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What Are the Requirements to Become a Medical Transcriptionist?

Christopher Nguyen
Christopher Nguyen
Posted in Zoom Jan 7 · 9 Jan, 2022
What Are the Requirements to Become a Medical Transcriptionist?

If you are contemplating working in the medical field, there are many fulfilling jobs you can consider. Aside from working as a doctor, nurse, or lab technician, you can opt to be a medical transcriptionist. You’ll be working very closely with medical officers, helping them document important health-related information.

Even though you might not see yourself doing this for the long term, it’s a stepping stone into the medical environment. Taking this career path will bring you on a larger trajectory, with many more job options at your fingertips.  

Medical Transcriptionist Requirements

Working in medical transcription involves converting audio recordings into text form. The result is documents formatted according to industry standards, free from language errors. A medical transcriptionist is responsible for the correct usage of medical terminology. Accuracy is critical, especially when dealing with patient records and doctors’ reports. Before looking for a medical transcription job, you’ll have to undergo special training and obtain specific educational certifications. 


In addition to a high school diploma or GED, an individual would require medical transcription certification. This might be in the form of an associate’s degree, which normally takes around two years to complete. The education program will typically cover medical transcription techniques, formatting, anatomy and physiology, and medical terminology.  


Becoming a medical transcriptionist in the US requires practical training. Naturally, this must come from an accredited institution, whether offering online or traditional learning modes. If you have other commitments, consider opting for a flexible part-time course. 

The courses run for about six months and offer technical training and practical knowledge. In the end, trainees should be well-versed with dictation software and medical terminology. Along with their certification, students can seek out on-the-job training to gain some practical experience beforehand. 


Some states require a medical transcription certificate before allowing you to work in the field. You can obtain this certificate from a university, medical facility, or online. Always check the local regulations in your state to see if a license is necessary.

Two important medical certifications are Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) and Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS). The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) offers both, and they differ in the applicant’s working experience. They involve multiple-choice questions relating to medical processes, ethics, systems, and terminology. In addition to that, test-takers will also be transcribing audio recordings. 


To be a successful medical transcriptionist, you need to be versed in medical knowledge and terminology. While medical dictionaries are good supplements, knowing terms offhand is important. Being familiar with healthcare-related vocabulary will mean transcribing accurately and quickly.

In addition to that, a medical transcriptionist must have good typing skills as they are paid per word. This means that the faster you type, the more you earn. Remember that there is no room for error in medical documents, thus your typing accuracy is also critical. If you find yourself lacking in this area, many websites offer medical typing practice and tests.

Medical transcriptionists do not have to be wordsmiths. However, they do need to be good spellers and have a proper grasp of grammar and syntax. Simple mistakes like misusing “you’re” and “your” must be avoided at all times. Otherwise, medical reports may end up being misinterpreted, which can lead to drastic consequences. 

Sharpen your computer skills if you want to excel as a medical transcriptionist. In most places, using programs like word processors and audio editing software makes up a significant portion of the job. By using these tools, you’ll be able to complete your work on time and deliver high-quality results. Always seek out new tools in the market specializing in audio transcription so that you won’t be left behind.

Transcribing is meticulous work, and doing it in the medical field is doubly so. You need to be able to deliver precise work each time. This requires focus and attentiveness, not to mention an eye for detail. It doesn’t help to be distracted if you are looking to advance in this career, so train yourself to concentrate on the matter at hand. 

Medical Transcriptionists Are Always in Demand

There are so many places a medical transcriptionist can find work. Hospitals, doctors’ offices, medical centers, and so on always have such positions available. Freelance work is also an option due to the upsurge of third-party contracting companies.

Medical transcription is definitely a field to consider in light of the growth of interest in virtual jobs throughout recent years. In this day and age, as long as you have a stable internet connection, you can work from anywhere in the world. 

Remote medical transcription jobs are in abundance and don’t require advanced equipment. This means the ability to work from the comfort of your own home without the need to commute. However, you will benefit from a quiet working environment as this job requires attentive listening for hours on end.

Although speech recognition technology improves with each passing day, nothing beats human transcription. That is why companies like GoTranscript insist on using experienced and well-trained transcribers who are the best at interpreting context and delivering accurate medical transcriptions. If you do a quick Google search on this topic, you will discover that medical transcriptionists are always in demand. Therefore, going down this path will lead to long-term job security despite the rise of solutions based on machine learning.