What Is Medical Transcription?

A medical transcriptionist (MT) listens to dictated recordings made by physicians and transcribes them into medical reports, correspondence, and other documents. Most healthcare providers transmit dictation to MTs using either digital or analogue dictating equipment.

They generally listen to recordings with a headset, using a foot pedal to play and control the recording as necessary, and key the text into a word processor, editing for grammar and clarity. Completed documents, which eventually become part of patients' permanent medical record files, are sent to the dictator for review and signature.

Accuracy is essential for this role. MTs must understand medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, diagnostic procedures, and treatment. MTs must comply with specific standards that apply to the style of medical records, in addition to the legal and ethical requirements involved with keeping patient records confidential. Medical transcription is a medical language and healthcare documentation specialty, intensive study is needed to attain the required level of medical language fluency.