Choosing an MT School Minimize

AHDI recommends that a medical transcription educational program…

  • be taught by qualified instructors who are credentialed experts in their respective fields
  • employ certified medical transcriptionists or certified healthcare documentation specialists to teach courses
  • be based on The Model Curriculum for Healthcare Documentation*, 5th edition, published by AHDI, which recommends courses in the following:
    • English grammar and punctuation
    • medical language
    • anatomy and physiology
    • disease processes
    • pharmacology and laboratory medicine
    • healthcare documentation technology
    • healthcare documentation practice
    • healthcare records
    • privacy, ethics, and other medicolegal issues
  • indicate the number of classroom hours students actually perform healthcare documentation
  • indicate the number of minutes of actual physician dictation used for practice (The Model Curriculum recommends 30 dictated hours of actual physician dictation.)
  • indicate length of externship or on-the-job experience available (The Model Curriculum recommends 10 dictated hours of authentic physician dictation, for a total of 40 dictated hours during the training program.)
  • include relevant publications among its educational materials
  • incorporate The Book of Style for Medical Transcription, 3rd Edition
  • provide names and addresses of current and/or former students who have given permission to be contacted as references
  • have an advisory board that includes certified medical transcriptionists
  • offer assistance with job placement

*The Model Curriculum for Healthcare Documentation, 5th edition, was written in cooperation with medical transcription/healthcare documentation educators and managers. It includes competencies, objectives, and prerequisites for 13 different courses and is designed to assist teachers in developing their educational programs. Download the Model Curriculum, 5th Edition.

Evaluate the Advertising

  • Advertisements for medical transcription/healthcare documentation educational programs appear in many popular magazines, on television, and elsewhere.
  • If the advertising mentions the career of medical transcription/healthcare documentation, it should accurately represent the profession as a medical language specialty requiring a substantial educational investment.
  • If the advertising describes medical transcription/healthcare documentation as a home-based business opportunity, it should indicate the need for additional training and management to prepare for operating a business.
  • If the advertising suggests potential income, a reference source for the amount should be cited.
  • The advertising for some educational programs focuses solely on medical transcription/healthcare documentation as a work-at-home opportunity. While many transcription employers allow their transcriptionists to work from home, home-based opportunities for new program graduates may be limited. The desire to work at home should not be considered sufficient reason to enter this challenging profession. We encourage you to consider educational programs whose advertising emphasizes excellence in medical transcription/healthcare documentation, rather than simply focusing on the possibility of working at home.
  • If the advertising refers to “certification,” the school should make clear that it is referring to a “certificate of course completion” and not the recognized professional designation of RHDS (registered healthcare documentation specialist) or CHDS (certified healthcare documentation specialist), which can be obtained only through successful completion of the certification examination administered by AHDI. (The RHDS credential is a prerequisite to sit for the CHDS exam.)

Approved Schools

In the fall of 2012, the Approval Committee for Certificate Programs reinstated the approval process for medical transcription/healthcare documentation education programs whose curriculum conforms to the current AHDI Model Curriculum.

Detailed information about program approval can be found here.

Each approved school has demonstrated excellence in its program and has established a strong record of job placement for its graduates through its contacts with employers in the industry.

Approved Education Programs.

The names of additional approved programs will be added to this list and published on the AHDI web site as approval is granted.

Education FAQs

Click here for frequently asked questions about MT/HDS education.

Revised September 2014

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