What Is Medical Transcription?

What exactly does a medical transcriptionist do? I’ve been thinking of taking a medical transcription course, but I don’t know too much about the job itself.

A Medical Transcriptionist listens to a doctor or other healthcare professional dictating medical records into a digital system and then accurately types it into an official medical document.  These permanent medical reports are what connect the doctor or facility, patient and insurance companies. I spend the majority of my day sitting at my computer desk with a foot pedal and headphones, listening and typing away.


I’m worried about whether or not medical transcription would be a good fit for me. How can I gauge if medical transcription is a good choice for my personality and skills?

There are many skills needed to be successful in this career. Luckily, you will learn most of them through your training. However, there are a few personal characteristics that I believe are important to have in order to be happy with this career choice.  If you answer yes to most of the following questions, medical transcription may be a good fit for you:

  • % Are you a good listener?
  • % Are you detail-oriented?
  • % Can you be productive while unsupervised and working independent
  • % Do you communicate clearly?
  • % Are you excellent at time management and not easily distracted?
  • % Are you able to have a sedentary job with little movement other than repetitive typing?
  • % Do you have basic computer skills?
  • % Do you have a good command of the English language?

Graduates can find jobs at hospitals, physician’s offices, alternative health care offices, medical transcription companies, or the most popular option is working from home and having your own home office.  A medical transcriptionist can also work as an independent contractor with their own doctor clients or working through a medical transcription service that provides them work. This way you can work full-time or part-time, having a flexible work schedule. Independent contractors can work out of their homes, transmitting their work via e-mail.