Each medical Transcription program is as different as each medical transcription school teaching it. How do you know which is best for YOUR learning and success in your new career? In this article, we will explore ways of comparing medical transcription schools.
Our Founder Says . . . “Dare To Compare!”
Hello! Kudos to YOU for daring to compare! I hope the information below gives you some alternative viewpoints when it comes to comparing programs and choosing the right one for YOU. Let us know if we may be of assistance in answering any questions you might have. Thanks for reading!
-Margery Hinman, Ph.D., CEO/Director
With all the options available online today, how are you able to tell which medical transcription training program is the best? Did you know all schools are NOT alike?
Here are some important questions to ask about any medical transcription schools you’re considering for your medical transcription training . . . .
1. Which program out there is the most comprehensive?
Compare curriculums of the schools you’re considering and see just how extensive MT School of Canada really is. Combined with the option to go as slow or fast as you need, your training here is second to none. We leave no stone unturned when it comes to your education. Remember, we have copies of the other schools’ training, and we’re proud to say, no one else comes close.
2. Which program is going to be more tailored to MY learning style?
You may be the type of learner who needs hands-on training. If so, our interactive online software will be just the thing for you.
You may prefer learning by reading and/or listening. If so, our audio files may be what helps you the most.
You may also prefer to do most of the coursework off the computer. If so, that’s okay too, since we provide top quality textbooks from well-known publishers in the medical industry. There are lots of ways to do this program – you are never stuck with just one method – so choose what works for you.
3. Which program is going to allow me to go fast through the areas I already know yet slow down for those areas I am new to?
Other schools require you to go methodically through each lesson. Our students have the ability to “test out” of any subject matter they have already learned. If they score a 90% or more, they may skip that particular subject. Even if they don’t score a 90% or more, they are able to go through the module very quickly, skimming the most important points.
We want YOU to spend YOUR time on learning things you don’t already know, not on re-visiting things you already have been taught. If you know how to type, then skip the optional typing tutorial. If you know your computer inside and out, skip the computer training. If you have already been taught anatomy and physiology, try testing out of those areas. That way, you’ll have more time to focus on getting through to the advanced work, where it really counts.
4. Which program allows you to begin practice transcribing quickly?
We heard from our students years ago that they preferred getting down to business quickly, meaning transcribing practice as soon as possible. When we assessed those students who began transcribing early in their coursework, we had an interesting finding: First, the students were able to pay closer attention to the work that preceded each transcription practice, and second, the students were able to “catch on” much more quickly to the hand/eye/ear coordination that is so necessary to succeed.
With this assessment in mind, we organized the curriculum so that your transcription practice begins with the very first anatomy module, and continues throughout all the remaining anatomy modules (all 21 of them)! This means that you get to experience early on what it’s like to learn several medical terms and then transcribe them from dictated audio files. You also get immediate feedback which is so empowering (and fun!) In essence, you are learning without realizing you are learning!
5. Which program assigns you your own personal instructor who can tell after working with your reports if you need additional or specialized practice?
Some schools assign you to a “pool” of instructors. At MT School of Canada, we love all our instructors, but we assign you ONE instructor throughout your enrollment that gets to know YOU personally. This way, your instructor, who is a certified professional, gets a much quicker “snapshot” of how you are progressing, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and in what areas you may need more practice to become proficient. Between our online instruction and their personalized feedback (never computer-graded), this is just part of what makes our training the best in all of North America. Plus you are always able to contact your instructor, no matter what you need. Whether you need a lot of guidance, a virtual hug, or just an occasional answer, we’re always here for you!
6. Which employers will hire graduates of which programs?
This is something we are asked all the time. We are not the largest school in the country, nor do we choose to be. We don’t have a marketing department and we don’t pay people to talk about us like some schools do. What we DO have is a solid reputation of being able to provide employers with the highest-quality graduates, as well as a SOLID job placement rate of 100%. In fact, MT School of Canada has graduates who are employed in all the major medical transcription services across Canada, and we get calls and emails regularly asking for more. That alone speaks for itself as to the quality and intensity of this program.
So, the bottom line is, as our graduate, you’re not stuck having to accept employment with just ONE service. We’ve worked with many, and we help you determine YOUR needs and YOUR desires before recommending any service for your employment.
7. Which program has the highest job placement rate?
This is a good question, although the real question should be will you be able to get a medical transcription job? This is a question we get asked quite often. An ethical school will never guarantee you employment. However, what the school CAN tell you is how many of its graduates are successfully working. If the school cannot place all of its graduates (or does not include job placement as part of your tuition) you might want to keep looking elsewhere for your education. Don’t accept anything less than a 95% placement rate or better for employment with the employer of your choice.
We work very hard with our graduates to get them happily employed. Our school is the ONLY school that has consistently advertised a 100% job placement rate, due to the fact that we are easily able to place all our graduates and have done so consistently throughout the years.
