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Does the Medical Transcription industry encourage job-hoppers?

Posted By: curiosity killed the cat on 2007-12-10
In Reply to:

First off I want to make it clear that I am not “bashing” any MTs by asking the questions below.  Also sorry this is so long.  Please bear with me.   -- Spelling and grammar police please take a break !!! 


I have been following some posts and just got curious.  So if we all could just take a deep breath, give it some serious thought, stay on point and not get carried away with other opinions, I think we can get some good honest opinions about why the MTSOs are treating their employees like “equipment.”  


What I have noticed is that when there are MTs looking for information about certain companies they often get replies such as:  I worked for them but “left after 1 month – 2 months – 6 months,”  Then there are MTSO owners who complain that after offering an MT a position the MT either says “no thanks” the day they are suppose to start working or are never heard from again.   This gives me the impression that there are MTs out there who treat working as an MT like they treat buying a new pair of shoes --- try them out for awhile and then return them if they don’t fit.  No emotional attachment involved. 


I am fast approaching 60 years of age and have been an MT for over 35 years.  I was one of the first to take the CMT test when AAMT first organized way back when.  My first MT job was transcribing from cassette tapes, using a typewriter and sticky paper for clinic notes and sheets of paper for hospital reports.  So obviously I have seen a lot of changes in the MT business.  Personally over the past 35+ years I have had 6 employers (4 inhouse before MTSOs offered working from home and 2 national MTSOs for the past 15 years).   Personally I am TERRIFIED of having to find a new job --- interviews, equipment setup, new platform to learn, loss in earnings during training, and so forth and so forth.  That being said I have a feeling I will need to be looking for a new position within the next six months and I am curious as to what type of employment search atmosphere I will be encountering. 


My curiosity stems from my impression that many MTs are comfortable “job-hopping.”  When they state they only stayed at a company for 1-2-6 months it is presented as matter-of-fact – no-big-deal.  I can see why they feel that way.  With several hundred MTSOs out there and most constantly looking for new employees, even the worst MT in the world could start working at age 20, work for a different company every 6 months and still not work for them all by the time they retire.  In my opinion that is what is causing the MTSOs to treat their MTs so badly, offer them less and less as starting wages, and not be responsive to questions or problems.  The MTSO invests quite a bit of money into hiring a new employee.  They either have to pay someone in their HR Department or a Recruiting Agency to do the initial resume search, testing, and interviewing.  There is a ton of paperwork.   If the MTSO supplies the computer, their IT Department has to set up the computer and ship it out which means shipping charges for the computer or paperwork.  And someone has to train the new MT.  All those expenses are incurred by the MTSO before the MT even starts to produce.  I can see why some of the MTSOs are resorting to questionable “bait and switch” tactics.  They probably also send out the oldest computers to the new MTs to cover themselves in case the MT quits and doesn’t ship it back in a timely manner.  It seems to me that the majority of complainers about type of work, amount of work, or computer problems that they are experiencing are the newly hired MTs. 


Because of all the “short-term” complainers, someone looking for information about a particular company is often given incomplete or misleading opinions based on limited information.   Can anyone honestly with 100% accuracy adamantly state a company is “#1” or “the worst on earth” when they only worked there for 2 months?  I would love to see any MT who posts a positive or negative comment about a company to also admit to how long they actually worked for the company and if they are currently employed there or not.  I think that would give their opinions a lot more weight. 


Obviously, not every MTSO is the “dream job” for every MT and for any MT to state they work for the “best company” is hubris and can even be fighting words to employees of other good or even great companies.  It can also lead to disappointment when an MT applies to the “best company” only to find out it does not fit their needs.  I feel that if the MTs on this board would try to leave personal opinions aside and give relevant information about a company it would be easier for an MT to find a good fit with ONE company and not have to “job-hop,”   If more MTs would work for a company for at least a year before quitting and moving on maybe the MTSOs would actually be willing to offer newly hired MTs the same respect they offer the MTs that have been working for them for 5-10-15 or more years.  


Finally to my questions.  I am curious to see if my opinion is based in fact.  Are there a significant number of MTs who “job hop?” 


These questions are primarily directed at employees of MTSOs, large or small, but  inhouse hospital or clinic MTs are also welcome to respond.  I realize IC MTs have a whole different set of guidelines they go by and often have multiple clients at the same time.  But if you are an IC and wish to give your opinion, please feel free to do so – just state that you are an IC so there is no confusion.  


