Medical Transcription – Online Versus Classroom Training

Article By Scott Knutson – Original posted on

If you’ve considered a career in medical transcription, you’ve probably already spent at least some time looking into the study options. And there are some serious decisions to be made when it comes to those training options. Should you study medical transcription in a classroom? Or would an online or correspondence course be better? It depends on your personality, your location and your needs.

Start by looking into schools in your area that offer medical transcription in a classroom setting. The sheer fact of your location in relation to any schools you’d be interested in attending may very well make the decision for you. While location is sometimes the deciding factor, don’t let yourself be talked into taking what you consider to be second-rate medical transcription training just because it happens to be nearby. You can certainly get quality training from an online or correspondence school if there’s nothing close to your location.

Your own personality – and limitations – should also play a role in your choice of training options. Do you work well without strict supervision and deadlines? Can you set goals for yourself and follow through? If your answer to those questions isn’t a resounding “yes,” you may not do well with online or correspondence training. There’s a big difference between sitting in a classroom every day (or once a week) and being turned loose to do your own work. In a classroom, you’re held responsible for keeping pace with the class. A correspondence class allows you to set your own pace. Some people simply need the structure of a classroom setting.

That’s not to say that you have to attend classes in person to get that structure. Many distance learning programs allow students to “meet” with instructors and even classmates on a regular basis via computer. You simply set up a webcam at your location and you have the opportunity to interact with the teacher and even others taking the class. In some ways, this is the best of all possible worlds for the busy adult who still needs some structure to accomplish the goals of medical transcription training.

If you think the online “meeting” is a good idea for you, take a minute to look at your own computer and your connection. A dial-up connection with a slow computer may simply not be able to present the class in “real time.” The lag can be annoying or even embarrassing, and you may find yourself losing out on some important points.

Regardless of what kind of training you choose, be wary of those offering claims that seem simply too good to be true. No one can guarantee that you’ll find a job the week you complete your training and a school that offers those kinds of promises may very well be exaggerating other points of their training as well. Take time to be sure that any training facility you choose is reputable and that your hard work will end with training that will make you qualified to work in the medical transcription field.