Medical Transcriptionist Training

Why Penn Foster Career School?

  • Regionally & Nationally Accredited
  • Self-Paced
  • Supportive
  • Low monthly payments

Program Overview

Begin your career as a Medical Transcriptionist in as little as four months. Penn Foster Career School will help you train at home or on the go, and at a pace that's right for you. This Medical Transcriptionist training program will help prepare you for a better career, and — includes access to dictation and editing exercises. You can even earn college credit toward selected courses at Penn Foster College

With Penn Foster Career School, you will develop skills using online simulations, and learn about speech recognition software and its impact on the medical transcription industry to better prepare you for employment.

Curriculum Details

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

To prepare students for an entry-level career in medical transcription.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Transcribe and interpret the dictation into diagnostic test results, operative reports, referral letters, and other documents
  • Review and edit drafts prepared by speech recognition software, ensuring that the transcription is correct, complete, and has a consistent style
  • Translate medical abbreviations and jargon into the appropriate long form
  • Identify inconsistencies, errors, and missing information within a report that could compromise patient care
  • Follow up with the healthcare provider to ensure the accuracy of the reports
  • Submit health records for physicians to approve
  • Follow patient confidentiality guidelines and legal documentation requirements
  • Enter medical reports into electronic health records systems
  • Perform quality improvement audits

Course 1

Starting Your Program

Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program.


  • Understand how to use your Student Portal, including your My Homepage and My Courses pages.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
HIT100 Introduction to Allied Health

This course gives an introduction to health care, the health information management industry, and the role that health information technicians play in that industry.


  • Describe reimbursement systems and the role health information management technicians play in reimbursement.
  • Describe how technology is used in health information management.
  • Discuss different professional organizations and certifications for health information management technicians.
  • Explain the different roles, opportunities, and settings for health information management technicians.

Course 2

ALH028 Law, Ethics, and Confidentiality

In this course, you’ll learn how law affects medical offices, the origin of law that affects medical professionals, the basics of the process of litigation and its alternatives, the common-law basis for the confidentiality of health-care information, and the laws regulating health-care information collected and maintained by government agencies.


  • Describe civil and criminal law, sources of law, and the steps of litigation.
  • Distinguish between liability, negligence, and malpractice and explain how they relate to medical assistants.
  • Explain defenses against medical malpractice and against criminal charges.
  • Identify the various ethical issues that health-care professionals face.
  • Explain the uses and content of medical records.
  • Describe the legal significance of confidentiality obligations.
  • Explain the core concepts of HIPAA’s final Privacy Rule.
  • Summarize the role of peer review in confidentiality issues.
  • Describe confidentiality and security issues related to electronic medical records.

Course 3

BUS090 Office Procedures

This course is designed to help you develop professional relationships in the workplace and professionally administer and manage office communications and procedures, and provides a review of basic math operations.


  • Understand and explain the components of communication, both verbal and nonverbal.
  • Develop effective listening and observation skills.
  • Recognize prejudice in interpersonal relations.
  • Describe personal traits essential for successful interpersonal relations.
  • Understand important aspects of good human relations.
  • Professionally answer and place telephone calls within an office.
  • Handle incoming and outgoing mail and email.
  • Analyze where your time is spent and identify common time wasters.
  • Calculate discounts and series discounts.
  • Calculate cash discounts and shipping charges.
  • Change decimals and fractions to percentages and vice versa.
  • Use a calculator to solve or check math problems.

Course 4

ALH016 Body Systems Terminology 1

In this course, you’ll become familiar with the medical terms that you'll hear on a daily basis in your new career, examine the organization of body systems, and examine the cardiovascular system, blood, the respiratory system, and the digestive system.


