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Is Medical Transcription Certification Necessary?
Becoming a certified medical transcriptionist is really a personal choice. At present, there is no requirement for MTs to become certified at this time.
To become certified you will need to pass an exam given by the AAMT (American Association of Medical Transcriptionists). This is a two part exam, written and practical and takes about 5 to 6 hours to complete. It is a very in depth exam and most MTs take a prep course before taking the exam.
The exam consists of two parts. The first part is a written exam which consists of 120 multiple choice questions about anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, English and grammar, etc.
The second part of the exam is a practical test where you transcribe several different reports.
Once certified it means you can use the letters “CMT” (certified medical transcriptionist) behind your name. You must recertify every 3 years.
Certification is highly regarded in some circles of the MT field and some MTs believe it opens doors for better opportunities.
Personally, I feel medical transcription certification is a personal choice. Although, certification gives you the opportunity to prove your skills as an MT, not being certified does not take away from them.
I have never run across a physician or account manager who has asked me whether I am certified or not. They are merely interested that I can efficiently complete the work, follow all the privacy regulations and charge them a reasonable rate.
I don’t know of any MTs who have lacked opportunities due to not being certified either. Again, the choice is a personal one and for some it is a great sense of personal achievement.
If you do decide to become certified, it will be a great personal achievement. It will take a time and financial commitment. At present, the AAMT fee for the CMT exam for US and Canada is $195 US dollars for AAMT members and $275 for non AAMT members. You must also have 2 years experience working as an MT.
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