Any medical transcriptionists on the SDMB?

Are you a medical transcriptionist? How did you get trained? Would you buy a self-taught program on the web?

Do you think that being a medical transcriptionist works - or would work - as a part-time job?

My sister does it.

Started out as, of all things, a consultant in an employment agency for the computing industry in the late 80s. This entailed learning to touch type. The company went bust, she moved to a job in a hospital which she got because of her typing speed and accuracy. They paid for her to go to a medical terminology course. She spent a few years working part time, and building up a business doing medical and general transcription work from home. Now she’s ditching the hospital completely, and just running the business. She says business is good, and it pays the mortgage.

I am. I was trained through the Mayo Clinic’s in-house medical secretary/transcriptionist training program. I’ve been doing it five years (actually, I’m a QA now, but I recently got a part-time work-at-home position too).

I’ve heard that some of those programs are utterly useless, but some are quite good. I can’t remember the name of one of the good ones, but if you like, I can ask some coworkers who they recommend.

Are you thinking of at-home or in-house? I know a couple transcriptionists who have never worked in-house, they went straight from school to work. There are very few companies that will hire someone with no experience to work at home, however. The company I work for part-time is one of the few that will hire newbies. Most require at least three years experience.

If you’re thinking of working at home, however, keep in mind that you’re paid by production. Some companies (the one I work for, for example) will pay you a minimum salary during your orientation period, but I think most start with paying you by your production right away. It can be hard to make any money at first. I was a little rusty when I started out with this company in May, I hadn’t really transcribed in almost two years. Starting out was rough, and they put me on an account where the majority of doctors had thick accents, but I’m almost at my goal of bringing in an extra 1000 dollars a month, working 20 hours a week. So, it’s not bad.

If you could send me recs of good programs, Mishell, that would be awesome.

I have a regular full-time job right now and am looking to supplement my income, with the long-term goal of doing MT to help me pay for grad school. So if it takes me awhile to get to full income potential, that is okay with me.

Optimally, I’d like to be working at home. What do you think are the chances I could do that soon after being trained? If not so good, what are the chances that I could do MT at night or on weekends?