Medical transcription – Another great career for machine shorthand writers
by Joan Dennis
Product Manager
Word for Word Summer 2003

Looking for new or different career possibilities? You may want to consider medical transcription. It presents another great opportunity for machine shorthand writers to use their skills to try something new. Parallels that exist between court transcripts and medical transcripts make for an easy transition.

Your machine shorthand skills allow you to easily branch out into this field as medical transcripts are traditionally produced on a QWERTY keyboard. Machine shorthand allows you to transcribe medical reports at a much faster rate, giving you a significant marketing edge. Opportunities for flexible work schedules abound in the medical transcription profession. Many transcriptionists work at home or are self-employed, working for companies nearby or distant and submitting their work electronically.

Master the skills you need
“Court reporters make excellent candidates for medical transcription programs,” says Health Professions Institute (HPI), publisher of the leading medical transcription training program used in schools, hospitals and transcription companies. The SUM Program for Medical Transcription Training was developed by HPI to prepare job-ready graduates to meet the growing demand for medical transcriptionists in the marketplace. If medical transcription appeals to you, The SUM Program is the place to start.

The SUM (Systems Unit Method) Program is a great way to master the skills specific to medical transcription. It is designed to prepare you to be productive from the very first day of employment. The SUM Program is used in hundreds of accredited community colleges, public and private vocational schools. But more importantly, The SUM Program is also available as an excellent self-directed study program.

Learn at your own pace
Self-directed students follow the same curriculum as accredited schools, combining transcription practice with academic coursework in seven subject areas. Self-directed students use transcript keys to check their work, receiving immediate feedback.

Other features include:

  • Authentic dictation, not simulated script-read reports.
  • A wide variety of dictating voices and dictation styles.
  • Organized by body system and medical specialty.
  • Self-paced so you can move at a rate that is comfortable for you.
  • Emphasizes adequate transcription practice with 31 hours of dictation – at both beginning and advanced levels – for more than 600 hours of actual transcription practice.

Included in The SUM Program is:

  • Ninety minutes of narration on relevant topics by authors and educators who are well-known in the field.
  • Ninety minutes of narrative instruction for transcribing pharmacology, laboratory procedures, and the medical history and physical examination.
  • Nine hours of authentic physician dictation in 11 specialties, including chart notes, letters, initial office evaluations, history and physicals, consultations, emergency department reports and discharge summaries.
  • Transcript keys
  • Student syllabus
  • Medical Transcription Workbook
  • Three other medical reference books
  • Dictation in your choice of either cassette or CD-ROM format.

The CD-ROM version turns your PC into a virtual transcribing station, eliminating the need for an expensive desktop transcribing machine. In addition, this version contains many features that enhance the learning process, including random dictation practice and easy-access electronic reference tools. You need only a multimedia desktop PC with CD-ROM drive, sound card and USB port.

From learning to doing
To help you transition from learning The SUM Program to using your shorthand machine skills for medical transcription is a new book, Beginning Medical Stenoscription. The author, Carol Jochim, also the author of the highly regarded Phoenix Theory, has written Beginning Medical Stenoscription to bridge the gap between learning machine shorthand and using the skill for medical transcription.

Non-theory specific, this book reinforces basic theory principles, answers all machine shorthand related questions applicable to medical transcription as they occur in The SUM Program, and provides writing exercises to enhance keyboarding skills. Writing exercises include general vocabulary words, high-frequency words/phrases, medical terminology, drug names, proper names of medical conditions, procedures, and acronyms and abbreviations. This book includes a CD-ROM with over 11 hours of dictation at 60 wpm.

The software you’ll need
The only other tool you will need to begin your medical transcription career is rapid text entry software. Stenograph’s RapidWrite Pro® works with your existing word processing software. RapidWrite Pro works in the background, translating steno and placing it directly on your computer screen. Recently updated, RapidWrite Pro is now Windows® XP compatible.

To learn more about any of the above-described products, please visit, click Education & Skill Development, then Medical Transcription. Or, call your friendly Stenograph sales representative at 800-228-2339, press 3, then 2.