Medical Transcription

Medical transcription (MT) is the process by which medical records - such as patient history, consultation notes, lab reports, and pathology reports - dictated by doctors and other medical professionals are transcribed from audio to text format. The medical transcriptionist is the person who transforms audio medical reports from the original dictated form to the written form to be produced either as a hard copy or to be stored in a computer system.

Job profile

The primary task of the medical transcriptionist is to transcribe, format and proofread medical records. Medical records for transcription are primarily sourced from the USA. They are outsourced for transcription from a variety of healthcare settings including doctor's offices, private/public hospitals, clinics, laboratories, legal offices, veterinary and medical clinics, research centres. Dictations are done not only by doctors but also by surgeons, nurses pharmacists, therapists, nurses and other paramedical staff. Medical transcriptionists receive the doctor's dictation by tape, digital systems or as a voice data file. Digitised data through the Internet is the most common means of receiving medical data from the USA.

The local transcription company receives the data and they uncompress it. At this point, the medical transcriptionist takes over. Using a suitable word processing programme/application the audio file is transcribed and edited. There are two stages in MT. The first is the actual process of transcription by a medical transcriptionist. This is followed by proofreading and editing. The MT industry employs a number of proofreaders, junior and senior editors as well. Proofreaders and editors perform the following functions:

  • Visual proofreading
  • Electronic spellcheck
  • Grammar check
  • Checking for medical inconsistencies and inaccuracies

The medical record - now in text form - is then routed back to the concerned doctor or hospital.


A typical MT firm is structured as follows:

Trained medical transcriptionists
Senior medical transcriptionists
Sub editors


At the entry level trained medical transcriptionists earn around Rs 3500-5000 per month. With a minimum of six months experience medical transcriptionists can expect to earn Rs.10,000 per month.

Essential Attributes

Medical transcriptonists must possess the following essential attributes:

  • Familiarity with medical jargon
  • Good typing skills
  • Excellent listening skills
  • Excellent command over English
  • Ability to adjust to different accents and diction
  • Ability to deduct medical inconsistencies in dictation
  • Ability to work long hours
  • High level of concentration over long periods of time


MT schools offer certificate courses in transcription. Fees for short term (3-6 months) courses range from Rs.20,000-30,000. In-house training programmes are also offered by transcription firms that hire freshers.

Medical transcription training modules cover the following subjects:

  • English grammar
  • Medical terminology
  • Human anatomy
  • American English

Growth prospects

Medical transcription was initially an in-house affair completed within the four walls of the doctor's office or hospital itself. The advent of high-speed satellite links and the lower costs of outsourcing have brought the MT industry to countries such as India and Mexico. Over the last two years, India has become the hub of the global MT industry. MT is currently classified as an IT enabled industry and being actively promoted by NASSCOM's Vision Group for IT Enables Services.

In '98 alone, The Indian MT industry generated Rs.140 crore worth of tax-free foreign exchange. NASSCOM predicts that the turnover is likely to touch the Rs.10,000 crore mark by 2008.An estimated 1,60,000 medical transcriptionist are expected to be employed by the industry which currently employs one-fifth that number.

Related areas of work

Medical transcriptionists can diversify into the following areas of work: Legal transcription

Medi-SCRIBE: Medical Transcription Training / Insititute in Kolkata, India

Medical Transcription Resources / Links / Business

Medical Transcription Service Provider in India : Medi-scribe, Kolkata, India

Medical Transcription at Home - Ebook - Download now

Step by Step Guide for Medical Transcription  at Home





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