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medical transcription stepping stone

We all know that medical transcription can be a very rewarding career in and of itself, but have you considered that it can also be an excellent foundation for other career choices? Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities.

QA Editor/Team Lead

If you work for an MTSO (medical transcription service organization) as a transcriptionist, you will have a TL (team lead) or QA (quality assurance) editor who will do random audits of your work to ensure you are within the required accuracy level or to whom you will send any of your dictations that contain blanks, discrepancies, and so on. They are experienced MTs/HDSs (medical transcriptionists/healthcare documentation specialists) and have strong listening, proofreading, and editing skills. They are also very familiar with the specifics/client preferences for the account they are working on. These people are, in essence, the safety net, ensuring the completed medical report is accurate and free of blanks before it is sent to the facility and, ultimately, the patient record. In addition to an editing/proofreading role, a team lead could also be the person who trains new hires. Team leads are responsible for a number of remote MTs/HDSs. QA editors and team leads often transcribe on the account they are leading.

Transcription Services Manager

A transcription services manager also works for an MTSO and oversees the daily operations of their assigned accounts. One of their key responsibilities is to liaise between team leads and the facility. Their role is more managerial in scope and can include monitoring work flow and organizing a schedule to ensure TAT (turn-around time) is upheld. They attend meetings with the client and ensure that all updates to the account specifics/client preferences have been communicated to the team for implementation. They track team productivity, attendance, and conduct performance evaluations of team members. A transcription services manager may not actively transcribe, but they must possess superior knowledge of medical terminology, have strong organizational skills, and the ability to problem solve. Ideally, they would also have had previous experience in a management role.

Health Information Manager

Medical transcription provides a solid foundation for progression into an HIM role, although to be certified and able to work, an individual must complete an extensive HIM program and participate in a practicum. HIM professionals manage patients’ health information in a number of different ways. This profession is dedicated to the collection of information from patient health records, which is translated into data for analysis, classification, and coding. This data is then used to provide information for patient care, planning, research, statistics, and education. The end result is that informed decisions for health services can be made based on the best information possible.


Once you have a number of years’ experience transcribing in an acute-care setting and have successfully challenged the AHDI certification exam, CHDS (certified healthcare documentation specialist), you could be eligible for an instructor position, online or on site. Instructors must have proven core knowledge in all areas of medical transcription, as well as the ability to effectively instruct, evaluate performance, and provide constructive feedback to MT/HDS students.

Own Your Own Business

Imagine this! You could start your own transcription company and hire MT/HDS contractors to work for you! Briefly, this would involve securing transcription work, which your contractors would then transcribe. You would be paid by your client and, in turn, pay your contractors while keeping a cut for your business. You could go as big or small as you want.

As you can see, a career in medical transcription can really be an open door to so much more! If you are currently studying, keep your eye on the prize and see where it takes you!