With the advent of information technology in healthcare, the medical world is fast leaping into a technological revolution. A merger of medicine with IT has brought forward a new scientific realm – Healthcare IT – that has opened doors of opportunities for both healthcare as well as non-healthcare professionals. Medical transcription is one such avenue.

A field that has largely been explored by non-medical professionals, medical transcription has yet to benefit from the expertise and skills of medical professionals. Herein lies a wonderful opportunity for medical graduates to begin their career as medical transcriptionists.

What is medical transcription?

Medical transcription is an allied health profession which deals in the process of transcription, or converting voice-recorded reports as dictated by physicians or other healthcare professionals, into text format, says Wikipedia.

What exactly does a medical transcriptionist do?

A medical transcriptionist analyses & transcribes the voice recording of doctors during patient interactions. This includes physical examination, diagnosis, laboratory finding, treatment planning and follow-ups. The doctor typically sends this recording online to the transcriptionist, who listens to it and jots down (i.e. transcribes) the information into a patient file.

Why doctors make great medical transcriptionists

What makes medical professionals a clear choice for this job is their acquaintance with medical terminology. Medical background gives an edge in accurately and quickly comprehending the terms and abbreviations used in the recordings. While other students in medical transcription programs require classes in anatomy, physiology, pathology and medical lexis, doctors on the other hand, would find it convenient to gel into such a setting. Moreover, there is usually no specific prerequisite of postgraduate education. Almost seems like the job that invites medical professionals, does it not?

Medical transcription as a career choice

Here are 5 reasons why doctors can consider medical transcription as a great career option:

1. Flexible hours

Medical transcription is a great solution for practicing medical professionals who find time allocation a challenge. Some firms even offer working from home, helping doctors earn extra income while continuing on their medical journey.

2. Continuing medical education

Since transcriptionists transcribe the exact words of a senior doctor, many times a specialist, they get first-hand information on the disease, its diagnosis, signs & symptoms, the treatment plan and follow-up. Doctors can polish and sharpen their skills, since transcription is very similar to assisting or interning with a fellow professional, or like attending a CME programme everyday!

3. Improved health outcomes

Presence of doctors in a medical transcription setup helps minimize errors & discrepancies in recorded data. Transcriptionists thus indirectly ensure that patients receive proper care and treatment and achieve better outcomes.

4. Part-time option

Many hospitals and clinic setups offer medical transcription services within their premises, giving doctors the opportunity to continue medical practice while engaging in transcription. Doctors can thus earn good supplementary income using existing medical knowledge.

5. Guaranteed Income

A medical transcriptionist’s pay is calculated by the number of transcriptions done. In other words, the more you work, the more you earn. Unlike medical practice in which pay is dependent on footfall (i.e. the number of patients seen), transcription offers a more guaranteed source of income.

How much do medical transcriptionists earn?

A medical transcriptionist earns an average wage of around Rs. 1,79,973 per year in India (Payscale) or $35,260 per year in the US (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Medical transcription thus seems like an ideal choice for medical graduates and a number of companies such as Accentus, Nuance, PMSI and Med-Scribe recruit medical transcriptionists all over the world.

So when are you beginning your career as a medical transcriptionist?