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Serving Over 20,000 US Medical Transcriptionists

Pros and Cons

Posted By: sm on 2007-01-04
In Reply to: Could someone give pros and cons? nm - Anon

What do you find important in a job? Do you need/what insurance? Do you want someone else to be responsible for the equipment? Do you have a problem putting money back to pay your taxes? Do want a strict 9-5 job or do you want to be flexible?

As an IC you have to pay your own taxes, keep up your own equipment, usually no insurance from company, though you may have the flexibility you might also find you work more hours throughout the week to the keep the account in TAT. The reason for this is because companies that hire ICs usually do not overstock the MT pond and work is very plentiful.

ICs are usually paid a better line rate because they do not get all the other benefits. Tax write-offs are there but are not great unless you rent an office and have some major expenses.

So really it just depends on what you are looking for. As they say, dfferent strokes for different folks.

All of these things can be pros and cons for both employee and IC. You have to decide what is important to you and how it works in your life.

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Pros: Good platform. Don't run out of work. I only know one manager, and she is nice. They don't bombard you with nasty emails. 

Cons: QA team is snooty-snooty-snooty and makes a lot of mistakes themselves. Not sure but I think there is a lot of cherry picking going on because all I get is junk and my account is easy. I feel bad about sending QA blanks because they have a bad attitude about it. Training pay is only $8 an hour. I heard that you can get paid more than that at some other companies.

I guess it could change for the worst as I get used to them. More pros than cons.

Pros Vs Cons
My experience wasn't quite as bad as others but ended quite poorly.

Having just ended 1 year and 11 months with SoftScript, here's some insight:

---In all that time, they were out of work exactly twice, for a matter of minutes--that's a big deal to me in this industry in which lack of consistent availability of work has been (in my 19 years) a chronic problem.
---They're good about sticking you with specific accounts and dictators so you can get familiar with them--also a big deal if you've ever pulled up work from new clinicians and accounts on a daily basis, quite a headache.
---Likewise, if they say, e.g., in my case, you're going to be doing ER notes exclusively, that's what you'll get, ditto for ESLs, unlike quite a few companies who promise only say 25% ESLs and mostly, say, discharge summaries, then, as just happened with me with another interim company, start glomming nothing but ESLs and/or OP notes onto you.

---They do have a lot of ESLs, counterbalanced with, again, the fact that you get the same ones over and over and at least have a chance to get to know them individually, and I only encountered one that was all that bad. In fact, the worst dictator I encountered with them was obviously U.S.-born but blithered along in jibberish like he was on a major speed trip--blanks everywhere. However, if you just can't stand ESLs at all, don't go with them, at least not in ER work (about 80 to 90% of what I did).
Conversely, if you don't like ESLs but recognize that you're GOING to have to get over it (40+% of doctors in the U.S. are ESL, and the numbers are growing), SoftScript might be the one with whom to get your feet wet.
---Payroll is usually on-time, but they do use an outside company for this and occasionally are off by a few days.
---They started out very laid-back about flexible schedules; as long as linecount quotas were met, no big deal; then, the last few months, they kept calling to try to pin me down. If you can stand to work a rigid schedule, go make better money in an office; schedule flexibility is supposed to be one of the biggest benefits of home-based work, isn't it?
---The BIG one: Likewise, after almost 20 years, I just can't produce like I used to and, at their request, sent them medical documentation as to why this was the case, after which, with no warning whatsoever, they fired me, and this was right after a night when I did some extra work they suddenly desperately needed someone to do.
Some legal eagle friends (including a judge) have told me I have an Americans With Disabilities case against them, and if I hadn't gotten another position to occupy my time and bring in the money, and if ADL cases didn't usually take so many YEARS, I would be sorely tempted to pursue a case.

BTW, don't ever let fear hold you back from such action. There is precident now, yes, even for ICs. I'm one of the few males you'll probably ever encounter (though probably only because there are so few of us in MT work) who won a sex discrimination claim against a pink collar employer--took about six months and we settled out of court rather than had a trial, but I'd do it all over again if I felt the (especially financial) need, which I don't now.

Thanks for the chance to process all this, hope it was helpful.

Again, after almost two years, I did find the ultimate result with SoftScript ungrateful to say the least, but, again, they did have that rare and important quality above--consistent availability of work--throughout that time; that's important if you're not independently wealthy--and if you are, what the heck are you doing reading this?! --CTToth@Yahoo.com
Pros and Cons

Having done both since the beginning of time I have formed this chart:


The thermostat for heat and air conditioning is yours and yours alone!

You can work around your favorite soap opera! 

You can buy an espresso machine and make your own lattes and save a bundle on that alone! 

