Tip Sheet for Becoming a Self-employed MT Minimize

If you are planning to become a self-employed medical transcriptionist, AHDI recommends you...

  • Have at least basic knowledge, through education or experience, in:
    • English grammar & punctuation
    • Medical language
    • Disease processes
    • Anatomy & physiology
    • Pharmacology
    • Laboratory medicine
    • Medical transcription technology
    • Healthcare documentation
    • Medicolegal issues
    • Ethics
    • Medical transcription practices
    • Business practices

  • Have work experience or complete at least a 240-hour externship in a hospital or clinic setting, under the supervision and direction of an experienced and/or certified medical transcriptionist.

  • Attend seminars on small business and marketing, review available business publications and references, and determine the transcription needs of the medical community you seek to serve.

  • Consult an attorney to create and review contracts and to determine what regulations and laws apply to businesses in your area. Remember, you will be operating under the laws and regulations of your city, county, and state, and you may also be subject to the rules and regulations of a multitude of federal agencies.

  • Complete a business plan, perhaps with assistance from the Small Business Administration (SBA).

  • Consult a tax advisor who is familiar with regulations and laws covering such issues as:
    • independent contracting
    • tax audits
    • tax schedules/requirements
    • Consult an insurance broker regarding necessary coverage for such things as:
    • errors and omissions*
    • liability*
    • disability/life/retirement*
    • property/equipment*
    • unemployment
    • workers compensation

  • Research current publications to determine what equipment and materials will best suit your needs and your clients' needs. Be sure to investigate warranties and maintenance agreements.

  • Begin to assemble a medical and business library, including a style manual such as The AAMT Book of Style for Medical Transcription, a standard medical dictionary, and pharmaceutical, laboratory, surgery, and various specialty references.

  • Identify one or more experienced medical transcriptionists in your community who are willing to serve as mentors and be available to assist you with questions regarding medical terminology and transcription practices.

  • Make a commitment to yourself and your business to seek continuing medical education and professional development through membership and participation in the professional association for medical transcriptionists-AHDI.

  • Along with planning and preparation, perform a reality check. Remind yourself: If I become self-employed, I will be responsible for providing my own
    • medical/retirement benefits
    • paid sick leave and vacation
    • time with family and friends
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