Professional Development for Healthcare Professions Blog

The Myth and Danger of the Six Month Training Program

Posted by Chad Sines on Mon, Jun 06, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

6-month mythA pet peeve that I cannot shake is the prevalence of six to nine month transcription training courses. These courses lure unsuspecting students at prices that are very near the quality eighteen to twenty four month courses and promise job readiness. What they end up with is a graduate who quickly discovers they are unemployable and if they do find a job they quickly realize they are way underprepared.

This really should be prohibited as potential students often do not realize that they are being sold a bill of goods. They see quicker programs and honestly do not realize that it is not the same quality as that offered by a premium program like Med-Line. The question that should come to mind is “Do you want an education that will allow you to become a professional and find the job that is right for you or do you want a certificate to hang on your wall and little else?”

They also do not realize that career training is not something to skimp on. That $500 or $1000 price difference is there for a reason and it is not because they are just being nice. They do this through a skimpy program, non-CMT instructors & program directors, and possibly even no instructors.

By now you may have noticed that I am sounding a little annoyed at these programs and for good reason. I fell prey to this as a new student. The school, which is no longer in business, offered six to nine months of training. I was literally done in two months and thinking “What the heck.” I knew I had been taken for a ride and could never get my foot into the door with the kind of companies that were industry leaders. Even if I had the knowledge from my previous Masters degree and two Bachelors, the program had no industry respect and I would have been unemployable.  I lost that money because I was more than 50% through the program (funny how that neat refund policy was useless). I ultimately went to a school that is now ACCP approved, cost just a little more than I paid the first time, and lasted eighteen months. The difference was amazing.

It really is sad to see students lured into the six to nine month (and even the twelve month) courses that at best can be called introductory and never should be called transcription training. We see a lot of these people coming into our Career Advancement course in order to try to salvage their education. Often their initial training was so poor that they are left having to retrain from scratch in a quality program or sadly, they just leave the profession.

I recently spoke with a prospective student who indicated she had tentatively decided to choose another school because she was able to register for $500 less and would be done in six months. To her it sounded like a great deal. That is….until she did the math. When she did some simple math to see what she was paying per month for her abbreviated course, she discovered she was paying 3.5 as much per month as Med-Line. Fortunately for her she made the right decision.

Med-Line school is scheduled for twenty four months. Medical transcription training is training for a professional career. New careers are not learned in six to nine months. We train our students to be fully qualified to work on any account, including acute care as well as being able to easily transition to speech recognition. Many finish sooner due to their dedicated work ethic. All come out with a real education and not some six to nine month piece of paper that can do nothing but hang on a wall.

So the word of advice I would like to leave is to look carefully at the program you are considering. If you see programs offered that are under eighteen months run away fast and look for a quality program designed to help you succeed.

Topics: Professional Development, Medical Transcription Training, Job Hunt