Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tales From a Medical Transcriptionist

When I was working as a clerk in a government agency six years ago, we spent the whole day encoding, posting files and other data manually, writing down data, and typing them it on a PC's word processor or database software. We took tabs of numbers, names, and even minutes of meetings. The only time the word transcription was present then, was in the courts, where stenographers write down, or transcribes the legal proceedings that they were listening to.

Fast forward to 2000. As the industrialized economics were focusing on cutting costs, and raising profits, the idea of outsourcing some aspects of daily business duties and processes to other countries, came forth. Western firms started "outsourcing", or literally transferring and moving some of their departments, to countries they prefer, especially if they offered low labor and relocation function. India became one of the earliest, and it still is the largest, recipient of BPO's, or business process outsourcing jobs. Transcription jobs followed the initial call center wave, and transcription jobs were purely medical in nature at the start. Today, the art of transcription covers just about anything that requires the need to be recorded on paper, and kept in electronic files. Transcription jobs at present range from medical and legal transcription, to events and entertainment, podcast, as well as business transcription. I spent two years working as an MT, usually working on orthopedics and plastic surgery cases, as well as doing general clinic notes. Around five years ago, there were only 2 small MT firms doing business in Davao; At present there are around 8 to 10 I guess, and more perhaps are planning of setting shop here. In becoming a good MT, one is required to possess not only a sound comprehension of medical terms and practices, but also the patience of a monk, since there are occasions when you, the MT, will find your doctor's voice to be dreadfully inaudible at times. He or she could be dictating and brushing his/her teeth at the same time, and outright tricky sometimes, but the rewards pay off for those who have the virtues of patience, perseverance and enthusiasm firmly embedded in their brains, and ears as well.

Written by: Charles Joven

1 comment:

KewL said...

It's nice to know that medical transcription has gone a long way in Davao. I could still remember way back in 2001 when we were doing training for this company in Davao and we're new college grads then. We never had any idea of this profession but since we were in desperate hunt for a job, we grabbed the training..

Now, it has been almost 7 years and two of us are now in the Middle East working for a major hospital as an in-house MT and the other in the US working as home-based MT.

I admire you guys for this effort as this promotes job to our fellow Davaoneos (did i spell it right?)