The best educational training that medical transcriptionists can take for their careers is through programs that follow curricula devised by their professional association, the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI). AHDI was formerly known as AAMT (American Association for Medical Transcription).
Medical transcription (MT) programs don't follow a formal accreditation process. However, they present their established curricula to AHDI for approval to meet the recommended criteria. Industry-wide employers recognize this approval as a qualification that graduates from these programs will meet at least minimum proficiencies in their work upon hire.
AHDI-recommended curricula consist of eight mandatory benchmarks. According to AHDI, the curriculum must follow the AHDI "Model Curriculum" and provide a minimum of 35 hours of authentic physician dictation for the students to transcribe or edit (40 hours preferred). The program must have at least one CMT involved in the educational process; the CMT may be a program director, a curriculum developer or an instructor. Approved programs must use the AHDI's industry standard style guide. The school or programs must demonstrate financial viability, be licensed or accredited through a through a governmental body and be in existence for a minimum of six months with the ability to provide placement statistics for their students. Finally, the program must have course instructors who perform traditional instruction or direct feedback to their students.
MTs have the option of completing their studies either with an associate degree or through a certification programs at a community college, vocational school, or a distance learning program. Completing an AHDI program increases their marketability in the eyes of potential employers.
Angela Woods has been a freelance commercial writer since 1985. Her articles appear on eHow and Answerbag. Woods holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mercer University and a Master of Professional Writing in creative and applied writing from Kennesaw State University.