Please answer as many questions as you feel comfortable giving information about (I hope you will answer most because of the anonymity of this board):

1.  How long have you been working as an MT?

2.  How many DIFFERENT companies have you worked for (even if it was only for a few hours) in the last 10 years?  (If you left but came back later that is only 1.) 

3.  How many companies have you accepted an offer of employment from but then never actually started working for them?

4.  How many companies have you quit working for within the first pay period?

5.  How many companies have you quit from? 

6.  Have many companies have you been terminated from (I guess the word “fired” from is no longer politically correct)  i.e. you were not meeting line requirements, QA requirements, time commitment requirements (signing on late, leaving early), or being told you don’t have the necessary experience/expertise for the accounts assigned to you, etc? 

7.  How many companies have you left because they were bought out by another MTSO and you did not like how the new MTSO was treating you? 

8.  How many companies that you were working for completely went out of business (was not bought by another company) and told you that you had to find a new job yourself? 

9.  What is the shortest period of time that you have worked for one company? (Even if it was only for a few hours)   What is the longest period of time that you have worked for one company? 

10.  Have you ever continued working for your former company while training with a new company? 

11.  Have you ever worked for two different companies (2 part-time or 1 full-time and 1 part-time) during the same time period?  For how many months/years did you work for two different companies?

12.  What is your primary reason for applying to a certain company (pay, insurance, flexible schedule, equipment provided, sign-on bonus, referral from another MT, etc)?

13.  What is your primary reason for leaving a company (cannot maintain minimum required number of lines, not assigned accounts or job types as originally discussed, running out of work too frequently, difficult platform,  computer slowness/crashes, management conflicts, QA conflicts, other “bait and switch” type of issues where the MTSO said one thing but you ended up doing something entirely different, personal, family, etc)?

14.  Are you really happy at your present company or are you just working there because you are afraid if you try another company it will be worse and not better?   How long have you worked at this company?  Do you plan to continue working at this company for at least 1 year (of course barring unforeseen personal or professional events).  Would you be willing to give the name of your present company?    

15.  Do you think you will retired as a Medical Transcriptionist (or in the Medical Transcription field, such as an Editor, Supervisor, etc) or do you think you will switch careers at some point before retirement?  


Thank you for your time. 


If you would like to e-mail me with any questions or responses, I would be happy to hear from all of you. 


Thank you for satisfying my curiosity and giving me some insight as to where the Medical Transcription field is heading in the future. 










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Medical transcription is an industry that REQUIRES sm
patient transcription to be completed within a specific amount of time for proper patient care. MT is not carpentry or house painting or any other industry where human welfare is not at stake. Therefore, IC in MT terms is different than those others and must have MTs transcribing at the times they commit to in order to get the work done for proper patient care.

If you want to do your work on your own time, get your own accounts and see what happens if you don't stick to a schedule.

Webinar -Evolving Medical Transcription: Technology's impact on traditional transcription process

Hey everyone, check out this link. This is what we are up against. Be sure and note how 3M or whoever is the sponsor of this webinar throws in that dictation and transcription is time-consuming.  Nevermind that EMR and VR take more time and money to be successful and it only takes 38 seconds to dictate a returning patient and 2 minutes to dictate a new patient versus 500 clicks on a point and click EMR or the mess VR makes and having to have an Editor come in and clean up the mess. Propaganda that we should know about.



The job hoppers are 2 kinds-SM

The first is the person who really does this for extra money and isn't too serious about it.  They have a 2nd income from spouse, don't need insurance, etc.

The second group is a minority in the MT community, but is responsible for the perception that most of us are job hoppers.  These people are kind of off--and by that I mean personality-wise, don't like being told what to do, very demanding, prima donna kinds of MTs with very dramatic lives.  They need the money, but they also have a personality disorder that makes them upset at any kind of direction given and they also believe they have superior skills to most MTs and deserve to be catered to.

THAT group is the group who posts that they stayed at XX Company for 1 or 2 weeks, got fed up with something and left, stayed at XX Enterprises for a month, got fed up..cycle continues.  I am not talking about not getting paid-that's a real problem.  I am talking about people who live in such chaos that they cannot really settle down enough to work for ANY company for long and they also don't recognize that the common denominator in the job changes is THEM.

