Thursday, August 21, 2008

How To Be A Medical Transcriptionist Review

How To Be A Medical Transcriptionist

Cynthia Peavler Bull's book How To Be A Medical Transcriptionist is targeted to "beginners", the folks that are thinking that maybe Medical Transcription is a career they might enjoy.

Ms. Bull says in the book that she earned a diploma in transcription in 1997 and worked as a transcriptionist for some time after that. Her main business now, as you will see in the book, is Marketing.

The sales letter is interesting. It starts off with asking who wants to make $70,000 a year in medical transcription (see below), and then has endorsements by several prominent Internet marketers (who know nothing about medical transcription). It does promise some nice bonuses in the book.

There are some interesting sections in the book, such as how to protect yourself if there are mistakes in your reports, and the importance of continuing to train your ear and improve your listening skills. But the information about what one can actually expect to earn doesn't say much, and indeed doesn't do much to dispel the myth that she blatantly trumpets as the headline of her sales page:
"Who Wants To Make $70,000+ A Year Working In A Home Based Business As A Medical Transcriptionist?"

Make no mistake, there are people out there who are making that much money in transcription. But they aren't "newbies", that's for sure, and almost all of them have businesses with their own employees. They aren't making it via their own typing. Generally. There are exceptions. And guess what? The ones making it via their own work have no lives to speak of; they are typing 6-7 days a week, 12-14 hours a day. When I met my wife Pam, who types at 100+ wpm and has 25 years of transcription under her belt, she was making 70K, and she worked 6-7 days a week, 12 hours a day. And making more per line than is generally found these days.

Other than those interesting sections, the book is generally pretty fluffy and doesn't at go into the "dark side" of transcription, except to say in a few sentences that it's not just typing.

There are a couple of sections near the back of the book I found interesting as well; one series of questions answered by three or four other transcriptionists, and an interview with with another woman.

The remainder of the book is a series of links to affiliate products and plugs for her personal growth works. I can see putting a couple in there, but this is overkill.

Overall: I think that some people might appreciate her writing style, and there are some good points in it, but overall it is pretty lightweight, and seems more like a vehicle for pushing a bunch of marketing products than a serious attempt to provide real quality information to prospective transcriptionists.

1 comment:

Cynthia said...

Thank you for your candid review of my book, although I disagree with how you lead the reader in some of your comments.

My book is targeted for "newbies" with no experience or little experience and those with experience looking to earn more as an MT. It deals with the basics of having the proper mindset and getting formal training as an MT in an effort to bolster natural talents, as well as massage the vision of “I can do this.”

Not everyone can be a medical transcriptionist. Some have tried and discovered their limitations. It’s not as simple as many people think. For those who work as an MT, I've found that many transcribers undervalue the work that they do and never fully live up to their potential.

Regarding the 70K earnings, your comments are misleading to the reader that I somehow don’t address the road to this level and that 70K is a myth. I never stated nor inferred that “newbies” can earn 70K, as you seem to imply. These earnings are possible and people need to know that.

Yes, it takes hard work and long hours, but if someone is willing to put forth the attitude, self-discipline and sweat equity as cited in my book, then they can make it “via their own typing” and control their earnings. What they sacrifice to reach this level and beyond is their judgment call, wouldn’t you agree? You acknowledge that your wife earned 70K, and I also know those who have reached that level by transcription alone, so it is possible over time.

If a transcriber is only transcribing 100 wpm, then they’re out of the competition in today’s world of MT or any transcription business for big bucks. While that speed doesn’t eliminate a transcriber, it does limit their work options and earnings potential. Your statement here is misleading.

You cited marketing testimonials but failed to cite first-mentioned MT testimonials, including noted MT leaders and schools. I trust this was an oversight and not an intention to mislead your readers.

There is a definite marketing aspect to my book and I admit I added non-topic products at the end. This, my first book, was written over four years ago, and I followed a then marketing trend of promotional exposure for my products, as well as those of people I trust and affiliates. As you know, a product is nothing without marketing, and that tactic continues to be beneficial.

I take exception to your comment, “Other than those interesting sections, the book is generally pretty fluffy and doesn't at go into the "dark side" of transcription, except to say in a few sentences that it's not just typing.” You need to reread “The Competition Factor” chapter beginning on page 28 that discusses ‘Are There Risks Involved?’ and ‘How Can I Protect Myself?’

Overall: Thank you for your comment, “I think that some people might appreciate her writing style, and there are some good points in it.” And it was intended to be “lightweight” reading because some people just don’t get it that to get big rewards, you must work smarter instead of having a lackluster approach to this career choice. I totally disagree with your comment, “… seems more like a vehicle for pushing a bunch of marketing products than a serious attempt to provide real quality information to prospective transcriptionists.” My book is written in an easy style for all levels of readers interested in medical transcription as a career. It is very serious and contains focused, quality information for all MT audiences about the basics of what it takes to be a successful medical transcriptionist. If you thought otherwise, you are mistaken.

Cynthia Peavler Bull, Author
How To Be A Medical Transcriptionist