription jobs we think you should pursue instead.

What is medical transcription?

Medical transcriptionists listen to voice recordings made by physicians, nurses, and other healthcare practitioners and convert them into written reports. Medical transcriptionists have knowledge of medical terminology and abbreviations in order to prepare medical histories, discharge summaries, and other documents. Additionally medical transcriptionists are versed in HIPAA and other privacy laws.

Is medical transcription in demand?

The demand and pay for medical transcription is rapidly declining.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a steady downward trend in the use of medical transcriptionists. While the need for healthcare services is increasing due to aging populations and increased rates of chronic conditions, technology such as speech recognition software and electronic medical records (EMR) allows for an increased number of transcripts to be produced by fewer medical transcriptionists. And due to the flexibility of tablets, many doctors speak their notes right into their iPads and have a nurse edit it later. 

Further, as healthcare providers strive to cut costs, those offices that still use human transcription are increasingly outsourcing to transcription services overseas.

These facts coupled with the specialized skills required by medical transcriptionists mean it's no longer a viable field to try to break into. I actually started my work-from-anywhere transcription career back in 2006 as a medical transcriptionist. It quickly became clear that I needed to switch gears and offer my services in general and legal transcription instead. But let's hear from someone else who made the switch. Take it from Dianne. She switched from medical to general transcription and couldn't be happier.

Are there other types of transcription jobs?

The good news is that medical transcription is not the only opportunity in the transcription field. 

General transcription is the practice of transcribing audio and video files for all different types of needs, such as academia, marketing, interviews, films, podcasts, and many others. 

Legal transcription requires all of the skills necessary as a general transcriptionist plus knowledge of legal terminology and often involves transcribing legal proceedings (such as depositions or hearings), meetings, or interviews. But you don't need a background in the legal field to be successful. You just need an interest in the field and a fierce attention to detail.

Is there really a demand for transcription?

There is a huge demand for both general transcription and legal transcription. With the exploding popularity of video and podcasts, there is continuous demand for transcriptionists to help convert that audio and video content into written documentation to be used for marketing, training, website content, ebooks… the list is endless.

Companies of all kinds use transcriptionists - many that probably haven't occurred to you. These 19 clients who need your services are just the tip of the iceberg.

How do I become a transcriptionist?

Training, training, training. Skill is the single most important factor in your success as a transcriptionist. 

People mistakenly think that you only need to type fast to be successful. Those people would be wrong. While speed and accuracy are certainly useful, hearing (really and truly HEARING) words and typing them up, punctuating the spoken word correctly, and having knowledge of industry standards are skills you'll need for success, and all of them take practice.

To be successful, you want quality training like you can find with Transcribe Anywhere. Our courses teach you everything you need to know to be a successful transcriptionist working from home. We provide real audio (from real clients!) to practice with and provide detailed feedback and resources.

Our free workshop is a great place to start if you want to explore general or legal transcription as a work-from-home career.

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