Accessibility information 
OOQ Logo OOQ Online banner


About OOQ Online

Occupational Outlook Handbook Home
Career guide to Industries Home
Employment Projections Home
MLR: The Editor's Desk
OES Occupational Profiles
BLS Home

Fall 2001 Vol. 45, Number 3

Medical transcriptionists: Making medical histories

With keen listening skills and fast typing ability, these transcriptionists use their training to document medical histories.


"The patient had discomfort anterior to the lateral malleolus. Talar tilt negative. Drawer sign negative."
What does that mean? Medical transcriptionists know. And because of transcriptionists’ work, the fact that the patient’s sore ankle passed two tests for stability becomes part of his or her recorded medical history. 

Medical transcriptionists are experts in the language of medicine. They turn healthcare providers’ spoken notes into well-edited, typed reports. They can recognize—and spell—the names of bones, muscles, procedures, and prescriptions. Their efforts ensure that doctors and other healthcare workers have accurate information about patients.

On the following pages, you’ll learn what medical transcriptionists do and what their working conditions, earnings, employment prospects, and training requirements are.

How to best view PDF files Download the PDF (113K)



U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Last Updated: December 06, 2001