Machines and cheap workforce from Philippines have significantly transformed the medical transcription industry.
Copying my comment from another post so more people don’t fall into this trap…. This is a dying industry in the US, it has steadily gone downhill over the last ten+ years. Many of us who have been stubborn enough to stay in the industry are paid just over half of what we made 10 years ago. I’ve been in the the field 20 years now. I’m now paid 7 cents per 65- character line as an independent contractor (ie no benefits, no PTO, nothing). Back in the day I was an employee with some benefits and paid $1.50 per page whether it was a short report or not. It was feasible to have a $120-150 day. Now it can take well over 8 hour to make at least $ 75, just over minimum wage in my state. The work pools and dictations have become increasingly more challenging. Used to be, you would have a few physicians to transcribe, so you could get familiar with them and get into a flow. Now, you could have 40 different voices and accents in a given day. It slows down productivy and line count. Those schools that advertise ‘make over $50000 per year as a medical transcriptionist’ are lying, and quoting earnings from 15 damn years ago when transcriptionists were valued by medical facilities. The voice recognition machines and outsourcing to Asia has given hospitals and clinics etc leverage to either have those modalities do the work for dirt cheap, (or) if they choose to keep their work in the states typed by humans, they offer desperate (though long time experienced and skilled) transcriptionists shit wages. The attitude is basically an unspoken “take it or leave it….accept the crummy rate or we can use a machine or an Indian team instead…do you want the work or not”. I’ve foolishly and naively stayed in the industry partly because of the familiarity of the work and the autonomy of working from home. I was also told on many occasions that the work would be coming back to the US and also facilities we’re not happy with the machines either. Well, apparently the machines and Asia have become quite acclimated to the work and produce acceptable transcripts, because the situation never changed. I’m on the way out, training in another industry, it’s time. It’s sad, but we were warned 15 years ago this was coming, and I should’ve been preparing. Long story short….if you plan on paying big money to some school to teach you this work, you’ll most likely be quite disappointed, and good luck paying your bills let alone your school loan! You’re better off driving for Uber or something. This has been a public service announcement. Signed -Kim, The Pissed off Transcriptionist. 🙂