  • Explain how root words (and their combining forms), prefixes, and suffixes function in medical terms.
  • Define many of the most common roots, prefixes, and suffixes.
  • Determine the meaning of a given medical term by analyzing its parts.
  • Identify the anatomical position and directional terms, as well as the three planes, four quadrants, and nine regions of the body.
  • Describe the body sciences of nutrition and homeostasis.
  • List types of pathogens, outline the chain of infection, and suggest methods to break the chain of infection.
  • Analyze the concept of immunity and differentiate between natural and acquired immunity.
  • Describe the organization and formation of the human body from cells to body systems.
  • Explain the anatomy and function of the integumentary system and musculoskeletal system.
  • List diseases of the integumentary and musculoskeletal systems.
  • Identify tests and procedures to diagnose and treat diseases of the integumentary and musculoskeletal systems.
  • Use combining forms to build and analyze terms related to cellular anatomy, the integumentary system, and the musculoskeletal system.
  • Explain the anatomy and function of the cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive systems.
  • List diseases of the cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive systems.
  • Identify tests and procedures to diagnose and treat diseases of the cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive systems.
  • Use combining forms to build and analyze terms related to the cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive systems.

Course 5

ALH017 Body Systems Terminology 2

In this course, you’ll examine the sensory organs, nervous system, endocrine system, excretory system, reproductive system, and immune system. You’ll also take a closer look at oncology, radiology, surgery, pathology, and genetics.


  • Explain the anatomy and function of the sensory organs, the nervous system, and the endocrine system.
  • List diseases of the sensory organs, the nervous system, and the endocrine system.
  • Identify tests and procedures to diagnose and treat diseases of the sensory organs, the nervous system, and the endocrine system.
  • Use combining forms to build and analyze terms related to the sensory organs, the nervous system, and the endocrine system.
  • Explain the anatomy and function of the excretory, reproductive, and lymphatic systems.
  • List diseases of the excretory, reproductive, and lymphatic systems.
  • Identify tests and procedures to diagnose and treat diseases of the excretory, reproductive, and lymphatic systems.
  • Use combining forms to build and analyze terms related to the excretory, reproductive, and lymphatic systems.
  • Differentiate between tumor types and explain how cancer develops.
  • Classify cancers and describe the major methods of cancer treatment.
  • Identify radiographic procedures and outline the types and uses of nuclear medicine tests.
  • Summarize surgical methods and pathological processes.
  • Describe the application of genetics to the study of diseases.

Course 6

ALH021 Basic Pharmacology

This course describes health-care professionals who are licensed to prescribe medications for the treatment of disease and illness, reference material most often used by pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, and pharmaceuticals that are designed to alleviate or repair any sort of malfunction in the body.


  • Define the medical specialties presented in this course, the conditions that each treats, and some of the drugs prescribed.
  • Identify health-care providers other than physicians who are licensed to prescribe drugs, the types of drugs that each prescribes, and the condition for which each type of drug is prescribed.
  • Name five prominent health-care professionals who aren’t licensed to write prescriptions.
  • Explain the main types of reference information and their sources.
  • Discuss various delivery methods of drug information available to pharmacists and technicians.
  • List various drug information sources that may be required by law to be present in a pharmacy.
  • Identify various journals and newsletters available to pharmacists and technicians.
  • Describe the most referenced sources of drug information used in pharmacy practice.
  • Discuss pharmacology basics.
  • List the four types of drug names, several major drug references, and the two agencies of drug regulation and enforcement.
  • Describe the routes and forms of drug administration.
  • Define drug action and effect, and explain the effect of drugs according to specific classifications.
  • Calculate basic pharmacology mathematics and dosages.
  • Identify medications related to different body systems.

Course 7

CSC102 Word™ and Excel®

This course teach you how to use Microsoft® Word™ 2013 to create, edit, and illustrate documents, and how to use the most widely used spreadsheet program, Microsoft® Excel.®


  • Locate a file, open a recently used document, and retrieve a file that has been recently deleted.
  • Use search engines and email.
  • Identify the best Internet providers and services for your needs.
  • Upload and download files from the Internet.
  • Create, edit, format, and merge Word™ documents.
  • Add graphics and tables.
  • Use the basic elements of Microsoft® Excel.®
  • Add, delete, and sort data.
  • Create and use formulas, charts, and graphs.
Project: Microsoft® Word™

This project gives you a chance to use your Word™ skills. Create four promotional documents for a company’s training event: a cover letter introducing the company, a facts sheet highlighting product features, a flier promoting the event, and a registration form.

