If you are considering beginning a new career in Medical Transcription, you’re probably wondering how to get started. Finding the best medical transcription schools can be difficult, so we did it for you! If you’ve tried Googling “top medical transcription schools,” you’ve likely been inundated with countless colleges promising to train you for success in the field. One of the most important things to look for is if the school is designated and can offer student loans. Also, while lots of schools maintain their status as an educational institution, many are not in compliance with the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), the governing body of Medical Transcriptionists.
As the healthcare industry continues to grow, and more work has to be done because of the aging baby-boomer population, we decided to speak with industry experts and find out which courses are the best bang for your buck while also ensuring you are well trained to begin a career as a Medical Transcriptionist. We also looked at the sales tactics these schools use to sell you their course. Pretending to be prospective students, we went through the processes of each school and then quit before paying. We actually spent months going through the process with each school and some of the methods used put a bad taste in our mouths.
We have compiled a list of the top 6 schools for Medical Transcription. So let’s start with the best…
1. CanScribe Career College
Cost: $3,995 Course Length: 1150 hours
CanScribe’s Medical Transcription program is actually the only school to have their course approved by AHDI. Their program includes a state-of-the-art learning platform, job placement assistance for life and a practicum that places you with one of the leading Medical Transcription employers. They have partnerships with leading industry employers like M*Modal and OzeScribe. However, CanScribe’s curriculum is quite rigorous and involves more time dedicated to coursework. Although CanScribe’s tuition is on the higher end, they are designated by PTIB, so student loans are available to students.
We rank this as the number one course for Medical Transcription because of how well trained their graduates are and because of how highly employers speak of CanScribe. The last thing worth mentioning about CanScribe is their sales process, it was very nice, not pushy and there were no “free gifts” used to trick you into enrolling.
Cost: $10,000 Course Length: 1100 hours
Although it’s not an accredited program, TriOs’ Medical Transcription course is a popular choice for Ontario students. The program is often funded through retraining programs such as Second Career, and the curriculum is comprehensive, including an 8-week internship. However, the course is only available on campus in Ontario, and it is not accredited by AHDI. The majority of the TriOs program is computer-based with an available online facilitator. The TriOs program is 51 weeks long, inclusive of the internship and requires students to be on campus for 5 hours each day. However, the cost of the TriOs program is one significantly higher than any other school. Lastly, we were not accosted by the admissions team to enroll, which is always nice when it comes to education. TriOs treated our team respectfully, even when we were emailing them questions about the course 2 months after originally submitting for information.
Cost: $7,094 Course Length: 10 months
SAIT course is a favourite in Alberta. This is an in-class course and includes a 4-week practicum so that you can get real world experience before entering the workforce. This course involves learning the medical language while gaining experience transcribing and editing dictations throughout the entire 10-month course. This course, however, is not accredited by AHDI. The course price may seem weird, but that is because the course is $5,494, but you must purchase $1600 worth of textbooks. All that to say, this course is well designed and will prepare you for a long career as a Medical Transcriptionist. It is also worth mentioning that SAIT is not that pushy on selling their course, the process is almost designed for you to come to them, rather than them to try and sell you.
Price: $3935* Course Length: 600 hours
Other than CanScribe, CareerStep is the only other school to have their course approved by AHDI on this list, but CareerStep is not designated so it cannot offer student loans or government payment assistance. The CareerStep program is a known name in the industry they have relationships with major Medical Transcription service providers throughout North America. CareerStep also has a similar name to ours, which we liked. With access to hundreds of dictations, their course does prepare you for a career after graduation. We did find out that they have a very low graduation rate of around 20%, which raises the issue we had with their sales process. There were a lot of quick sales to attempt to get us to enroll simply because we would get a little laptop or save a few bucks.
*The course is $3028.95 USD and converts to about $3939 CA.
5. Algonquin College
Cost: $400 Course Length: 3 months
The Medical Transcription program at Algonquin College is entirely online. A part-time program, it’s a great option for those who hold a full-time job. Algonquin College also offers the ability for students to choose one elective in either OHIP Billing, Dental Terminology or Essentials in Health Records Management. Being able to choose electives is a great benefit for those who are looking to specialize in specific areas of Medical Transcription. However, Algonquin’s program is not accredited by the AHDI. This is a very entry level course but will prepare you for an entry-level position as Medical Transcriptionist.
6. Professional Career Development Institue
Cost: $995 Course Length: 2 years access
The Professional Career Development Institute (PCDI) is a great online course if you’re looking to train in a short amount of time. Although the program is self-paced and allows two years for completion, students graduate typically graduate within 4 months. The PCDI program includes downloadable audio files to help you learn on the go. Another great feature of this course is the low cost, priced at just $995. However, the PCDI program does not include a practicum nor do they offer their graduate’s job placement assistance.
If you already have experience as a Medical Transcriptionist but are having troubles finding employment, or needing to upgrade your skills, CanScribe Career College has a Refresher program geared towards retraining seasoned MTs.
Are there any other schools worth noting? Let us know!