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Medical Transcription Service
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f you love typing and the medical lingo, the medical transcription business is for you. A medical transcriptionist transcribes the medical records dictated by a healthcare professional, including letters, histories, physicals, progress reports, and chart notes. With the growing complexity of medicine, mounting threat of litigation and increasing demand on their time, the healthcare industry has relied on keeping dictated notes to document all aspects of their patient's history and pushed the medical transcription business into a $50 billion industry.

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Superior listening skills, fast typing speed, and aptitude for science and language are required to succeed in this business. You need to have an understanding of medical diagnostic procedures and the medical specialties you work with, enough to know the medical terms and spell them correctly. This business is a good fit for those with medical background. If you have not studied or worked in the medical field before, you can take home-study course, correspondence course or classroom training in a vocational or technical school. To get clients, check with your existing contacts, other transcription services or solicit clients directly. You can also check out Internet sites that contract medical transcriptionists and use the Internet to send out documents.

You can charge for your transcription services in a variety of ways: number of lines (10-20 cents per line), number of characters, per page (typically around $5-$6 per page), minute of dictation (from $15 to $50 per hour depending on the level of difficulty to understand), or the number of kilobytes in a text file. While actual earnings depend on the type of work done and the equipment used, average earnings of a medical transcriptionist ranges from $30,000 to $90,000).

One downside, though: the emergence of voice-recognition technology where doctors could sit down on their computers and dictate their notes while the computer "types" may reduce demand for the medical transcriptionists. Nonetheless, even with the presence of this technology, medical transcriptionists will still be needed as it allows medical professionals to dictate notes on the tape recorder or over the phone while driving, walking or in the elevator. In addition, such technology can even be a boon for transcribers as it allows them to focus on their editing skills instead of typing speed.

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