Registered Medical Transcriptionists Career Guide
If you are considering entering the medical transcription field, you should probably start preparing
yourself for industry standard credentialing right away. For the uninformed, the leading professional
society of medical transcriptionists called the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity
(AHDI), offers two types of credentials:
1. Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT)
2. Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT)
In this article, we will focus on the former (RMT) credential, but before we move any further into what
and why’s of it, it’s important to understand why credentialing is important.
The AHDI lists several reasons why aspirants to the medical transcription profession should consider
getting certified even though it is not a prerequisite for the job.
First, the job of a medical transcriptionist is highly interpretive in nature in that they have to understand
complex medical language, clinical and diagnostic processes, as well as therapeutic care provided to
patients and then put them into the right context based on doctor dictations.
Certification is one way to ensure that the candidates meet the quality benchmark for the job can be
entrusted to perform it accurately.
Also, according to AHDI, the healthcare sector attaches a lot of value to degrees, credentials and
professional designations and more and more employers are demonstrating a preference to hiring
credentialed medical transcriptionists. In fact, many employers provide support to candidates preparing
for the CMT/RMT exam and also offer reimbursement of the exam fee.
What does RMT certification involve?
The Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) certification is meant for MTs who:
Have recently graduated from a medical transcriptionist program
Have less than two years of experience in acute care
Work in a single specialty healthcare environment
If you meet all the above criteria, you are eligible to take the RMT exam, which assesses a candidate’s
core knowledge and skills needed for practicing medical transcription. AHDI recommends that
candidates review the RTM exam blueprint to assess their preparedness for the exam before taking it.
Those who successfully clear the credentialing exam are given the title of RMT, which is valid for three
years. To renew their credential, candidates must pass an exam or complete AHDI’s re-credentialing
course for RMTs.
How to prepare for the RMT exam?
Ideally, the educational or training program you go through should provide you the core competencies
and skills needed to clear the RMT exam. You can also download RMT exam sample questions from the
AHDI website in addition to the exam blueprint.
Additionally, you can check to see whether your school offers RMT exam prep tuition. A structured
program that guides you through the credentialing process and prepares you for the exam will provide
just the right foundation for taking and clearing the RMT test.
Once you are credentialed, you will find it easier to access medical transcription opportunities as
compared to non-certified rivals. You will also find that employers are that much more willing to offer
you the flexibility to work from home; move you up the corporate ladder; and compensate you
handsomely in recognition of the expertise you bring in as a credentialed professional.
What’s life like for an RMT?
As an RMT, you will likely be working in hospitals, offices of physicians or companies that provide
transcription services to clients.
Many medical transcriptionists are also self-employed and work from a home office, which makes this
profession especially desirable for certain demographic profiles such as stay at home moms, people with
physical disabilities, retired folk, full time students, etc.
Depending on your profile, you will spend most of your day listening to taped doctor dictations and
converting them into written reports or reviewing and editing drafts of reports prepared by technologies
such as speech recognition software.