You can eat when you want, where you want or if you want, and choose your own food from your own refrigerator for lunch and start dinner on your breaks!

You can wear sweat or jammies and save all your best clothes.  You can throw all your pantyhose in the trash (maybe your bra too if you are daring enough). 

When you get up to stretch you can throw in a load of clothes. 

You can work as much or little as you choose and at the times you want to! 

You can type barefooted or outside in your patio. 

You can choose your own equipment and software much of the time!


You have to do your own taxes and/or quarterlies. 

You have to pay for your own equipment and get it repaired. 

Sometimes the doorbell or phone rings and no one else will get up to answer it and it breaks your rhythm. 

Sometimes when you are wearing your sweats even though you are most comfortable you wonder if you are turning into a bag lady. 

If some of your accounts are contracted by you personally then you need to deal with the office or hospital medical records politics yourself and may need to drive over there to pick up and deliver, attend a meeting, renegotiation.  You may wish to have a service pick up and deliver work if they use tapes and you usually pay for this yourself unless you are fortunate and the docs pay for it.  . 

For me the pros won out every time I reconsidered and I am still here, still working, still getting paid and wearing what I want with a smile on my face most of the time.  My sisters who stayed at the hospital still have not gotten a raise in 10 years and are wearing pantyhose.  So, who is lucky?   

Pros and cons
Yeah!! I am just completing my course and viewing some of the posts has me a bit worried. Thank you for the positive spin.

Pros and cons
Please post pros and cons for this company. Would like to know if you have enough work, flexible schedule, QA staff good, average starting cpl rate for experienced transcriptionist. TIA
Great company - the woman who's the lead Transcriptionist (mostly completely in charge, really) is great. Always there for you, always ready to answer questions. Line rate is average/slightly better than for a decent IC position, but it's pretty easy to make well over the average number of lines, 'cause you typically have the same dictators every day. Paid headers, footers, etc. The best part is the amount of work - it's limitless right now. Still, no one bugs you to take too much. You just have to get done what you take.

Even though you're IC, you do get 2 weeks paid vacay per year after being with them for a year.

Cons: Right now (which I believe they are changing by hiring on new staff), you mostly deal with Indian guys who seem like they're not 100% sure what they're doing all the time, and they can be a little difficult to deal with (not mean, just confusing). However, CardioScribes doesn't offshore. I'm not sure about their sister company, MediScribes, but I made sure to ask twice about whether or not CS does.

Also, because they're growing so rapidly right now, it seems like they don't have a good, stable support system in place, so things are pretty hectic sometimes. However, this has NEVER translated into anyone getting angry or anything. It's just taken patience.

On a scale of 1-10 in terms of companies I've worked for, I would give them a 6-7 right now, but I fully believe they'll be a 9 within months, after hiring the right management and getting accounts nailed down.


Thank you for the information, and I agree that no company is 100%.  As long as they do a fair line count, have sufficient work, and pay on time, I am happy. 

That would be time consuming.  However, they do allow IC status versus only full-time at Keystrokes.  This is going to be a second job for me (soon to be a single mom to two children) and I need the extra income, but can't handle two full-time jobs with two little ones.  Thanks for the info!
eTransPlus pros/cons
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Would like pros or cons of Windrix (sm)
Anyone know their IC pay scale? Lots of ESLs? Kind of platform? Plenty of work? thanks
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Pros and cons to Spheris

I am currently employed by them.  The way I see it, there are going to be negative things and positive things about anyone you work for.  Spheris is no exception.  IMO, one of the positives is that I always have work.  The only time there has been a shortage of work is over the holidays in December/January.  Other than that, I have always had consistent work.  They do offer primary and secondary accounts, so you should always have somewhere to be that has work.  Another positive thing is that I have had awesome supervisors with Spheris.  They have been very flexible with me when I need to take care of my kids and change my priorities around.  I don't think every supervisor is like that, but mine have been and I have been very lucky.  Also, the QA staff is awesome and very helpful.  I will definitely say that they are the best QA people i have ever worked with.

The negative things that I see are that, first, I kind of feel like just a number.  They have so many transcriptionists, it seems like they don't have time to take care of them.  There's a reason they're always hiring.  I think that a lot of people get disgruntled really quickly.  There is no PTO for part-timers (they took that away about 7 months ago, which made me go back to full-time).   They seem to be taking more and more from the employees as time goes on, but again, it seems like they have to do that to be competitive.  Spheris India is also another big issue for many of the MTs working for Spheris, so if you don't want a company that is outsourcing, steer clear from Spheris.  If you want any other information, feel free to e-mail me, and I'll answer any questions you have to the best of my knowledge.

Pros and cons of Medware, please. nm
There are pros and cons to every company...