8. Which program includes as much information as possible inside the curriculum and includes laboratory, pathology, and pharmacology?
As I mentioned earlier, MT School of Canada has purchased every other major school’s medical transcription program at some point or another, some more than once. We did this in order to ENSURE that we continue to offer the highest quality medical transcription training in the industry. Just compare our curriculum to any other school (our is 1,470 hours) and see the difference.
9. Which schools allow flexible financing, if needed, at a zero percent interest rate for the student, without credit checks?
For some students, this won’t matter, but for those that need financing, zero percent is the way to go. We do our OWN financing here, which means greater flexibility when it comes to helping YOU. We also never do a credit check nor report your loan to a credit bureau, so you don’t have to put your life plans on hold just to have a career.
10. Which schools allow and even encourage interaction between students, graduates, instructors, and mentors?
Our school has a combined, HUGE forum for our students, graduates, employers, instructors, and mentors. (At last count, there were over 25,000 comments!) This means that YOU get the advantage of reading questions that someone else has asked, and seeing the answers from multiple experts. In addition, you can also ask your own questions as well as have access to hundreds of special links and other interactive learning websites to help accelerate and multiply your understanding of the subject matter you’re discussing. In short, YOU get to benefit from our many years of teaching!
11. Which schools teach you the AHDI Book of Style for Medical Transcription?
We were surprised to hear that some of the old schools still don’t teach with this book. If you’re looking to work from home for a national service, there is a 99% chance that you’ll work for one who requires you to know this style guide.
Why is this important? For the services that employ MTs who work from their homes around the country, a unified style in each report is a must so that all work looks the same and has the same type of format. There are numerous grammatical and vocabulary rules that medical professionals use. As a trained medical transcriptionist, it is VITAL to patient care (and when applying for medical transcription and editing positions) that you know this style guide and have experience working with it.
Not only does our school have ALL of our coursework incorporating this style guide, but we also include the latest digital version in your shipment of books and materials upon enrollment. Our online course refers to the style rules often. Plus the practical experience you gain while doing your transcription work is also done, under the supervision of a certified MT, according to the book’s guidelines. The result is that you finish our program knowing this style guide inside and out. You’ll know every rule, and you’ll be able to apply that knowledge to any medical report. This means that not only will you pass the employer tests once you start applying for jobs, but you will also excel on the job because you were properly trained in the first place.
12. Which schools provide you actual textbooks instead of their own homemade version?
When we purchased other schools’ courses to compare to our own, we were shocked to see some of the materials that are provided to their students. Spiral-bound notebooks were substituted for professional textbooks. Homemade booklets and online digital booklets were also seen. MT School of Canada has always used professionally published textbooks for the subjects at hand. Your education is always #1 priority with us.
13. Which schools provide you unlimited use of the proven SUM transcription training materials? (As opposed to their own homemade version.)
Transcribing staff dictated reports is not anything like the real world. MT School of Canada gives you actual physician dictated reports (with the identifying information removed) to give you the real-life practice you need on the job. In addition to physician dictated reports, you’ll find foreign dictators, dictations with noise in the background, mumblers, dictations with errors (which challenges you to find the errors), and much, much more! When choosing schools, insist on the SUM method of transcription training dictation, which is specially designed to give you a well-rounded education in transcribing those difficult reports. Learn more about the SUM transcription training materials we use here and why this is important to your future career.
14. Which schools give you additional (optional) instruction (at no extra charge) in English grammar and punctuation, computers, software, computer technology, AND typing tutorials for greater speed and accuracy IF you need it?
Our studies have shown that an expert (advanced, experienced) transcriptionist does not come from basic training alone. There are other variables, some just as important, that must be learned along with proper MT training from a certified MT. One of these areas is computer training.
Since the computer is the primary tool in a transcriptionist’s career, it makes no sense to us why a quality school wouldn’t include EXTENSIVE (not just basic) training in things such as operating systems, computer maintenance, computer repair and upgrades, advanced research techniques, Google tricks of the trade, as well as specific computer skills in such areas as word processing software such as MS Word (beginning, intermediate and advanced), drug software, medical spellchecker software, word expander techniques, transcribing software, and more.
Without exception, EVERY SINGLE medical transcriptionist who is making good money from home is using these techniques. It’s a MUST HAVE, yet most schools leave this to on-the-job experience for you to learn these things. At MT School of Canada, we want you to have this knowledge BEFORE you graduate. You get the benefit of OUR 30+ years of experience before you even talk to your first employer.
This fact may surprise you: A transcriptionist with a typing speed of 45 wpm who KNOWS her computer and software, including how to create macros, templates, shortcuts and word expanders, can actually outperform a transcriptionist who types 70 wpm who does not know these things! Imagine what you could do if you had a typing speed of 70+ AND all this computer and software knowledge. This is what it’s like learning with a school that includes it all.
