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

  1. Exhaustive knowledge of medical terminology
  2. Excellent command of English grammar, spelling, and usage
  3. Advanced knowledge of word processing software, expanders, and macros
  4. Ability to type at high speeds for hours at a time
  5. Competent in use of the personal computer and internet
  6. Highly developed research skills, necessary to find information quickly
  7. Thorough understanding of and compliance with patient confidentiality requirements
  8. The interpretive ability to transform spoken words into a medicolegal document.

Truth be told, we are not "professionals" in the way that doctors, lawyers, and architects are. Rather, we are practitioners of a skilled craft. The plumber in the joke on page 2 commanded an astronomical price for his few minutes of actual work, but in the real world, plumbers, electricians, bricklayers, exterminators, mechanics, and other skilled craftspeople make very good money. These people have strong labor unions to fight for their interests in the workplace.

Sisters* are doin' it for themselves

The events of the past few days have shown that we can work together toward a common goal. The newest MT community networking website sprang up within hours, with contributions by hundreds if not thousands of people, each in their own way. For the first time in years, I have a sense that we will be able to solve the cockroach problem after all. I can't wait to see what happens next!

I welcome comments about the points raised in this article. I especially welcome comments from those who do not agree with me. That's the great thing about the internet. If you don't like someone's point of view, it's very easy to find another chat channel or website, or start your own.

*With apologies to our brothers, the under-appreciated male MTs.

About the author: Elizabeth Dearborn is a medical transcriptionist and webmaster.

This article was originally posted on August 2, 2002, slightly revised for better printing in 2004, and updated with new information January 25, 2012.

Added October 21, 2004: Please visit , the website of social worker/musician Matthew Bush, who uses music therapy in his practice.

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