Not a fit for everyone.  Yes, there are lots of ESLs, lots of physicians who do not know how to speak, lots of different work types----comes with every national, I suppose.  You may feel you cannot make money or you may get a really good account that is a great money-maker.  The choice is yours.  I think it is a great company overall despite the cons one encounters with just about any company.  There are pretty good pros too.  Nice differential for shifts, potential bonus, and great benefits especially family insurance. 

you just need to make you a pros and cons about each sm
company and decide what is most important to you in a job and benefits. what is important to me, may be different than what is important to you. is it possible for you to give it a try before giving notice to execuscribe? i am sure you would find to be happy at TT as so many of us have and not look back if given the chance. FYI, i have only been there about 2 months too so i am not recruiting, but am very happy thusfar and in this business with so many horrible companies, i like to spread the word about the few good ones that are out there.
Could someone give pros and cons? nm

Weigh the pros and cons
I used to work for a company that I THOUGHT I couldn't stand, but made very good money. Now, as time passes, I regretfully realize it's the nature of the business anymore (to feel like you're in a perpetual JCAHO survey and everything is STAT to compete with the Third World workers). Plus people are managing it now that have never transcribed and have no clue at variables that affect production. I actually miss the hospitals now, too. The grass is always greener . . . Be careful. I made a switch a couple of years ago and the people are nice enough, but do knee-jerk reactions and switch people around all the time, affecting MT's ability to make money and benefits, don't seem to believe in a day off unless you make it up. The result? I'm absolutely fried, producing less than I ever have in my life, feel like I have no life, and I want out of MT as soon as another option becomes available. If you're making decent money and can get an occasional day off without penalty, I'd stay (if it were me). It's getting harder and harder to make any money unless you have your own accounts anymore (or happen to luck into good accounts working for a service).

cons outweighed pros for me
they may pay more, then there will be much nonproductive work to do...finding the schedule for that day, find patient name and MRN, fill in data fields, then we ran out of work, daily, my supe was vague and usually could not answer my question, my QA was good. I went back to my original company, which paid less, but with no demo or nonproductive work, so I produce more lines and make more money. This was a clinic account. I heard that University accounts can be hard because there are always different dictators like students, interns. I was not happy there and was happy to get my old job back with the same account, supe, QA.
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Pros and cons list

I have frequently thought about changing from being an IC to an employee, but after looking at my pros and cons list, I can't change.  Pros:  Schedule flexibility, able to leave immediately if problem comes up at school or with my parents, if not feeling well able to take a few more rest breaks during the day to meet my line count, not so stressed to make lines in a certain amount of time if not-so-great dictators on that day, and lastly feel that I can better give my company a quality document because I can concentrate more on without a schedule hanging over my head.  Cons:  No flexibility, very stressful if poor quality dictators on that day, constantly looking at the clock and wondering if I'm going to be fast enough today to make my lines, and hoping there is enough work for me to due during my scheduled time.

I'm not sure what your situation is, but for my family (a single mom with 3 kids) being an IC is an answer to a prayer.  I wish you luck in whatever you decide. 

Pros and cons of IC vs employee...

I work at 2 companies right now, one as an employee and one as an IC.  I have a great benefits package in the employee job which is the ONLY reason I am there - paid time off and health insurance.  Some folks feel being an IC gives you more freedom in terms of your work scheduling, etc.  Some companies are paying more for IC positions than employee positions, obviously it costs them less to use ICs. Looks to me like its getting harder to find employee positions with good pay and a good benefits package, in which case making higher wages as an IC might be worth it in the long run.

My frustration for the last 4 years has been nobody can keep me in full-time work (1200+ lines a day) and that is why I finally took a part-time IC position to supplement my full-time position (and cover my bum during low work times).

I worked full-time as an IC for 23 years and I always paid my federal taxes quarterly. I could look at my taxes from the year before, make adjustments for anticipating working less or more, and be sure I paid enough so that I wouldn't owe in April.

Hope this is helpful - some other folks may have more thoughts on IC vs employee.  Good luck!

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Cons  -- just not really crazy about the slow platform  -- Medrite and they pay per page rather than line.


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I am a better QA person than I am an MT, both because I have a knack for hearing things other people can't, and for finding the answers in books or on the Internet. And it allows me to do my typing in shorter bursts, which works better in conjunction with my health issues and honestly, my attention span. (I joke that I'm both OCD and ADD, and my QA job is easier on both of those than straight transcription.)

I have a friend who's just the opposite. She's a fantastic MT but hates doing QA. She hated dealing with others' mistakes and was uncertain of herself when having to make a judgment call about something. She also can transcribe fast enough that she makes more money on the hour transcribing.

So, overall, yeah, I personally think it's more a preference. Different strokes...
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