Home     Contact Us    
Main Board Job Seeker's Board Job Wanted Board Resume Bank Company Board Word Help Medquist New MTs Classifieds Offshore Concerns VR/Speech Recognition Tech Help Coding/Medical Billing
Gab Board Politics Comedy Stop Health Issues

Serving Over 20,000 US Medical Transcriptionists

There's a shortage of US MT's because the skill is becoming obsolete

Posted By: how many MT's under age 40 do you know? on 2005-09-11
In Reply to: Is there a shortage of experienced MTs here in the USA? Am I blind and deaf? sm - Need to vent here for a minute.

Schools don't even encourage anyone to get into this field anymore because they don't want to have someone take a course and then be out of work in a few years when this skill goes the same direction that shorthand did several decades back.

Like someone said on the Company board, education is the key.  Don't allow yourself to be a one-trick pony and learn how to do something else while you can.

Complete Discussion Below: marks the location of current message within thread

The messages you are viewing are archived/old.
To view latest messages and participate in discussions, select the boards given in left menu

Other related messages found in our database

OP: I am sorry your question has caused such a stir, as you can see, people are very passionate about this profession. I have been in the field for a little over 20 years and can't see doing anything else. I am NOT CMT and probably never will be. I don't think it matters as far as the pay scale. But the other post is very proud to be CMT and we should respect that. I envy the ladies who have taken the time and money to be certified, I think it is great. It is just not for me. I get good jobs without it. As far as VR putting us out of business? Not possible. There are still docs who dictate to tapes, there will always be docs who want to do it the old fashioned way. I wouldn't worry about it not being around. They said that about us 10 years ago, and we are all still here. I would say stick with it, the more you sharpen your skills and improve your creaft, you will be proud, just like our other posts. Hope this helps.
OP: I am sorry your question has caused such a stir, as you can see, people are very passionate about this profession. I have been in the field for a little over 20 years and can't see doing anything else. I am NOT CMT and probably never will be. I don't think it matters as far as the pay scale. But the other post is very proud to be CMT and we should respect that. I envy the ladies who have taken the time and money to be certified, I think it is great. It is just not for me. I get good jobs without it. As far as VR putting us out of business? Not possible. There are still docs who dictate to tapes, there will always be docs who want to do it the old fashioned way. I wouldn't worry about it not being around. They said that about us 10 years ago, and we are all still here. I would say stick with it, the more you sharpen your skills and improve your creaft, you will be proud, just like our other posts. Hope this helps.
1st is obsolete
being obsolete.......
I have been told to watch out, my career is going since I started. When and if that happens, I will move on to to the next new thing, until then I work hard and I have a good life. If I can do it, anyone can do it. Don't give in to negativity or naysayers.
Are they becoming obsolete? tia (nm)
I don't think we are obsolete but (sm)
I think the major MT companies are not going to hire the real experienced folks and pay them what they are worth. I think to make the money you are going to have to get with a hospital, office or company that still does actual MT and not automated stuff. We are always going to be needed. My opinion is the money now is shifting back to the "in house" places and not the at home services. But the bottom line is the services are settling for "second rate" MTs who put out inferior work after 1 year experience and don't care.

I have been an inpatient 63 times in the last 10 years and I always get my records after a hospital stay. I can tell you the quality is horrendous. The MTSOs are treating MTs (not all of them but the majority) as robots and like the medical field itself it has all become about the "money" and not the patient.

Pharmacy technology has a lot of automated things too but the demand for pharmacy techs is high. Plus there are pharmacy techs that work in compounding pharmacies, hospital pharmacies that put together TPN and other things. That cannot be done by a robot and that is where I intend to use my skills. Also registered pharmacy techs work for the insurance companies too. I intend to find a job working for the patient not against patients. If nothing else, I have thought about putting all this together and staring my own consulting service....(just like the independent case managers that help chronically ill patients get what they need) fighting to get patient's the drugs they need and not the drugs some insurance company wants them to take because that is what cheap but not the best.

Its still possible to make a living in these fields and be satisfied with your job also but its a long road and you gotta fight!
I am becoming obsolete!

I have been a Transcriptionist for 18+ years, the last 12 for a large hospital. About a year ago, "they" changed the definition of a line so that it was much harder to make incentive. They said they had been figuring the line wrong and that they were now going with industry standards. They have never been very specific about how a line is counted, but we did go from a 70 to a 65 space line. We currently get paid hourly plus incentive. We are now waiting to hear if we are getting outsourced, with the possibility of working for that company, or if they will keep us themselves and just pay per line, and you can bet they will pay us as little as possible. I work in-house, and they no longer want to take into consideration downtime, even though we have to answer phones and troubleshoot for doctors!

