First and foremost, a good medical transcription school will have a comprehensive curriculum designed specifically for medical transcription training. This does not mean some off-the-shelf program that mixes and matches curriculum and study material from a hodge-podge of medical and non-medical sources. You are looking for a solid A to Z curriculum that was designed by Medical Transcriptionists specifically for medical transcriptionists. There is a big difference. You don’t want a version of anatomy that is adapted from a veterinarian course. Yes, this sounds crazy, but you would be surprised at what you will find out there!
You are looking for a medical transcription school that teaches you the medical terminology, human anatomy, physiology and disease processes, abbreviations and plurals, and a host of other foundation material — all from a medical transcriptionist’s perspective.
Second, and of no less importance, the medical transcription school that you select must have an extremely strong focus on practical application. All the text-book training in the world is insufficient without a strong practicum to go along with it. Sitting in a classroom without applying what you are studying would be like memorizing vocabulary and learning to conjugate verbs in a foreign language and then assuming you could immediately go to that country and speak fluently with the natives. It just isn’t realistic. It takes a lot of practice before you can start actually doing it well.
The best medical transcription schools will not graduate you until you can demonstrate a level of practical competency. And guess what? The way many doctors dictate reports is more reminiscent of a foreign language than anything else. Slurred speech, poor grammar, rapid wording, and run on sentences only serve to exacerbate an already complex and specialized language — the language of medicine!
But in the end, the best way to select the right school is to find out where the national medical transcription employers are recruiting. You can rest assured that they are doing their homework. They will not be in the habit of hiring graduates from institutions that have not proven themselves capable of producing productive graduates. Getting a good job with a great company is really what counts isn’t it? In the ideal world you want the employers to come to you!