Frequently Asked Questions

Is medical transcription going out of demand? What about outsourcing?

Some hospitals are using "offshore" workers. They are sending their work to Pakistan, Nepal, China and many countries that are frankly hostile to the U.S. That means that some of our most confidential, vulnerable documents are being transcribed by people who are not bound by HIPAA guidelines and if they choose to sell information, there is no way to prosecute or curtail those sorts of practices. In many cases, there is an American "middleman," a U.S. based service who at first seem based in America. But then when checked further, it is obvious that they offshore work. Facilities, such as large hospitals, turn a blind eye to this, since they prefer saving money and figure it's worth the risk. These types of practices used to be more common than today. Because there have been so many issues with confidentiality, selling of medical records and so on, fewer facilities are offshoring than in the past. I strongly encourage Americans to send e-mails and ask them to be forwarded onward, so that citizens will realize that their confidential information is in jeopardy.

We have also noticed that EMR, while seemingly decreasing the amount of work that MT's receive, has been quite the reverse. While simple procedures, such as pap smears and the common cold, can be input with basic codes, more complex procedures that are highly individualized, need a live human to dictate and transcribe. Those procedures are becoming more lengthy and we transcribe operations and medical techniques that were never even considered a possibility a few years ago. These reports are very technical and involved.

The field of medical transcription is still vital, taking care of nearly 60% of the 1.2 billion clinical documents produced annually in the U.S. according to For the Record, CDIA (2012) while many MT's are finding additional income as medical editors as well. The landscape of medical transcription is changing but for those willing to change with it, the work should never be hard to find.

What is medical transcription?

A health care professional, such as a physician, physician's assistant, nurse, or technician, dictates medical records into a digital system. A medical transcriptionist then transcribes the dictation. Records include letters, histories and physicals, progress notes, operative reports, hospital discharge summaries and psych evaluations.

Medical transcriptionists own their own businesses, large and small, many of them home-based, or they work in hospitals and medical facilities as employees. The salary range varies. Most contract services, such as home-based businesses, charge by the line: ten to twelve cents per line. The average number of lines per page of medical dictation is forty-five.

Why is medical transcription necessary?

Physicians, hospitals, clinics, insurance companies, veterinarians, and state medical boards, all use medical transcriptionists. According to the American Hospital Association and the American Association of Medical Transcriptionists, the significant shortage of medical transcriptionists continues, not only in hospitals, but in all settings.

What is the difference between medical billing and medical transcription?


  • Medical Billing:
  • Uses codes
  • Collections from patients
  • Complex software
  • Rarely works from home

  • Medical Transcription:
  • Word processing of medical stories
  • Simple software
  • Usually works from home

Why not a secretary with a medical dictionary?

Medical transcription is a profession that requires skill, experience and knowledge of advanced medical terminology. It has been compared to attempting to transcribe Swahili without knowing the language and only armed with a Swahili dictionary. Medical transcriptionists are expected to know the contents of charts well and use good judgment when transcribing documents. It is important that the transcriptionist be familiar with medications and anatomy, medical procedures, what happens at each point of a procedure, and has transcribed many practice dictations through a well-designed, competent medical transcription program.

How is medical transcription done?

Medical transcriptionists use a basic computer and a transcriber. Most transcriptionists use a PC. Microsoft Word and Word Perfect are the two primary types of software used; either one is fine. Printers can be either DeskJet or laser.

Medical transcription usually does not use advanced word processing functions. Most transcriptionists prefer to take a one-day condensed course at a local college, go through the tutorial that comes with their computer, or purchase a user-friendly reference book.

For our program, the first five hundred pages are workbooks, so a computer is not needed until one reaches the transcription portion.

For more information about transcribers (or foot pedals) click here.

What does Medical Transcription A to Z contain?

Medical Transcription A to Z includes an easy-to-understand Table of Contents and introduction with instructions for going through the program.

Part One contains five hundred pages of workbooks that cover beginning medical terminology, advanced terminology, medications and anatomy/physiology. Each chapter has step-by-step instructions and is simple to go through with the aid of the recommended medical dictionaries listed on the materials needed page.

Part Two begins with samples styles of medical records and how they are transcribed. The remainder of Part Two comprises approximately twelve hundred pages of "hands-on" transcription from CDs. It includes authentic medical transcription in a variety of styles and dictators, including foreign accents.

Why should I choose Medical Transcription A to Z?

  • It is a comprehensive program. with a proven, long-term track record.
  • Our program has produced more than 1000 successful medical transcriptionists!
  • It is one of the lowest-priced comparable programs available.
  • We are a well-established company, and can offer a quality program for less.
  • College and other on-site programs can be inconvenient because of time schedules and extra costs.

The Agency of Deborah's Touch is not a school, but is a medical transcription service, so we have a unique understanding of what medical transcriptionists need to know. We provide mentorship and practical guidance as part of the program with no surprises or unexpected costs.

We establish long-term relationships with our students, or warm, friendly personalized service has helped our students over the hurdles of starting their own home business and continues to help them today.

Our statistics, from the twenty years that Medical Transcription A to Z has been available, show that by spending approximately ten hours per week, at a typing speed of 60 wpm, one can complete the program within six months. These statistics are based upon having a good grasp of punctuation, English and grammar.

A to Z is easily ordered by visiting our office in Phoenix, or calling for quick delivery. We can ship it anywhere. We have a toll free number. Call us anytime for help, for as long as you own the program.

When you have finished our program, you must send us all of your completed dictation, and complete a basic oral review. You will receive a letter of recommendation that will help you start your business and go for interviews, if you choose to work on-site, or start your own business. We hire our students who have completed A to Z and done well! Work for us!. More than twenty-five medical transcriptionists currently contract with us. We can help you like no one else can.

The books and CDs are yours to keep. You are not required to return them when finished, as many other programs do. We have guaranteed the CDs. If they break, we will replace them free of charge, as often as necessary, for as long as you own the program. Guarantee of CDs, back-up support, and letter of recommendation is for original purchaser of the program only.

What about AHDI Certification?

We are not AHDI approved, since it's a costly process. For many years, we have been one of the most comprehensive, least-expensive programs available and we are attempting to keep our pricing as low as possible. However, we exceed all of the AHDI guidelines for an excellent program and will continue to set the standard for great courses. Most of the AHDI programs do not include internship or work experience. A_____ Schools, for example, is one of the most expensive and yet their students have a tough time finding work. A______ and other programs have contacted us, wanting us to hire their students, but we only hire through our program, "Medical Transcription A to Z." We believe that's why our students are so successful.