I completely understand transcription is changing, largely due to voice recognition and other computer advances. If they said they were paying us less because of that, rather than trying to make us produce more for less pay, we would all appreciate the honesty rather than trying to make us look and feel bad. I am good at what I do, but I guess I am becoming obsolete!

I don't think MT will ever be totally obsolete.

Speech recognition will get better, but it will never be perfect.  There is always going to be the need for someone to type the reports of the dictators that absolutely cannot be understood by the SR software.  But that means that the only thing left to be transcribed will be the garbage.  I can't imagine 8 hours a day of nothing but garbage dictation every single working day for the rest of my career for what they're paying us.

we are definitely obsolete, and hanging on sm
by a thread. The old timers who are only hanging on for a few years will make it, but nothing for a newcomer to think of getting into. AHDI will make will make wild claims and try to intice, but it is pure BS. No money here any more, any way.
transcriptions have a skill also
as far as looking up addresses go!
Updates keep the money rolling in for useless info that becomes obsolete.
This is the stupidest con I have ever heard of on MT world.
Horse & buggy obsolete, would love to have saved them - gone and can't fight it!
MTs with less skill s/b paid less with that money going to the best
I can do xxxx but it makes me sick when the slackers get the exact same pay as me. Please don't give me the xxxx story that I can make more by being more efficient.
This is all part of transcription and the skill
I have had in all of my years of experience many types of dictators.  I can honestly say that I have had ESL dictators that were better than your run of the mill American dictators.  We are a melting pot, and what's funny to me is that so many make comments about an MTSO sending ESL dicators offshore, yet we have Mexican, Chinese, and Indian restaurants that we eat from and love the food.  I think we need to somehow learn to embrace the ESL dictators.  I had an ESL that was the most lovely physician.  He knew that his dictation was difficult and was always willing to answer questions and would take the extra time to explain why he stated this or that. 
Upping the skill ante.
You might go online and look at Oak Horizons. They have an excellent reputation and are affordable. Also check VO-Technical schools for grammar as they are less expensive but adequate and junior colleges in your area. Good luck and good for you in improving your quality.
No, just a shortage of US MTs who will
I would have been a hooker at Bunny Ranch (they make $1200/hr). My equipment is obsolete now

Good research skills the best skill an MT
If you believe editing is a HIGHER skill, then why are we being paid

Failing national skill test
This is to Vicki. Please do not be discouraged. The MAJORITY of the companies out there (most of them advertising here) actually DO NOT want experienced MT's. They are looking for the stay-at-home mom (not critizing, wish I could be one) that do not actually have to carry an active part in family income. If you are experienced you would actually produce (imagine that-isn't that why we are working cpl?) and that would cost them money. Where a newbie makes the minimal amount for a time and that makes them happy. Not to say that they would not be on the newbie's butt to produce 98%+ etc.

I have 30 years experience, and I have failed tests from a national company. I have kept myself updated over the years and extremely computer literate, and had been in charge of staffing before they recently outsourced our workflow to India, so it is not a case of not accepting the "new ways" of doing things. Many of the "new" AAMT guidelines are grossly incorrect according to the major hospital system that I represent.

Just my say. Thank you.
No shortage out by Akron, OH
lol they eat dog too, i think they were just having a shortage of dog at the restaurant so....
they had to do a roundup. Next, they will report the feline virus is out of control and do a roundup on them as well and that's all I have to comment on this post. Take care all!
Finish the course. I think there will be a shortage sm
in the future of all medical personnel from MT to MD. Looking at the whole picture, those of us from the baby boomer age are pushing 50 and as families, many of us had 3 or fewer children or none at all. So, in my opinion, that leaves a much smaller volume medical personnel to care for the aging in the future. So, finish that course so you can type my reports when I need them.
There is supposed to be a shortage
of American MTs I am reading in a large national information management magazine, and also according to our own gov. and our national association.  So why are wages falling if we are so desperately needed?  After 20 years, I am also seeking to get out.  I am at the height of my career in MT and find this is a losing profession.  They took a survey and were surprised in the article that wages have gone down.  They said a reason might because so many MTs work at home and so are part-time.  What a bunch of "you-know-what.!"  Wages are dropping because we do not get paid what we used to be paid.  I am making less now than 10 years ago.  I was recently offered an IC job for 7 CPL!   That was starting wages 15 years ago for FT.  Now they want to pay that for experienced and IC to boot, so you have higher percentage of taxes.  I have even seen 6 CPL.  These companies are trying to outbid each other by charging less and less, so they pay their MTs less and less.  They also must cover those big salaries and bonuses for the CEOs.
is there a shortage of American MTs?
There is not a shortage. A lot of work
is being sent out of the country.
And the MTSOs say there's a shortage of
But yet they can't understand why.  Go figure. 
If I had just one other skill that allowed me to pay for my modest lifestyle, I'd utilize it.
Maybe it is the 20 yrs in this business. I now have tinnitus, am absolutely sure that sitting for 8-10 hours a day is having a detrimental effect on my health, am more anxiety ridden now that there is very little job security and I am a sole operation here in my little world, have arm and hand fatigue (it's a freakin miracle I do not have CTS yet). I just really do not enjoy doing this as I used to. I have to really force myself to stay focused and am really really trying to find some joy in it by realizing other people have tedious jobs just as I do that they must also dislike.
B.S. in HIM, no MT school, OTJ training for that skill, but the HIM classes for the knowledge. nm
It depends on your skill level, your speed, your ability to do the
Editing is the higher skill since it's more brain work,, AND SM
the computers are taking over the finger work. That and practitioners entering directly into the electronic medical record mean that most traditional transcription jobs before too long will be a thing of the past.

