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Andrews School for Medical TranscriptionFalse Advertising Regarding Wages

J Review updated:

The Andrews School for Medical Transcription advertises, and indeed boasts, that upon graduation from their course, you can expect to earn decent wages. WARNING: IT'S NOT TRUE! RUN, DO NOT WALK AWAY!!

On the school's website, click on their link that states "How much can I earn as a medical transcriptionist?" From there you are directed to a page on the website of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes319094.htm ---

And on that page, you read that the lowest reported hourly wage for a medical transcriptionist is $10.65. Now you're thinking, "Hey, that's not bad to start, and over the years my wages will go up from there!"

This all begins to seem like a great deal for you, especially when you consider that increasing numbers of MTs, indeed most of them, work from their home offices, either as independent contractors or as telecommuting employees. So, most likely, you would be working from home and earning this very decent money, in your exciting new career with a bright future, as a medical transcriptionist. Right?! --WRONG!!!

Time for the truth: Entry-level medical transcriptionists earn wages which are frequently below the minimum wage. Yes, it is legal in this situation. They are customarily paid between 3 cents and 7 cents per line of transcribed dictation. Most entry-level MTs work for several months before they can consistently produce 1000 line per day. Let's do the math. If you are paid 7 cents per line and you produce 1000 lines per day, then you have grossed $70.00. If you produce this consistently for 5 days of the week, you have grossed $350.00. But hold on! How many hours did it take you to produce those 1000 lines of transcribed dictation? For at least the first year or more, it is not uncommon to expect to work 60-70 hours per week or more, for those same wages. So what are your real hourly wages, after you calculate for having slaved at your computer roughly 60+ hours per week, for your gross pay of about $350 or so?!?! About $5.00 per hour or so?!?! And for the first few months, your rate of production will be considerably LESS than 1000 lines per day.

Back to the wages quoted on the website for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: What do those dollar amounts mean? They are numbers based upon national averages only and, as stated on the BLS website, THESE DOLLAR AMOUNTS DO NOT INCLUDE WAGES OF SELF-EMPLOYED WORKERS whatsoever. If wages of self-employed MTs had been factored into the numbers, the hourly wage amounts would be a great deal less.

For those who are doggedly determined to stay with it, yes, over the years, your line count will increase as will your income. But most MTs begin their careers by working extremely long hours and actually earning some of the most alarmingly miniscule wages you have ever heard of in your life. Suddenly, your home office has become a sweatshop--not exactly what you had in envisioned when you decided to take a course in medical transcription! The work of an MT is tremendously skill-intensive and challenging. It is hard work, and it is thankless work. About 15-20 years ago, beginning MTs actually earned a decent living wage. But times change: One reason for the deterioration in wages of MTs has been the outsourcing of jobs to third-world workers; another might be the increased use of speech-recognition software, with the result that transcriptionists are reduced to editors and paid less for what is an equally demanding job.

The problem here is the great deception created by advertising of prospective wages for medical transcriptionists, in order to lure new students into enrolling in the course. The reality is that if you graduate from the Andrews School course, or from any other MT course, you absolutely will be able to find a job as an MT, working from your home computer. But you will work inhumanely long hours over work that is exceedingly challenge and demanding, and your actual earnings will be LESS THAN MINIMUM WAGE for at least the first several months.

The turn-over of entry-level MTs is huge. This is why there are always job openings for new graduates of any medical transcription school. People are lured into taking these courses with promises of decent wages for a work-at-home job as a medical transcriptionist. They work for a few months, 60+ hours per week, earning about $5.00 or less per hour, and then they quit--long before reaching a level of productivity which produces a livable wage.

Look at the employment ads from the larger MT national service companies, such as Spheris, or Webmedx, or TRS, or Medware, or any one of numerous others. Find out what they pay entry-level MTs and ask how many hours those people are actually working. Do not believe advertisements run by MT schools, and do not believe wage information reported in any other industry-related website if they have any vested interest in getting your business. No matter what you read elsewhere, the fact is that entry-level MTs earn essentially no money at all, which is why the turn-over is so high.

Also, it should be mentioned that the Andrews School for Medical Transcription advertises that their course will help you become equipped to run your own home-based business. No, sorry, but their course actually offers no training at all in this regard--ZERO. Graduating from the Andrews School, you are no better trained than a monkey to start up your own MT service.

Schools which offer this sort of training are a dime a dozen. One school is no better than another if the job waiting for you upon graduation does not pay you a living wage, and MT just flat does not.

This is a more sophisticated scam, but a scam nonetheless. Do not fall for it!!

Responses

  • Ka
    Kat Apr 16, 2009

    Thank you for your input. I've been taken before (Heald College, IT program).

    -2 Votes
  • Dr
    dragonflower May 23, 2009

    I worked as a medical transcriptionist for 10 years in a hospital setting. It is not the fault of the Andrews Transcription School that transcriptionists are paid such low wages. It is the current state of the industry.

    The only way you can make a living wage as a transcriptionist is if you are employed at a hospital where you are on a straight hourly wage.

    In the hospital where I worked, we did have several graduates of the Andrews school. I was impressed with the training offered, because these gals all came to us with very polished transcription skills - they knew their stuff!

    So, from what I could tell, Andrews does deliver what they advertise - that is, they do offer the training to make you a good medical transcriptionist. The problem is that the bottom has fallen out of the industry.

    Incidentally, I no longer work as a medical transcriptionist because all of my former hospital work is now outsourced to India where they can pay dirt wages.

    Oh - I should mention that prior to doing medical transcription I earned 3 degrees in music - B.Mus, M.A. and D.Mus - and still could not find a job in my field. I had all the training and pedigrees, but could not earn a living in music.