Project: Microsoft® Excel®

This project gives you the chance to use your Excel® skills. Create a simple worksheet to calculate the cost of office supplies, and track their increase or decrease in cost over a two-month period. Graph the results.

Course 8

ENG010 Business English

In this course you’ll learn the skills you need to become more confident in your writing.


  • Know the parts of speech.
  • Use pronouns and modifiers properly and effectively.
  • Explain subject-verb agreement.
  • Use end marks, commas, and other common punctuation marks.
  • Use capitalization correctly.
  • Explain common spelling rules and use them in your writing.
  • Cite research sources.
  • Compose a variety of sentence structures.
  • Construct unified, coherent paragraphs.
  • Connect paragraphs to build a well-organized, logical document.
  • Identify your audience, medium, and purpose.
  • Focus and organize your ideas.
  • Plan both informal and formal writing projects.
  • Revise, edit, and proofread to make your final copy accurate and professional.
  • Write well-structured, professional letters.
  • Format business letters, memos, and emails.

Course 9

HIT207 Medical Transcription 1

In this course, you will be introduced to the medical transcription field and learn how to transcribe and edit a variety of reports.


  • Identify the types of medical reports you will be transcribing.
  • Transcribe without editing.
  • Proofread your reports after you’re finished and correct any errors.
  • Flag material, if needed.
  • Explain healthcare documentation fundamentals.
  • Define ethics and professionalism and explain their importance in a medical work environment.
  • Explain the use of speech recognition software in the medical transcription field.
  • Identify important style guide structure and layout considerations for transcription reports.
  • Understand common terminology, abbreviations, acronyms, and eponyms used when transcribing.
  • Identify and format different types of transcription reports for a variety of specialties.
  • Transcribe reports related to the fields of dermatology, family and internal medicine, and ophthalmology.
  • Transcribe reports related to the fields of pulmonary medicine, cardiology, hematology, gastroenterology, urology, nephrology, obstetrics, and gynecology.
  • Transcribe reports related to the fields of orthopedics, neurology, psychiatry, pathology, and diagnostic imaging.
  • Reference complicated medical transcription topics and information.
Additional Course Materials


  • Medical Transcription Fundamentals and Practice


  • HIV/AIDS Awareness
  • Finding Work as a Medical Office Professional

Course 10

HIT208 Medical Transcription 2

In this course, you will use online simulations to continue practicing how to transcribe and edit a variety of medical and business documents and reports.


  • Examine the tools that medical transcriptionists use.
  • Learn the process of proofreading, making corrections, and conducting quality assurance.
  • Proofread and edit transcribed documents for correct spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, usage, and formats.
  • Transcribe numbers, figures, and abbreviations.
  • Prepare various types of transcribed medical documents and reports, such as outpatient medical chart notes, daily progress notes, history and physical examination reports, discharge summaries, operative reports, consultation reports, pathology reports, radiology and imaging reports, autopsy reports, medico-legal reports, pathology reports, and psychiatric reports.
  • Compose medical letters and business documents, such as emails, memos, agendas, minutes, and policies.
  • Examine legal and ethical issues associated with medical transcription.
  • Use reference materials to look up correct medical spelling, the correct spelling of medications or drugs, and the correct dictation of laboratory terms and values.
  • Contemplate and plan a career as a medical transcriptionist.
Additional Course Materials


  • Medical Transcription: Techniques and Procedures

Course 11

HIT130 Electronic Medical Records

This course is designed to help you understand the reimbursement process and the various methodologies involved. You’ll be introduced to billing cycles and how health information technology is used in medical offices, and learn about basic accounting transaction terminology and apply this information to enter patient charges and payments.


