Medical Transcription

Medical Transcriptionists are medical language specialists who interpret and accurately transcribe dictation by physicians and other health care professionals. Medical Transcription Editors are specialized medical transcriptionists who correct and edit dictation reports created by speech recognition software, which electronically translates dictations into text. The transcription program at Cox College prepares students for both aspects of transcription.

Program Overview

The Medical Transcription certificate program is a 12-month, three semester program with two intakes – January and August. The program is designed to provide the student with the necessary knowledge and expertise to be successful as a medical transcriptionist and a medical transcription editor. All program curriculums are offered entirely online, providing students 24/7 access to course material. In today’s fast-changing economy, we understand your desire to improve your earning potential. Research shows that the best way to accomplish this goal is through a solid education. We can help through our affordable, self-paced, quality distance education program. Medical transcription is a profession that extends beyond the keyboard and beyond medical terminology skills alone. It is important that you have all the information available to you so that you can make an informed decision.

Physicians as well as other health care delivery personnel utilize digital recording devices to dictate reports that document the care provided for each patient. The job of the transcriptionist is to accurately translate (transcribe) the spoken/recorded word into a written document. With the new technology of voice recognition, the transcription job has been expanded. The transcriptionist is now becoming an editor, and Cox College is prepared to teach the editing component of transcription. Because of the nature and content of the reports, they are highly confidential and considered to be medicolegal documents. These documents become part of the patient’s permanent medical record. They must be handled with the utmost discretion, integrity and care.

With the continuous development of new medications, new surgical procedures, and new treatment modalities, medical transcription is a career in which there is an ongoing learning process. Medical transcription is a challenging, exciting and rewarding career option that offers flexibility in employment and work schedule options including work-at-home opportunities after sufficient experience is gained. The goal of this program is to enable graduates to make the transition to the workplace with ease as well as to specifically meet the needs of the medical community for skilled medical transcriptionists and editors.

Admission Information

Admission procedure to Cox College includes submitting an application for admission with the required $45 application fee, an official high school transcript or high school equivalency certificate (GED), and official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.

To be eligible for enrollment into the medical transcription certificate program a candidate must:

  • Complete admission procedure to Cox College
  • Submit the program specific application
  • Submit two letters of reference
  • Submit a personal essay on your desire to enter the program.

Once a student has been notified of an offer for admission into the medical transcription certificate program, a non-refundable admission deposit of $125 must be submitted prior to enrolling in classes. Students will be notified of admission offers in writing and informed to contact their academic advisor to register for classes.

Requirements for progression in the Medical Transcription program

To successfully progress through the Medical Transcription certificate program, students must demonstrate safe, responsible and professional conduct and meet the following academic standards:

  • grade of C or better in all courses; must pass the end-of-program exam with 85% or greater
  • certificate requirements must be met within three years of admission into the Medical Transcription certificate program.


A student who withdraws or does not achieve a grade of C or better in any co-requisite course will NOT be allowed to progress to the next medical transcription course until the co-requisite requirement is successfully completed. If withdrawal of a co-requisite course occurs, withdrawal in the concurrent medical transcription course will also be required. If progression in the medical transcription program is interrupted for this or any reason, enrollment will be resumed only on a space-available basis.

Medical Transcription certificate program requirements: 27 credit hours

Core curriculum 


All course listed above are offered online.
For complete course descriptions please see the Cox College Catalog.

Upon completion of program of study the certificate recipient will be able to:
  • interpret and accurately transcribe health care provider dictation covering a wide variety of medical specialties.
  • become familiar with the fundamentals of speech recognition and medical transcription editing theory.
  • learn the speech recognition draft and its components, efficiency in the editing process, and the various errors to be aware of when editing.
  • learn to use speech recognition software.
  • become familiar with keyboard shortcuts and basic use of the software as well as advanced skills such as editing during playback.
  • practice editing authentic medical reports.
  • gain experience editing authentic clinic note dictation across various specialties including, but not limited to, cardiology, dermatology, endocrinology, gastrointestinal (GI), OB/GYN, oncology, orthopedics, nephrology, and family medicine.
  • gain experience editing authentic acute care dictation files. This module is made up of basic hospital reports including ER, discharge summaries, operative reports, procedure notes, consultations, and history and physicals.
  • demonstrate proper sentence structure, grammar, spelling, editing and formatting of patient care documents.
  • think critically and produce accurately transcribed medical reports when confronted with challenging dictation.
  • exercise independent judgment and assume responsibility for personal and professional behavior within ethical and legal standards.
  • utilize reference books, computer software and dictation equipment necessary to perform the job functions required of a medical transcriptionist.
  • apply quality assurance principles through timeliness and accuracy; and pursue professional growth through continuing education and the flexibility necessary to adapt and succeed in the changing health care delivery system.