So I'd recommend you go directly to editing since you'll end up doing that anyway. If there's a future in this, it's going to be with a higher level of medical knowledge and a more expanded involvement in medical records beyond merely editing dictation, but likely including that.

Plus, with editing you'll be in at least twice as many reports as if you were transcribing them, which means you'll get much more experience more quickly. Whether you'll lose some benefit from not typing every word out I don't know, but you will spend a lot less time getting verbage you don't need to learn on paper. I.e., instead of typing some version of, "The patient presented to the emergency room by private automobile with a complaint of" a few hundred times a week,...you don't.

Do commit to developing an expansion base that will cut the Keystrokes it takes to do your work to the very minimum. As long as anyone's paid on a production basis, and as long as we're using keyboards, someone using 5 keystrokes to make 2 edits will BOTH make a lot more money than someone who takes 9 keystrokes to make one correction AND be a much more valuable productive worker--i.e., worth keeping on and developing as most traditional jobs disappear.

And do sign up for more medical classes, the ones people preparing for nursing and medical school take.

Whether you'll make more or less money one way or the other right now probably depends more than anything on the particular talents you bring to the job and the particular skills you choose to develop. Unlike the previous poster who does better transcribing, I make more editing, but I'm a fast reader and a slow keyboarder, so the less my income depends on what my fingers are capable of the better. Best wishes!
Yes! We're talking critical skill developement here! nmx
I live in the NE and let me tell you, there is NO shortage of trees.
gas shortage/leaving for ohio in the am
Here in Brunswick stations closed at 6 pm and not open until Friday and can get only 5 gallons then. Trucker said Atlanta was getting $5 a gal and now Atlanta is completely out of gas. I am leaving for Ohio in the am and concerned if this shortage is just here or all the way up. Any info would be appreciated.
What a shortage of medical transcriptionists

Whoever says that needs to take a look at the job board and the posting that has over 1,000 views.

There are no transcriptionists looking for jobs either.

Nursing has created their own shortage
by severely restricting the availability of classes for students and refusing to make the class time available in the evenings, weekends, etc.

They also created their own shortage by making so many of the jobs papershuffling jobs rather than hands on care, and many of those jobs could easily be filled by a trained technician rather than an RN.

I do not feel sorry for nurses.
What holiday shortage? None this year
About "US qualified MT shortage" and s/m
claiming that MTs won't work nights and weekends, I don't know about you, but at my job, God forbid I have a technical issue that's not between 8 AM and 5 PM.  It's the office staff that won't work nights and weekends, not the MTs.
Unfortunately, this company has no shortage of workers.
I know they hired a few new grads after I turned down their offer. As long as someone will work for that, they have no incentive to raise rates. Companies now don't seem to care about experience and quality, only concerned with the $$$. They didn't care that I can transcribe 2000 lines a day with 99% accuracy. They would rather stick to their cpl and hire new grads. Well, good luck to them.
common sense dictates you read the writing on the wall. technology has made you obsolete.
and the government has seen to it that american workers are no longer necessary and allows business to outsource many middle income jobs. 
Is there a shortage of experienced MTs here in the USA? Am I blind and deaf? sm
I was talking to a prospective employer today.  First off, it is a start-up company in US.  They already have a base in the Philippines. Well, that turned right off; however, we continued the conversation.  My question to this person was this.....so, if you were to get contracts for MT here in the US, are you willing to just hire US MTs?  Answer...Well there is such a shortage of good quality MTs here in the US and we would like to have the work done in the Philippines.  My next question, and if the contract specifically states all work is to stay in the USA, what then?  Well, then we would hire only US based MTs. 

