GENERAL MEDICAL TRANSCRIPTION VS.
SPECIALTY MEDICAL TRANSCRIPTION
After graduating from the Blackstone Career Institute Medical Transcription Program, students will obviously be looking for a job—part-time or full-time—and maybe more than one job. The easiest way to get into this career field is as a specialty medical transcriptionist/healthcare documentation specialist (MT/HDS). This means working in one medical specialty, becoming an expert in the terminology, procedures, pharmaceuticals, and abbreviations of that specific field. Some of the many medical specialties available include the following:
Dermatology Cardiology Pathology Radiology
Ophthalmology Otorhinolaryngology Nephrology Urology
Pulmonology Gastroenterology Psychology Psychiatry
Orthopedics Infectious Disease Pediatrics Neurology
Obstetrics/Gynecology Allergy/Immunology Hematology/Oncology Podiatry
As each MT/HDS masters one of the above medical specialties, it becomes easier to stay within that area of medical expertise. Why venture out into unknown territory? After all, you are getting all the reports from this one specialty. Everyone admires the work you are doing. You feel proud of being recognized as an “expert” in the field, so why make life and your job more difficult for yourself?
Some MTs/HDSs transcribe solely in the field of Radiology, for example. This is not only feasible, but it is not boring and is not limited. Radiology is a rich field of learning that includes several areas in which MTs/HDSs can work and learn throughout an entire career. Having radiology credentials on an MT/HDS resume is highly desirable. Consider the following sample of radiology departments—sometimes found within a hospital, sometimes found within a stand-alone radiology practice:
nuclear medicine, radiation oncology, interventional radiology, and breast imaging (mammography).
Well, several things should be considered regarding long-term career goals. Let’s imagine that, for whatever reason, you get tired of transcribing the same specialty every day. Would anyone ever get tired of transcribing cardiology reports, for example? An MT/HDS may want to learn a new specialty, and that is definitely recommended in order to expand knowledge and expertise—after all, doesn’t everyone want to be considered well-rounded in their profession? Don’t you want to use every skill you learned at Blackstone? Consider the thought that someday your job might disappear—as solid as it is today, things change. We often have no control over this, and wouldn’t it be helpful to know more than one medical specialty in difficult times? Remember, in order to stay maximally employable, it is valuable learn as many medical specialties as possible.
Being a general medical transcriptionist is the most exciting way to learn all fields of medicine, including the terminology, pharmaceuticals, abbreviations, clinical and surgical procedures of all specialties. General medical transcription keeps the MT/HDS employable because there are no limits to what you can learn—you can transcribe both clinical reports and surgical reports as well as everything in between. Hospital medical records transcription is where the MT/HDS gets the most variety, and it is a great learning field. Within the hospital we have the emergency department, the pathology department, the medical records department, the radiology department, including others. Being a general medical transcriptionist in a hospital setting is a continuous source of joy if you love medical transcription!
P.S.: Just so no one comes away thinking cardiology might be boring, check out the following subspecialties in that field:
preventive cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, interventional cardiology, adult congenital cardiology, nuclear cardiology, heart failure & transplant cardiology
An MT/HDS could work for an entire career in cardiology and its subspecialties, continuing with new discoveries. The beauty of being a medical transcriptionist/ healthcare documentation specialist lies in the fact that the learning never stops.
Patricia A. Ireland, CMT, AHDI-F Medical Transcription Instructor, Consultant
Feel free to contact me for questions/comments, including how to join AHDI, at 210.522.1689