Do as I say leadership

Medical Transcription ExchangeCredentialing 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.

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6 thoughts on “Do as I say leadership”

  1. Oh my, in the short time you wrote and put this up the number of responses has now gone to 82, one of which includes this …

    “You mentioned that much is being asked of you. Aside from the invitation to consider membership in AHDI, we are asking nothing of you. That’s probably the most empowering thing I can say to you and others who feel as you do. We are not asking you to do anything for us. Nothing for AHDI. We are pouring our energies (as best we can) into creating opportunities for you to do something for YOURSELF – to be an advocate for yourself, your value, and your skills. We believe there is a chance credentialing can help us do that for ourselves and each other, but there are no guarantees and we recognize that some may not agree. But that doesn’t change our plans to continue to push the MT skill set as far as it can go. ”

    I thought about replying to that one with a simple word of what I think about the “we are not asking anything of you” stuff … hogwash … but darn it, I don’t want it to be me who pushes that thread over the 100 posted replies mark 🙂


  2. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach (or in this case, “lead”).

    How can they say they’re not asking for anything? Yearly membership fees, fees to take the RMT, fees to take the CMT, not to mention providing support for everything they do and say. That’s a lot more than I’m willing to give. Especially for what I get back – which is nothing.

  3. I think it would be nice personally as a goal to get a CMT, perhaps a waste of time and money, but personally nice. However, they give this test to anyone, newbies, etc. which I believe gives it no credibility. I have asked folks I’ve worked for what their opinion of it is and they have said their experience has been that it means nothing. When I used to work for a service her experience was they were her worst workers ever. (I think that was due to lack of experience). I still say the key to good transcription is experience, albeit that some with experience can be horrible as I have had some subs that I think how in the hell have they kept jobs. I cannot believe the work some of them do. So you really never know. I am pretty picky as was the gal I worked for — but I think work needs to be good not sloppy and we have some damn sloppy workers around — no matter the experience.

  4. The problem with the credentialing is that AHDI and MTIA (or whatever they are named now) want to require it so that they control who gets it – and ‘they’ are almost all associated with companies that send work overseas – so basically what they want to gain from this, and have wanted to gain for years, is controlling who can type the work and where – meaning they want their offshore MTs to type it as they are ‘credentialed.’ How convenient for MTSO owners to demand a credential that they alone offer, do the testing, and take the money for.

    How about I declare myself an MT Association – go to Congress and demand that all MTs get MY credential and pay me money if they want to work. Sorry AHDI and MTIA, I’ll never pay money to take your stupid test — and I’ll never think of your groups as anything but what they are – a token front of Americans to hide an overseas workforce.

  5. Those poor scammed individuals who paid their hard-earned money to AHDI for this bogus “credential” are just feeding the offshoring machine, which has now climbed into bed with China, as well.

    I would have far more self-respect without my MT job, and instead collecting welfare, eating at soup kitchens and living under a culvert in a cardboard box, than I would ever have if I knew even one penny I had earned went to support this evil, deceiptful organization.

    Nothing they do surprises me anymore; the only thing that does surprise me is how they’ve managed to go on lying to MTs about advocacy and taking their money, only to use it against them, for as long as they have without being investigated for fraud.

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