Medical transcription training programs require students to take several types of medical transcription classes that help to build the student's skill set. Transcribing accurate documents consistently requires at least six months to a year of hands-on training, and your medical transcription courses may be taken online or offline, depending on your needs. The types of medical transcription courses you take and how you take them will depend on the school and what your educational goals are. Many people are now choosing to complete medical transcription course online because it provides them with some flexibility with their schedule.

Types of Medical Transcription Classes

The core set of medical transcription classes vary only slightly by school and training center. Most medical transcription programs require students to take medical transcription classes in the following areas and subjects:

  • Medical Terminology
  • Human Anatomy
  • Pharmacology
  • Medical Terms Suffices, Prefixes, and Word Roots
  • Legal Medical Records
  • General Standards of Style
  • Measurement and Quantitation
  • Specialty Standards and Nomenclatures
  • Patient Privacy and HIPAA Laws
  • Career Role and Responsibilities
  • Medical Transcription Equipment and Technology
  • General Transcription Guidelines
  • Medical Records and Reports
  • Correspondence and Business Documents
  • Dictation Software
  • Dictation Process
  • Practice Dictations

Most medical transcription courses end with a series of assessments or an exam, and these may require transcribing a set of documents and preparing various types of reports. After completing all required medical transcription classes, the student can take a national exam to receive their Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) designation.

Taking Medical Transcription Courses

There are three ways you can take medical transcription courses: in a traditional classroom setting at an accredited school; online through online training centers; or via correspondence school that may include both online training and video or DVD tutorials. You can do some research on different types of schools and training centers to find out what types and format of medical transcription courses are available to you, and what will best suit your schedule.

Classroom-based medical transcription courses will give you the opportunity to network with other students and teachers, and you may be able to complete your training at a training facility or school while you are working at another job.

Online medical transcription courses and training programs allow you to complete all of your training virtually and you will typically interact with your instructor via email and through discussion boars. Taking a medical transcription course online offers a number of advantages for many people. However, the primary disadvantage of this type of this format is that you won't be able to network with other students and teachers face-to-face, and you will need to be very dedicated and self-motivated to get your work done in a timely manner.

If you decide to take your medical transcription classes via correspondence, you may be given some video and DVD materials to work through, and may also need to log in to a virtual classroom to complete some of your coursework. Correspondence courses typically have the same benefits and drawbacks as online medical transcription courses, so you need to decide if this format really is the right match for you.