We have seen over the years the training that other schools have provided in this area, and found that some of it is lacking. Even if you have computer and software knowledge (which means you’re already ahead of the game!) you will still have a learning curve if you haven’t had specific practice by applying what you know to the medical transcription profession. That’s why MT School of Canada teaches all these skills and more in our advanced MT training, and our students are NEVER left in the dark to figure it out on their own. All to help YOU get that ideal medical transcription job!
15. Which schools give you word expander software experience?
MT School of Canada includes not only word expander software and experience, we also all kinds of advanced tips, tricks, and techniques for maximizing your income and your efficiency. Experience with expander software is just one of those things you can look forward to. PLUS, our very last module is all about employment, showing you the differences in the medical transcription companies, the different ways they can pay their MTs, what to look out for, what questions to ask during the interview, and so much more. With advanced insider knowledge like this, you’ll be able to make the decision that is right for you and your family without having to go through trial and error that most other medical transcriptionists and editors go through.
16. Which schools give you all the transcription practice you will ever need without trying to charge you additional monies for a dictation upgrade? What about giving you textbooks and the online version of their program without trying to charge you extra fees?
Another unfortunate occurrence that we have seen time and again is a school that offers a low enrollment fee. However, upon reading the fine print, you find out you don’t get everything. A common “trick of the trade” for schools like this is to charge extra for application fee, processing fee, supplies fee, renewal fees, internship fees, graduation fees, and certificate fees just to name a few. Some schools will also charge you extra to get your books and supplies in digital format, or in hard copy format. The end result is that you end up paying as much for an ordinary program as you would have just to enroll in a quality program in the first place.
17. Which schools mandate that you PAY THEM to participate in their internship program or practicum which may pay you little or nothing in exchange for doing work for them or their “partner” companies?
Watch out for this and learn why we no longer participate in internship programs or practicum with any employers. (We stopped participating and it didn’t matter – they still called us asking for graduates!)
18. Which schools give you a short window of time to complete the program and then charge you extra for extensions (or force you to leave their program)?
One of the popular schools charges a whopping $400 to extend your program just 3 months beyond the original 12-month contract. With MT School of Canada, you get a full 18 months in which to complete your program. This lets you go at your own pace and not be rushed or feel pressured.
19. Which schools PAY their students to promote the school on the internet and for testimonials? Which schools PAY employers to put their names on their websites?
With our school, you won’t see our name everywhere. We don’t have a marketing department and we don’t spend time paying for links or putting our logo on all the employers’ websites. (On the other hand, you also won’t see our school’s program for sale at multiple places all over the internet from dissatisfied students who have dropped out.)
What we DO have is a smaller school that ENJOYS being a smaller school, and we LOVE having a reputation with employers for MT training that is second to none. In fact, just this week 2 major employers emailed us asking for more graduates. This is not uncommon. Employers know our training is high quality, know that it is the equivalent of approximately 2 years of experience, and know what to expect from our graduates. That’s why many of our graduates are able to find employment BEFORE they graduate. Yes, just the mention of our school name says it all, and we work hard with you so that you reap the benefit.
Choosing a great online medical transcription school doesn’t have to be difficult. This is time for YOU to do your homework that can determine the rest of YOUR career, so it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Remember, just because a school has its name all over the internet does NOT mean it’s the best school. Find a school that has happy graduates and a great job placement rate for its current graduates.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late —
Over the years, we have had students enroll who were past graduates of some of these other schools, but for one reason or another, could not gain employment after graduation from these other schools. Sadly, these students realized too late that they enrolled in a “highly advertised” school and did not ask the right questions. They realized they needed additional training to make their career well-rounded and gain employment. We have graduated perhaps hundreds of students like this, and hearing about the problems with other programs is nothing new to us. We have heard many problems with these other schools and felt the frustration of the student involved.
Fortunately, if you are reading this right now, YOU have the information now that YOU need to make an informed decision — the decision that is right for you as an individual and a future medical transcriptionist.
We strongly suggest YOU make a list of the schools you are considering and rate them according to the features that are important to YOU. Call them and ask questions. Call them a second time or even a third if that’s what it takes to answer YOUR questions. Then call us and let us tell you what we’ve found. After all, this is a decision that is vital to your career as a new medical transcriptionist or medical editor, and YOU deserve to have your questions answered.
Let Us Know If You Need More Information. If you have any questions about anything discussed here or would like additional information on becoming a medical transcriptionist or medical editor, we would be happy to talk further with you. After all, YOU are the one that needs to make sure the school you choose is the very best one for YOU.
Remember, our school does very little paid advertising, but we are STILL considered one of the best by many students, graduates, instructors, mentors, and many, many employers. When we train YOU, our reputation is on the line when you apply for a job, so we make SURE you are not only employable, but excel in all areas of the Medical Transcription profession. Why wouldn’t you want to have the best education possible for your new career?