  • Describe prepaid health plans and commercial insurance plans.
  • Identify characteristics of retrospective and prospective payment systems.
  • Discuss the different government sponsored health-care programs.
  • Explain how managed care works.
  • Describe fee-for-service and episode-of-care reimbursement methodologies.
  • Outline the Medicare acute care prospective payment system.
  • Describe the Medicare skilled-nursing facility prospective payment system.
  • Discuss the different outpatient prospective payment systems. Review the medical billing cycle.
  • Explain how computers are used for medical billing.
  • Use Medisoft® software to perform medical office procedures.
  • Perform charge and payment transactions for patient services.
  • Post payments.
  • Create standard reports, collection letters, and reminders.
  • Set up patient appointments, input office hours, and create schedules.

You will complete five hands-on projects using electronic medical software.

Additional Course Materials

Textbook: Computers in the Medical Office

Software: Medisoft®

Computer Specifications
You will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. You will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows® 7 or later, Microsoft® Office 2013, and an email account to complete your program with Penn Foster.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Transfer Credits & Graduate Sooner!

Students can receive advanced academic credit for Business English and Microsoft® Word and Excel within this program. Learn more about our transfer credit policy.

Sample Lesson

To view a Medical Transcriptionist sample lesson, click here.

Medical Transcriptionist Program Details and State Requirements

Your medical transcription training will teach you how to produce medical reports and documents, discharge summaries, history and physical examination reports, operative and autopsy reports, diagnostic imaging studies, and more.

The AHDI (Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity - formerly AAMT) offers a voluntary, two-part examination to individuals who wish to become certified medical transcriptionists. Three to five years of experience is required before taking the exam. Certification is not required to work in this field; however, becoming certified shows that you have a high degree of competency and the skills needed to work in today's health-care environment.

Please review your state board requirements that are applicable to your field of study. State boards may impose a variety of different requirements. These requirements vary from state to state.

Medical Transcriptionist Training Online

Here are a few qualities that competent medical transcriptionists have in common:

  • Organized: Transcribers need to keep confidential health information in the right places.
  • Dependable: Doctors and other professionals rely on you to send them the right information on time.
  • Detail oriented: It’s important to have a sharp eye and check things twice.
  • Attentive: You pay close attention to others and quickly understand discussions.
  • Communicative: You can interpret information from reading and listening so it is easily understood.

Penn Foster is a great place to learn. The instructors are only a phone call away if you need any help. They are friendly and eager to assist. It is a truly great way to get an education. I even met a few new friends online who were taking the same program that I was. We were able to help each other when needed. I plan on taking another program from Penn Foster.

- Karen M., Medical Transcriptionist Graduate

If you can spare a few minutes a day to study, and have the focus, anything is possible. I was able to do it with no problem, with a preschooler at home. The program is so easy to follow, and the staff and instructors are always available to help. Never think because it isn't a traditional school setting that you're alone!

- Amanda F., Medical Transcriptionist Graduate

We make sure you have everything you need:

  • Customized payment plans with 0% interest
  • Books and supplements are included
  • Study Planner App to customize your study plans and keep track of your progress
  • Instructional support from our experienced faculty
  • Access 24/7 to Penn Foster's online community, plus immediate membership in the Medical Transcriptionist academic group
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

Does Penn Foster Career School prepare students to sit for any Medical Transcriptionist exams or receive any certifications? Are students fully prepared for these exams?

The AHDI (Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity - formerly AAMT) offers a voluntary, two-part examination to individuals who wish to become certified medical transcriptionists. Three to five years of experience is required before taking the exam. Note that certification is not required to work in the transcription field.

Are you prepared to immediately start work as a Medical Transcriptionist upon completion of the program?

Yes. Penn Foster Career School provides you with the skills necessary to start work as a Medical Transcriptionist. Note that many places require hands-on experience, so employment is not guaranteed. You will be prepared to work in a doctor's office, hospital, or clinic.

Can I transfer previously earned credits to the Penn Foster Career School Medical Transcriptionist Career Diploma program?

Yes, you can receive advanced academic credit for some courses within the program, which means you can move through your curriculum faster and earn your certificate or diploma sooner. Learn more about our transfer credit policy.

More FAQs >

¹ Additional testing may be required to receive credit.

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