Career Outlook

Medical Transcription is one of the fastest growing fields in health care. You’ll play a vital role in health care delivery by creating clear, readable medical documents. These documents will be used for medical care, medical record keeping, insurance reimbursement, and, in some cases, legal proceedings.

When you become a Medical Transcriptionist, you’ll be a vital part of the health care team. Your knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, and medical record keeping will make you a valuable asset to any physician, hospital, or clinic. There is a critical nationwide shortage of qualified medical transcriptionists. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008, employment of medical transcriptionists is projected to grow faster than the average at a rate of 14% until the year 2016. A growing and aging population who receive proportionately greater numbers of medical tests, treatments, and procedures that require documentation will spur this. A high level of demand for transcription services will also be sustained by the continued need for electronic documentation. Growing numbers of medical transcriptionists will be needed to amend patients’ records, edit for grammar, and identify discrepancies in medical records.

Contracting out transcription work overseas and advancements in speech recognition technology are not expected to significantly reduce the need for well-trained medical transcriptionists. Outsourcing transcription work abroad to countries such as India, Pakistan, Philippines, and the Caribbean-has grown more popular as transmitting confidential health information over the Internet has become more secure; however, the demand for overseas transcription services is expected only to supplement the demand for well-trained domestic medical transcriptionists. In addition, reports transcribed by overseas medical transcription services usually require editing for accuracy by domestic medical transcriptionists before they meet domestic quality standards. Speech-recognition technology allows physicians and other health professionals to dictate medical reports to a computer that immediately creates an electronic document. In spite of the advances in this technology, the software has been slow to grasp and analyze the human voice and the English language, and the medical vernacular with all its diversity. As a result, there will continue to be a need for skilled medical transcriptionists to identify and appropriately edit the inevitable errors created by speech recognition systems, and to create a final document.

Career Opportunities

Medical Transcriptionists work as employees in hospitals, doctors’ offices, medical clinics, home health agencies, research centers, medicolegal practices, and medical transcription service companies. Both full time and part-time work is available. Many medical transcriptionists telecommute from home-based offices as employees for hospitals, medical clinics, and national transcription service companies. Others work as subcontractors and independent contractors. In the past, several years of experience were required before you could work from home. However, due to the shortage of current qualified Medical Transcriptionists, some of the national transcription service companies are willing to test program graduates for possible immediate placement working from home. With experience, Medical Transcriptionists can advance to supervisory, editing, consulting, or teaching positions. With experience, medical transcriptionists can advance to supervisory positions, home-based work, editing, consulting, or teaching. With additional education or training, some become medical records and health information technicians, medical billers, medical coders, or medical records and health information administrators.

Career Compensation

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008 the median earnings for medical transcriptionists was $15.41 per hour. There is the potential to earn between $20.15 and $30 per hour after several years of experience. The earning potential of a Medical Transcription is excellent with various compensation methods including hourly wage, line production, minute production, and bonuses. Large medical facilities are paying Medical Transcriptionists an average of 0.925 cents a line based on a 65-character line count. New Medical Transcriptionists who are paid solely by production will probably earn $9 to $11 an hour for the first few months to $12 to $15 an hour after the first year. Experienced Medical Transcriptionists paid by production with 3 to 6 years of experience are earning from $15 to $25 an hour.

A student choosing this method of instruction should be highly motivated and proficient in computer skills including downloading, uploading, MS Word, e-mail, and Internet browsing to achieve success. Students are required to provide their own computer equipment. This includes establishing an Internet connection with e-mail account, MS Word and supplies.


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