Medical Transcription: Find an AHDI Approved Program

Medical Transcription AHDI Program

If you’re planning on entering a medical transcription program, it’s important to look for a school that is approved by the Association for Health Care Documentation Integrity (AHDI). Once known as the American Association for Medical Transcription, AHDI is the largest professional clinical documentation organization in the world.

With the goal of upholding “standards for education and practice in the field of health data capture and documentation,” this organization has become the recognized leader for medical transcription education providers and quality of programs.

The Medical Transcription Field

Medical transcriptionists are the professionals responsible for taking information recorded by doctors, surgeons, and other medical providers and putting it into written form. They must be able to recognize and spell complicated procedures, illnesses, and treatments, which means that there is a heavy emphasis on medical terminology and speech recognition.

Because an error can result in a wrong prescription or diagnosis, this is a field where education counts. That’s why the AHDI steps in to ensure that the programs and courses being offered at medical transcription schools are in keeping with national and health care standards.

Although you don’t have to have a degree to become a medical transcriptionist, more and more employers are only looking at individuals who have graduated from an AHDI accredited program. According to AHDI standards, it is best to find a school that offers:

  • Two years of training
  • 100 hours of transcription work in an externship program
  • A focus on learning the trade (rather than work-from-home opportunities)

AHDI approved programs can be found at community colleges, vocational schools, and online schools. Although you may be able to earn your degree 100 percent online, there does need to be an externship program, and this is almost always best earned at a physical facility, where you can learn from and near others in the field.

Upon graduation from an AHDI approved course, students are eligible to sit for the Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) exam. An additional two years of on-the-job experience is required for medical transcriptionists to be eligible to take the Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) exam.

Note: Approval isn’t the same as accreditation. A school can be accredited by an outside provider but not approved by the AHDI, and vice versa. The best accreditation options for MT programs are those through the American Health Information Management Association’s Approval Committee for Certificate Programs (ACCP).


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