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Understanding the Difference Between Legal Transcription and Medical Transcription

If you are on the hunt for a transcription service, it might be tempting to opt for a service which can handle something with a lot of technical jargon. Both legal transcription and medical transcription are services which require a high knowledge of technical jargon but just because one company can offer one does not mean they can offer both. Here are some of the reasons why they are different and why you need to look for a service which is specialised to your needs.

Legal Transcription Legal transcription is the act of transcribing the audio from legal proceedings into a document. It can be done live in the court or after the fact by someone listening to the recordings. When done live, it is often handled by the transcriber using shorthand and then typing up the document later on.

Although the lawyers may use a lot of Latin-based jargon when calling out various motions, it is actually easier than you might expect to pick up the skills needed for legal transcription. Many people who handle general transcription as part of their job might also dabble occasionally in legal transcription. Therefore, it is often easy to find legal transcription services which will suit your needs.

Medical Transcription Medical transcription is the transcription of doctor’s notes into a document. Many doctors prefer to work by speaking their diagnosis out loud and recording it through some device. This is then put through a transcription service to allow the doctor to have access to accurate notes for later treatments.

As one can imagine, accuracy is therefore extremely important. Medical transcribers often have to take courses so they are qualified to deal with some of the complicated terminology which can appear in the audio. You do not just have to understand the word Acrocephalosyndactyly, you also need to be able to accurately spell it too. It might take a while for a transcriber to reach the level of skill which medical transcription requires, and they might also need to find some sort of certification to prove that they are capable of handling whatever audio a doctor might need transcribing.

A Big Difference Some people might think that being able to handle one style of transcription means that the transcriber should be able to do both, but nothing could be further from the truth. If you are on the hunt for one service, never assume that someone is capable of doing both. There are many factors which might make them quite different pieces of audio beyond the differing technical speech.

A piece of courtroom audio will have multiple people speaking in it. From the judge to the attorneys, to the plaintiff and defendant, witnesses and more, you could have plenty of voices which all need to be identified on tape; something which isn’t always the easiest. Then with medical transcription, there might be the background noise of the hospital interfering with the diagnosis, or the doctor might have a particularly thick accent which is hard to decipher. There are many ways legal and medical transcription differ. It is imperative when you need a specialised transcription that you find a service which is tailored to your needs.


Simon hopes007