Credentialing for MTs keeps coming up over and over again because it's a hot topic.
Witness the discussion going on over at the AHDI Lounge, Let's Talk About Credentialing Our Industry Leaders and the 75 comments that have been generated (in spite of a glitch in the public blogging platform that hiccuped one day and swallowed some comments, apparently). Quite frankly, reading all the comments made my eyes cross, but I soldiered through.
The AHDI Lounge blog post refers to the most recent entry in AHDI's Let's Talk About series, Credentialing Our Industry Leaders (you probably guessed that from the blog post title, right?).
Let me boil down this argument, which isn't about experience or education or credentials from other organizations or what position a leader or potential leader holds within the industry. Or shouldn't be, at any rate.
People in leadership are supposed to support the organization and its goals. They're supposed to lead by example.
The organization that puts out a publication titled The Case for a Credentialed Workforce should make sure its leadership has proven the case by having the credential the organization is saying should be mandatory for the workforce. And the credential the leadership should be supporting are the ones the organization they are leading has put out as the gold standard credentials for the workforce.
Barb Marques makes this comment:
I believe it is reasonable to consider that on this journey some of us have identified a path into management of departmental workforces and standards, business owners and/or experts in the EHR, which doesn’t diminish the importance of a CMT, but perhaps makes it less of a priority in those circumstances for them personally.
What does the position someone holds have to do with any of this? A comment by Laura notes:
The CMT and the RMT exams do not test for leadership, business management, the ability to read financials, communication skills, organizational skills, and other tasks performed by members of the BOD. These are important skills needed by members of the BOD.
Again, what does that have to do with the discussion?
If you're in a position of leadership in an organization that is promoting to its membership that the credential is something they should have, then you should demonstrate by example that it's a good thing by having achieved that milestone yourself. But that's just my opinion, FWIW.
Likewise, the expertise, education, experience, blah blah blah of the person holding the credential – whether someone in leadership or a practitioner MT – has nothing whatsoever to do with the discussion. For the purpose of this particular discussion, every person who holds an AHDI credential could be the worst transcriptionist in the world. The credential could have absolutely zip/zilch/whatever impact on employment and pay rates.
None of that is to the point.
Again, the point is that if an organization is going to demonstrate true leadership, then it demonstrates it by example. “Do as I say, not as I do” has never been a viable form of leadership, in any organization.
I remember when it was a strong part of the AAMT culture that all leaders have the CMT credential. It was one of those many unwritten guidelines that tripped me up. Few people who didn't have a credential would run for a Board position and those who did were actively working on getting the credential; it was understood that they would take the test and get their CMT before they took office. It was part of supporting the organization and the goals of the organization.
I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest one reason for that part of the culture falling by the wayside is the ever-shrinking number of people in the membership category that can actually vote and hold office. My impression is supported by this comment from Barb Marques:
No, I will not assure you that all future directors will hold a CMT; why would we put that limitation on our association?
You would put that limitation on your organization as part of the culture, if not an actual requirement, if you had a large pool of people to draw from for leadership positions. If supporting the credential severely limits the pool of potential leaders in the organization, you have bigger problems than whether or not the workforce or leadership or employers support the organization's credential.
I can only conclude, as have many of the others in this discussion, that the CMT credential is just a piece of paper, with little meaning. The fact that those in leadership don't see it as an essential component of a leadership position – and are going to great lengths to defend that position – proves that they are only giving the organization's credential lip service as something everyone else should have. Not only that, the fact that an organization even has to write something like this particular edition of the Let's Talk About… series should trigger some much-needed introspection about what's really wrong here.
C'mon, leaders. Step up and actually BE LEADERS. Stop constructing your own organizational version of the Alamo.