This article, "MT.Con: The Cockroach Problem In Medical Transcription", is intended for medical transcriptionists, MTSOs, physicians, medical records administrators, and student MTs.

Abusive relationships, whether physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional, are enabled partially by the victim's feeling that he or she deserves the abuse.


"Psychological abuse of women is underestimated, sometimes trivialized, and can be difficult to define. Psychological abuse has been reported by abused women to be as damaging as physical battering because of its impact on the self-image and self-esteem of the victim ... Emotional abuse represents a method of control that may consist of verbal attacks and humiliations, including repeated verbal attacks against the victim's worth as an individual or role as a parent, family member, co-worker, friend, or community member ..." -- Continued at the website of , U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Note: This link no longer works as of 10/17/04.


Every time a qualified medical transcriptionist accepts employment under terms such as those outlined above, he/she sabotages the rest of us. Do not be conned into selling your expertise for anything less than fair market value.

Is it any wonder so many MTs are on antidepressants?

Knowing where to tap

2. Competition from underqualified individuals and corporations

We were all newbies once upon a time. But the experienced transcriptionist can quickly handle the more difficult dictations and requires minimal QA, and therefore should rightfully command a higher line rate than that paid to a beginner. This corny old joke says it all:

Ever hear the story of the giant ship engine that failed? The ship’s owners tried one expert after another, but none of them could figure out how to fix the engine. Then they brought in an old man who had been fixing ships since he was a youngster. He carried a large bag of tools with him, and when he arrived, he immediately went to work. He inspected the engine very carefully, top to bottom. Two of the ship’s owners were there, watching this man, hoping he would know what to do. After looking things over, the old man reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer. He gently tapped something. Instantly, the engine lurched into life. He carefully put his hammer away. The engine was fixed!

A week later, the owners received a bill from the old man for ten thousand dollars.

“What?!” the owners exclaimed. “He hardly did anything!” So they wrote the old man a note saying, “Please send us an itemized bill.”

The man sent a bill that read,

Tapping with a hammer...................................$2
Knowing where to tap................................$9998

3. Competition from offshore

MTs, refuse to work for services which send medical transcription out of the country! If you are an MTSO who sends work overseas, you will soon discover that this practice is not only unpatriotic, but a false economy as well. Employ the skilled transcriptionists within your own country and pay them a living wage, on the generous side if possible. You will gain the respect of the MT community, and potential clients will beat a path to your door because you deliver a quality product.

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