Taking a Risk and Training Yourself as a Medical Transcriptionist

Resources and Tools for Medical Transcriptionists

My choice for relatively affordable and reputable medical transcription training.

Medical Transcription Basics
Free eCourse on being a medical transcriptionist.

It is not impossible... quite... to train yourself as a medical transcriptionist and get hired. I know; I did it myself. However, in the years since I got my start it has become even harder, so I really don’t recommend it.

One of the biggest tricks is simply finding the books and dictation practice. If you want to use the program that many schools use, go with the HPI-SUM program. Do note that it costs $700 for just the beginning course (and in all honesty I think you would need the advanced course as well), so you aren’t saving that much compared to other options such as CareerStep, or even spending more.

One option for getting the HPI-SUM program is to look for it on eBay. Make sure you search for ones with all the CDs and supplies intact; you do not want to be missing anything. You won't always find it available.

This was not what I did. I used The Language of Medicine by Davi-Ellen Chabner as well as other resources. A new edition came out in 2006 that includes a CD-ROM. Note that this is not a dictation practice CD. Building and practicing your transcription skills is at least as important as building your vocabulary skills, so don’t skip this step.

The second book I used was Medical Transcription: Fundamentals and Practice (2nd Edition). The edition I used included practice dictation on CD-ROM, but can be hard to find. There is now a 3rd Edition, but it doesn’t appear to have the CD-ROM available.

If you insist on going it solo, you will need to make a good investment in books, equipment and dictation practice. This is NOT an easy thing to learn for most people and I don’t want you to think otherwise. You will not be saving time by studying on your own, not if you want to do a good job of it, and you will be spending some money.

Here are some more good books I’ve found that look promising for those who prefer to train themselves as a medical transcriptionist. Keep in mind that this may make it very difficult to land that first job at home. These are books on becoming a medical transcriptionist or learning the necessary skills. You will also need reference books, as described in the books and equipment section.

The Independent Medical Transcriptionist: The Comprehensive Guidebook for Career Success in a Medical Transcription Business
Medical Transcriptionist's Desk Reference
Medical Transcription: Techniques and Procedures

I really do think that you need dictation practice, and the resources from HPI appear to be the best ones I can find for the independent student. I am keeping an eye out for other programs, but there is really not much out there.

Back to medical transcription training options.


More Medical Transcription Articles

Landing that First Job as a Medical Transcriptionist
Most companies want at least 2-3 years' experience before they'll hire you to work at home as a medical transcriptionist. So how do you get that experience?

Working at Home as a Medical Transcriptionist with Children in the House
One of the reasons many people choose to start a career in medical transcription is so that they can stay at home with their children. However, having children around makes it difficult to be productive.

What a Start as a Medical Transcriptionist!
It's a good thing most people have an easier time getting their medical transcription career started after being hired than I did. Here's what happens when all kinds of obstacles keep you from starting after you get hired.

Medical Transcription Basics
A site all about learning medical transcription.

Copyright © 2003-2020 Stephanie Foster unless otherwise indicated


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