Medical transcription trends

There are some sites where you can immediately dismiss the entire thing as complete BS because it's obviously put up by an internet marketer. That doesn't mean I approve of the internet marketers and their crappy sites and crappy articles pushing crappy schools – but at least I get where they're coming from and they're pretty easy to spot.

The subject of today's entry appears to be owned by Future MT – yes, a Crappy School with an aggressive affiliate marketing campaign. They're all over the place. Their affiliates' sites are all over the place. But when I stumbled on their Medical Transcription Trends site (it appears to be owned/operated by the owners of Future MT, not one of their affiliates), I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

But first – let me take a moment to dissect the Future MT web site. You have to love someone who will put affiliate links at their business web site! There's nothing quite like money-making plugs for satellite dish installation and credit repair to lend credibility to a business venture. Even better, these are under “medical transcription links.” There isn't one link there related to medical transcription – most likely because the money-making links are competitive schools. Since they appear to have an education alliance with a transcription service, why don't they even put a link to that transcription service? And in a touch of irony, there's an affiliate link for legitimate work-from-home jobs – apparently the owners of Future MT are covering all the possible money-making opportunities. Or are they suggesting that MT – and therefore their school – isn't a legitimate opportunity? My other favorite on this site is that a graduate excitedly lets them know she's landed her first job – with AM Trans Am. Apparently, they don't bother warning their students about the various scams going on in the industry.

OK, the purpose here wasn't to dissect yet another Crappy School – it was to comment on this site put up by Future MT. Some of the claims made are funny if you put aside for a moment that people are making decisions about their careers on the basis of what they find on the internet.

Before I begin, let me tell you that the entry is the only easy thing in the medical transcription profession.

Wha…????

Oh… this is why it's so darn easy. You're going to notice there's absolutely no mention of how hard it is to get that first job:

You don’t need to possess a formal qualification to enter the field. No, this does not mean that medical transcriptionists are not qualified. They acquire the professional qualifications as they enter the industry. You don’t need any degree or certificate to make your way into the industry though. [emphasis added]

It seems they have (uncharacteristically) overlooked the opportunity to plug the need for an education – preferably the one they're selling. I've bolded my favorite part. Enter the industry and BAM! You have professional qualifications! It's that easy!

You don’t need to possess any kind of working experience. Yeah, you can make an entry even if you are a high school grad. It does not matter if you have ever worked in your life.

I like that “yeah” – kind of folksy, although I can't help but picture Michael Cain in “Miss Congeniality,” telling Sandra Bullock – “It is always yes, never ‘yeah.'”

Notice how the issue of work experience is completely glossed over? Those of us who are actually working in medical transcription know that while the above statement is true, it's only half true. I dare any of ya (see the folksy touch there?) to find a job listing for a medical transcriptionist that doesn't require a minimum of 1 year of experience as an MT. If you do, send me the link. I have never, in 20 years, seen anyone care whether or not a prospective hire had work experience that wasn't in medical transcription.

Then, they lose me with the conclusion of this article…

The easy entry into the profession has been mocked by many and the profession has been looked down upon. But just because there are no stringent prerequisites, you cannot become a medical transcriptionist. If you don’t have analytical skills or the willingness to study along with work or the commitment to meeting deadlines on a daily basis, this profession is definitely not for you. So, make sure you gauze your potential before entering this field.

Someone needs to proofread better…

Actually, the articles at this site read like many I've seen all over the internet that have been written by services, most of them operating overseas. It would surprise me if all these entries were actually written by someone at Future MT.

Jason Trusler, is listed as a principle at Future MT (and the contact for the various web sites I've found that are owned by them) and is a somewhat prolific writer of MT-related (and credit, which may explain the affiliate link at the business web site) articles. I have to say that Future MT has done its homework on internet marketing and they seem to be effectively employing the same tools as internet marketers to promote their school. Interestingly, Trusler's bio states:

Worked in the Medical Transcription industry for over 12 years in many different fields. Currently does consulting for medical transcriptionist course training schools.

As far as I can tell, he isn't consulting for Future MT – he's one of the owners. And I'd be surprised if there was any consulting being done for other training schools, unless he's counting affiliates for Future MT. I'm also wondering how many different fields there are in medical transcription.

As a fine example of what you'll see in internet marketing articles, Trusler writes an article on How to get medical transcription training, where he states:

One of the great elements of medical transcription is that experience in the field is not a requirement to have a good chance of finding employment, although it definitely helps.

See my challenge above to find a job that doesn't require experience in medical transcription. Don't hold your breath waiting for anyone from Future MT to provide objective evidence to back up this claim, however.

Then there's this statement:

It will not typically matter to a potential employer where you have taken your certification course because many of them will test you before they choose to hire you.

Uh, ok – let me clarify for anyone who is researching MT schools and hasn't made a decision yet… Potential employers do care where you have completed your medical transcription coursework. While it is true that they will test you before they choose to hire you, whether or not you even get as far as a test will often depend on where you got your education. Testing takes time and costs money and employers are only going to test people they believe have a reasonable chance of passing the test. Trust me – if they have to choose between an application from someone who went to an AHDI-approved school and someone who went to a cheap online program – like Future MT – they'll test the people who went to an AHDI- approved school.

The more practice you have at transcribing and the longer you study the skill through your course training, the higher the chance you will have of an employer hiring you without any on the job experience, so it is important to take the course seriously.

In my experience, this statement doesn't have even a half grain of truth to it – it's completely false. There are only so many hours of available practice recordings available. Repeating them over and over again isn't going to make a prospective MT more employable. Professionally-recorded practice tapes aren't even close to real experience. The only experience that matters is real live experience.

Unfortunately, Future MT isn't the only school to employ internet marketing tactics and make outrageous and/or false claims. They're just the school du jour. So… it bears repeating because I know a lot of people come to this blog, looking for information on MT schools and MT careers:

  • Don't even consider a school that isn't approved by AHDI
  • Don't rely on the FAQs – call and ASK specific questions about placement rate (percentage of graduates hired) and the placement program.
  • Check with experienced transcriptionists in the medical transcription forums and at Facebook and ask about the school.
  • Make sure anyone who responds positively doesn't have a monetary incentive for selling you on the school – many, many schools have affiliate programs and they also pay current students and graduates for referrals. Call the school and verify that the person is actually a graduate of their MT program – no school should have any problem giving this information.
  • If someone tells you a school is wonderful, get specifics. Are they working as an MT? Where? How long did it take them to get a job? How long have they been working? What did they think was great about the program?

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