You mention job hoppers in your post...
You have worked for 4 companies in 15 years and you're making comments in regard to someone job hopping?  I find this odd. 
Job hoppers, undependable, drama queens SM

I've seen them all.  BTW for the person below, I call a person a job hopper when they have had a number of jobs where they only stayed weeks or perhaps a couple of months and then moved on for whatever reason.  These people can be identified from the interview.  They have a laundry list of demands as far as what they will and won't do in terms of worktypes, they need blocks of time out during the day to do errands, make dinner, they have many appointments with various doctors.

If you do end up hiring them for one reason or another, they are undependable.  Float on and off the system all day, have family members call to report the employee is in the hospital REGULARLY, they won't work the shift they committed to, the electricity was cut off, the cable line has been cut..you get the idea.  On the days they do manage to make it to work they are calling the office with stupid problems because they have no technical ability (computer) or they have absolutely no problem-solving skills.  When they aren't having problems, they are calling the office to complain about the work they're getting, they can't type ESL doctors (well who took the test to be hired, I wonder?), they've never typed anything but clinic notes, they don't own a BOS.  I feel your pain.  I hope some of these MTs read this and see themselves, but somehow I don't think they will.  Flame away, people, the folks over in India are grateful when they get more work.

MTs become 'job-hoppers' because of a 3rd-world pay-scale, - sm
archaic platforms that were developed by people who have no knowledge of what an MT actually does for a living, rude, condescending, stand-offish management that treats MTs like sub-human entities, and often a lack of enough work to keep them eating regularly. If we 'float on and off the system', it most likely is due to the fact that the only other choice is to sit and stare at a blank work pool for sometimes hours on end, in hopes that some crumb will be tossed our way.

All you money-hungry MTSOs out there are getting rich off the backs of people who have invested a lot in this profession, and have as strong a desire to work as you, or anyone else out there.

But we're not stupid, and if a job turns out to not deliver when it comes to a living wage, or continuity of work, benefits, or other things that were promised at sign-up, we're not going to sit there and beat our heads against a wall; we'll try something else. And in this flaky business, it seems to take multiple attempts to finally find an employer that is even marginally ethical.

If all you MTSOs out thre reading this had more of a vested interest in QUALITY of work, and less about TAT, quatity, and the ever-increasing numbers of Almighty Dollars in YOUR pockets, and the ever-decreasing number of them in your employees', maybe you'd be able to hire and RETAIN quality MTs.

Flame away, Suits.
Do you mean TMT Transcription or Tidewater Medical Transcription sm
known as TMT. Their tactics are to look for you so it sounds like them.
Please don't encourage something like this!
praising. This Company board is notorious for some of the most heartless scam artists and shark recruiters in the industry. I needn't name names, but anyone who has hung here for a while knows. They constantly prey on newbies, use them for a month or two, never pay them, and then toss them when they are done. They are shameless. You have no idea that kk is not one of these sharks. Maybe kk means well, but obviously kk has no idea of the industry, either. If kk were to hire onto a job for 11.5 cpl, or anything per line, and then turn around and farm out her work to someone else, a stranger, who then returns their work to kk for proofing, who sends it in to their MTSO, well, guess what? KK is now a SUBCONTRACTOR. There are lots of legalities to that, the least of which is taxes to newby who is getting paid by KK, not to mention KK's original source of work, who might not allow subcontracting. Remember those pesky little laws we have in MTing?? You can't do what KK is just so casually offering the OP. Let's hope for the best that KK was, indeed, just trying to be nice. But I seriously 100% doubt it - nobody can be in this business enough, and make an offer slick enough as that, to not know what they are doing. PLEASE believe me on this one, KK might not be the saint you would like to believe. I understand your wanting somebody out here to be a good guy, but I doubt this is the case here.
Trying To Encourage You
Sometimes people fire you for reasons they don't want to explain. You mentioned that your company is increasing its outsourcing on a daily basis. That's one possibility. Other possibilities include the proverbial personality clash, jealousy, or just wanting to hire their relative instead of you.

That said, wait a couple of days and then take a deep breath, and go back in and ask to see examples of your reports that demonstrate the quality issues they referenced in firing you. Ask them to show you your mistakes.

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