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How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist?

how to become a medical transcriptionist

Medical transcriptionists use descriptions, audio files, and doctors’ notes to break down information about a patient’s visit. They then convert the data into a document with codes for diagnosis and treatment.

This means that when processing medical insurance claims, it’s easier to assign payment to the consultation and treatments. Also, these documents will help other medical professionals get a full history of the patient, which is helpful when doctors refer patients to other specialists.

Now that you know what the job entails, let’s take an in-depth look at how to become a medical transcriptionist.

how to become a medical transcriptionist

Relevant Qualifications

You can complete an associate degree in medical transcription. Or complete an accredited certification training program in medical transcription. Coursework will include learning the relevant terminology that medical professionals use in all specialties of medicine.

This includes everything from head to toe, literally. That is because you will learn the names of conditions and treatments related to neurology, podiatry, and everything in-between.

Read more: Top Medical Assistant Resume Objective Examples You Should Know

Where can you get a medical transcription certificate?

There are medical transcription programs at community colleges and vocational training schools. Furthermore, there are even online courses from accredited institutions.

Certification is often not required, but having it will be beneficial in the hiring process. You can obtain certification from the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity.

Additionally, there is a plus side to getting an associate degree. It may shave off a few credits needed to obtain an undergraduate degree, should you wish to pursue one. More on that later.


Any medical field-related job will be to your benefit, especially if you can land one in a specific medical field you like. This will give you some added practice working and memorizing the language and codes used in recording medical data.

Many hospitals offer internships for the sole purpose of medical transcription as well. However, it is harder to secure an internship if you do not have the relevant education.

Why is that?

Currently, the demand for medical transcriptionists is shrinking. New advances in technology are making the position redundant. The reason is that doctors and nurses can now enter data into streamlined digital systems. As a result, they do not have to use hand-written notes anymore.

However, the field still has its benefits. It could be used as a stepping stone into other medical positions. With an associate degree, you could become a surgeon’s assistant. This would mean performing more duties. Such as preparing the patient and the operating room. Along with entering all the necessary data on the doctor’s behalf.

Building to something more

As mentioned, an associate degree can be a bridge to a graduate degree. It will help you qualify to become a physician’s assistant or eligible for medical school. A physician’s assistant can diagnose patients under the supervision of doctors.

If you prefer not to work directly with patients, you can also apply your knowledge working in the billing department. Or joining a medical insurance facility to process claims.

Interested in Working in the Medical Field?

We can help. Take a look at our detailed articles on Medical Records Technician Job Description, Medical Coder Job Description, Medical Records Clerk Job Description, High-Paying Medical Jobs You Can Do With Little Schooling, and How to Become a Medical Coder for more information.

If you want to learn more about working in the medical field, check out Top 100 Health-Care Careers, A Life in Medicine, Every Deep-Drawn Breath, Vital Communications in Medicine, and Alton’s Antibiotics and Infectious Disease for great books you can buy in 2023.

Also, you may like 101+ Careers in Public Health, Healthcare Heroes, The Medical Science Liaison Career Guide, From High School to Medical School, and NCLEX: Pharmacology for Nurses, all of which are currently on the market.


Consider that this may end up as a stepping stone to greater things. That is because becoming a medical transcriptionist is an excellent way to test the waters for those interested in the medical field.

Likewise, not everyone is suited to direct patient care. But, the medical field as a whole remains fascinating and can be extremely rewarding.

Good luck, and hopefully, you’ll find the perfect medical job for you.

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