MT Training Comes of Age

It is only in the last couple of years that Medical Transcription as a business or as a career in India is reaching levels of maturity and stability that other more traditional fields or career destinations commonly see.  The 15-year old industry has gone through its infancy, childhood, teenage, and is now entering adulthood.  Business models are more realistic and transcriptionists more responsible.  Much of the insecurity that plagued the early years has gone.  This has happened because of several reasons.  The businesses that jumped on to the bandwagon only to make a quick profit exited as they realized the complexity of the process.  The serious players held on to their strategies, investing in training and technology, building competency and capacity.  And last but not least, with the passing of the years, the candidate community started seeing more successful medical transcriptionists having meaningful and successful careers and lives.

Training is the key to sustaining a MT business or career.  The industry demands are several times higher than the supply of trained personnel.  Finding and retaining skilled manpower has been uphill all the way for the industry.  The solution to this is increasing the bandwidth of high quality training.  Yet, MT training has been another victim of abuse.  When the boom was on, with almost absent regulation, anyone and everyone offered to train you to become a transcriptionist for a fee.  They offered you exposure to physician dictation that was often stolen data.  Handouts with rules for transcription were passed around, photocopies of photocopies.  Several thousands of people trained by these fly-by-night trainers flooded the labor market, and for the uninitiated or unengaged business owners and recruitment consultants, they were a blessing.  What it did in the long run was to produce large numbers of substandard transcriptionists who were able to get sufficient lengths of work experience to continue to look attractive to recruiters with targets.  As a bonus, it earned India the dubious distinction of poor quality transcription and absent English language skills.

For the serious trainers, the last several years have been very challenging.  Convincing students and their families that proper training took time and effort, battling the gloom of ever rising number of companies that closed down every other day, allaying the fears that new technology or a change of government in the US would wipe out the offshore outsourcing model, and explaining why it was more sensible to start out with a reputed brand but a moderate salary than a mom-and-pop outfit that was ready to pay anything to sustain its zero-overheads business, have been common challenges for all trainers whether they were doing captive training for a production house or commercial third party training.  Good trainers with a strong industry alignment have successfully faced these challenges without having to compromise on what they believed in, and now, the value of such training entities is universally acknowledged by students and their families as well as by recruiting companies and government agencies.

The Doctus team is very close to my heart as we have been travel companions in our journey of building Worldtech.  As they set out on their own, I felt insecure, partly a sense of being orphaned and partly a worried parent.  Over the years, I have seen the team blossom into one of responsible mentors, imparting much more than medical transcription training, instilling in their students a sense of value and ethics, and inspiring them to be proud of themselves and their work.  It was a pleasant surprise to see the draft of their candidate handbook for medical terminology since it meets a long felt need.  It offers the candidate sturdy and handy hooks to hang their understanding upon.  While it may appear to be a series of lists to a lay observer, it captures the basic terminology and medical language that can be considered essential for a MT trainee.  I look forward to their further offerings to make the MT training process smoother and more user friendly.

(Doctus is a Hyderabad based Training Institute and the team can be reached through Beena/Sucharita/Rao
at 040-6678-7771 or 040-6678-7772 or email contactus@doctus.co.in)

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