Finally, I had to stop him in his tracks....I told him I emphatically disagree.  There is not a shortage of US MTs.  The problem is that you or any other Internationally based company is not willing to pay the US MTs what they are worth.  You want cheap labor, and you won't get that in the US.  Our MTs here in the USA produce such a high quality patient record and you have to be willing to compensate for that.  If you are interested in USA contracts but want to use cheap labor with no concern for quality, than I am not the person for this position.


I am so furious right now as I mull over the conversation......am I just blind or is there really a shortage here in the US of quality-driven MTs.

I am an MT myself as well as QA Specialist and I just do not agree with this mentality.  I think they use this excuse to justify their wanting to offshore.  I see through the smoke screen; however, I guess I just need to hear it from my fellow MTs. 

What are your thoughts on this issue of not enough trained and experienced MTs here in the USA?  Personally, I don't agree. 

This was an executive-type position with an awesome benefit package and salary; however, I turned down any opportunities with this company.  I will not encourage or support giving our MT jobs to the Philippines, India or anywhere but the USA.


The real shortage is good MTSOs
First of all, congratulations to you for having the guts to stick up for your convictions.  I am really proud of you for telling them like it is.  There is no shortage of good MTs, there is, however, a shortage of good MTSOs and national MT companies.  Fortunately, we have boards like this one to tell us who those are, the ones who pay peanuts, the ones with inferior equipment/platforms, and the ones who outsource their work overseas and think the foreign MTs are "far superior" to the American MTs.  Most of us experienced MTs who have been in this business for any length of time, would not work for them.  The ones who cry that "there are no more good American MTs" are the ones who are outsourcing overseas or otherwise abusing their employees - that is why they have such a hard time attracting "Good MTs."  They need to look in the mirror to see the reasons why!
I am the orginal poster asking the question about the shortage. I am under 40.
I started MT while in high school in a VoTech program and have been doing it ever since! I am 35. Not every MT out there is "old".
Shortage on multiple accounts through a national. nm
x, nope, none, zip, all EMPTY
my point is -- not like there's a shortage of people to talk to.
Question to ponder...If there is such a huge shortage of MTs, why is everybody always

Totally agree. They're no longer paying for this so-called skill
and that's part of the reason the quality is down.
nursing shortage includes nurses for instructors...sm
you can't teach nursing classes without nurses to teach the classes - that's part of the shortage and part of the reason why the shortage continues. Also more nurses are going for the bachelor's degree (4 years vs. 2 years) and that is extending the time before they are out in the work force.
This is a very basic computer skill/concept. You copy files to another drive using Explorer.

There are very detailed instructions in the Help files that accompany Windows. You can read those for more information.

Basically, you open Windows Explorer (not Internet Explorer). Locate the files you want to copy, highlight and right mouse click. Choose Copy. Now, find the location where you want to copy these files (usually another drive like D: or H:, whereever the flash/jump/thumb drive is located) and paste the files there.


Good for you, Linda! SM First, editing's a desirable trend. Higher skill, easier SM
I feel it may be like a train about to rush around the bend at me.

For the discussion, editing is a higher skill and it's easier on the hands--absolutely no carpal tunnel problems since I started editing. And the WAGES ARE ABOUT THE SAME--you go through approximately twice as much dictation (some people more, some less depending on talent) in the same time it would take to transcribe it and get paid half as much for that amount of dictation, ending up without a drop in wages from editing. This is fair and market-driven.

Fewer editors would be needed, but some would be needed for the stinkers, even scary-good as VR gets with most dictators.

The big threat is from the electronic medical record, where physicians and their assistants check boxes on a handheld device they carry around with them and there is NO text report to come to us at all. England has had this for some years; go look and see how MTs are doing on the Emerald Isle.

No Chicken Little here, guys, AND not burying my head in the sand either. I don't have a view into the future, but the one thing that's clear is the future will require developing new skills, professional or trade level, of one kind or another. I just hope and pray it doesn't require going back to suits and office politics. School's okay, even at my age, but am guilty of putting it off to see if I'm going to be allowed to continue pretty much as is until I'm too old to work...huh--maybe there's some sand obscuring the picture after all. Best wishes.
I live right off I-75 in Richmond, Ky and we haven't had any shortage yet, but price is definitel
up at $2.99 a gallon.  Good luck to you!