Medical Transcriptionist Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Medical Transcriptionist, or Medical Transcriber, is responsible for listening to Physicians’ recordings and converting them into written reports. Their primary duties include transcribing dictated information, editing their report, and submitting it to the Physician for approval.

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Medical Transcriptionist duties and responsibilities

Medical Transcriptionists produce accurate medical reports. They have a wide range of duties and responsibilities to do so, including:

  • Listening to audio recordings from Physicians and healthcare professionals 
  • Creating an accurate report of the recording
  • Checking for inconsistencies, missing information, and errors in the report before submitting it 
  • Following the Duty of Confidentiality law by protecting patient confidentiality 
  • Using specialized transcription equipment such as a medical transcriber 
  • Typing out the full forms of medical abbreviations and acronyms that Physicians may use in recordings
  • Including patient information, such as name and health card number, in reports for identification 
  • Submitting completed reports in a timely fashion
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What does a Medical Transcriptionist do?

Medical Transcriptionists ensure Physicians and healthcare professionals have accurate, up-to-date patient records. When Physicians meet with a patient, they create audio recordings detailing the appointment afterwards. Medical Transcriptionists then use these recordings to create a typed and edited report of the appointment to include in the patient’s file.

Medical Transcriptionist skills and qualifications

Medical Transcriptionists must be able to multi-task as they have to type or write while they listen to recordings. Additionally, Medical Transcriptionists should have prerequisite skills and qualifications to perform their duties effectively, including:

  • Knowledge of medical terminology 
  • Strong attention to detail 
  • Great listening skills 
  • Understanding of punctuation, grammar, and syntax 
  • Quick and accurate ability to type 
  • Critical thinking skills 
  • Willingness to research and learn 
  • Able to focus for long periods

Medical Transcriptionist experience requirements

Medical Transcriptionist candidates do not need prior work experience, as they will have gone through the necessary schooling for your position. Look for candidates that completed a Medical Transcriptionist program with an internship or apprenticeship, as it gives candidates hands-on experience. Any formal work or volunteer experience in a medical environment, or with administrative tasks like writing, typing, or transcribing is beneficial as well.

Medical Transcriptionist education and training requirements

Medical Transcriptionists need a high school diploma or GED to apply to a Medical Transcriptionist program. Upon completion, candidates receive a Medical Transcription diploma or certificate, depending on the length of the course. The program is essential as it teaches Medical Transcriptionists how to transcribe efficiently. It also offers training on basic medical terminology and medical office procedures. Medical Transcriptionist programs typically take one year to complete and take place at community colleges, vocational schools, and online.

Job salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Medical Transcriptionist in Canada is $38,285 per year. This salary varies depending on the candidate’s experience, the hiring company, and the location.

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Medical Transcriptionist job description FAQs

Where can a Medical Transcriptionist work?

Medical Transcriptionists can work directly with a Physician or for multiple Physicians at a clinic or hospital. They can also work for a transcription company or agency. In these cases, Physicians employ Medical Transcriptionists as needed, typically for short-term periods or projects. Many Medical Transcriptionists are self-employed and work as freelancers, working from home with Physicians and healthcare professionals as clients around the country, or internationally.

When do Medical Transcriptionists work?

Medical Transcriptionists work full or part-time, typically during office hours, to communicate with the Physician or other healthcare professionals when necessary. Self-employed Medical Transcriptionists pick their own hours and may work outside of standard office hours to suit their schedule. For Medical Transcriptionists who work freelance and work for international clients, they may need to adhere to their schedule to match the client’s office hours or time zone. 

Who does a Medical Transcriptionist work with?

A Medical Transcriptionist receives recordings from Physicians or other health care professionals, but they primarily work independently. Once they receive an audio recording, they transcribe it, edit the report, and submit it to the Doctor. If they work for a transcription company, they may have a supervisor or manager to report to, but typically Medical Transcriptionists do not require supervision. 

What is the difference between a Medical Transcriptionist and a Medical Scribe?

Medical Transcriptionists and Medical Scribes both create reports for patient files. The primary difference is that a Medical Transcriptionist listens to a recording to create the report and a Medical Scribe is usually in the exam room with the patient and Physician, creating the report in real-time. As Medical Scribes are writing in real-time, they summarize appointments and only include the most important medical information in their report. On the other hand, Medical Transcriptionists create a report that reflects the conversation verbatim to the recording of the appointment.

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