    Transcription at least got me a JOB which was more than I could find in music. The hospital transcription was flexible and paid modestly. I would have stayed if they had not outsourced it to India.

    Instead, I returned to school and became a nurse so I would have a more marketable degree.

    Dar

    3 Votes
  • Er
    ErinHWilliams Sep 23, 2009

    I have been a transcriptionist for the last 3 years and went through M-TEC. I made $68, 000 last year working an average of 35 hours a week as an employee and I am ONLY PAID ON PRODUCTION NOT HOURLY. If you are smart enough and good enough at being an MT you can definitely make the money. Sounds like sour grapes to me.

    2 Votes
  • It
    its none of your business Oct 09, 2009

    Wow, Erin, pretty good!

    So how much did you start out at? Did you try starting out online for .06c per line? What was your line count per day to begin with? The standard 500 which most entrants do? Or, had you been typing all your life, with 50, 000 word expanders in place for years?

    So how much are you getting paid per line now? Still the standard .06c per line? Why don't you come up with some believable figures? Or perhaps you are a school owner...

    -2 Votes
  • Ne
    new MT Oct 10, 2009

    This website's information is sad but true. Do not be taken in by Andrews or M-TEC or any other school regarding income expectations. I graduated from Andrews about a year ago, and I am still lucky if I make $3.00/hour as an IC (independent contractor). Yes, I get to work out of my home, but the hours are long and stressful. Medical transcription does not pay what it used to. It is the sweatshop of our time. It takes years to learn an expander program and get all the words and phrases into it, and then you will maybe make $25, 000/year.

    0 Votes
  • Vi
    viola33 Oct 10, 2009

    I am also and Andrews grad as of nearly 3 years ago. While i think the use of the word "scam" is unfortunate, I agree with the gist of the OP. I was making more than minimum wage fairly quickly, and in my first job, I even did fairly well. However, I lost that position due to technology issues (no complaints about my performance), and since then I have worked for another company where I have been unable to make more than $10/hour. The experience of the majority of MTs I know (I run one discussion board and participate on others) is very similar. Are there niches where you can make good money? Yep. Will most MTs find them? Nope.

    In my opinion, Andrews is not a "scam." Even the OP points out that a viable government site was referenced to support income information. There are a number of issues with those data, as many in the field who have researched this can support. More to the point, the field is changing/dying as technology - voice recognition and clinician-generated medical records - are changing/demolishing this field.

    Should Andrews still be recruiting students and charging them nearly $5000/year (the highest tuition in the biz) to train them for a field that does not in fact result in living wages for most of its graduates? I don't know. I wouldn't.

    I, though, wish I had found information of this kind BEFORE I spent a year of my life training, and several years of my life working, in this field.

    1 Votes
  • Mt
    MT or NOT? Oct 14, 2009

    Sadly, I am going through this course right now and it's making me wonder, did I do the right thing? The course is hard, especially when you have no medical knowledge at all. I'm a great typist and thought... that I had great grammar skills but not according to the school. In my opinion, you should be tested in the acceptance stage thoroughly... for not only your typing skills, but for your grammar, punctuation, etc. Yes, they do ask you about your punctuation, but they do not test you.

    So my question to Viola 33, if I pass it through this course, is it worth it in the long run? To be spending $3800, not to mention the LONG hours studying and transcribing, to be "knocked" down when you receive your grades (while in training) thinking that a "79" would be a passing score only to find out that it's an "F"? Yes, you have that opportunity to make it up with more studying and LONGER hours, but will you succeed? What happens if you graduate and try to find a job? From what I'm hearing, it doesn't sound very promising with the pay scale. In my previous jobs (I'm currently unemployed), I was making $60, 000 plus a year...not in the MT profession.

    I think I made a big mistake taking this course. The pay scale is not worth ALL the long hours, the stress in learning, and to be "knocked" down in a learning process with an unfair Grading Scale. I had a teacher look at this scale and her comment to me was, " I think the grading system is too harsh for someone who is just beginning this type of career. It makes no sense to me. If I was a teacher at that school, I would fight to change that grading system and design my own grading. I would refuse to use that grading system. There seems to be no learning curve and that's not fair."

    I value you comments back, as I really don't know, if I should continue to waste my time and only to find out it's not worth it in the end.

    2 Votes
  • Tr
    transcription16 Oct 16, 2009

    I was surprised to read all the negative comments regarding the Andrews School, and the field of medical transcription in general. I have been in the field for over 15 years and have found it nothing but a positive experience - a challenge to continually improve and learn. One has to love typing, and love the challenge, to love this work. It's hard work! There are plenty of opportunities for those qualified to have the benefit of working from home - and the hourly rate only improves the more you improve. I hope those of you who are struggling find your niche. For me it has been a wonderful career - and sure made paying college tuitions easier.

    1 Votes
  • Vi
    viola33 Oct 27, 2009

    MT or Not -

    I am sorry for the delay in responding.

    The best way I can answer you is to say that, if I had it to do over again, I wouldn't.

    In all fairness, I will say that I 'paid the rent' (barely) for the 3 years I did MT. I will also say that, as the last post indicates, there are some nice niches out there. Most importantly, I will say that Andrews is well regarded in the industry, and you are MUCH more likely to be allowed to test for employment with an Andrews diploma.

    Re grading, if you can't deal with Andrews' grading, you can't deal with real QA. BELIEVE me, they are just as picky and obsessed with minutiae. If you can't handle it at Andrews, you won't be able to handle it in the field. That is ONE thing they are dead on about. If you have just begun, you are NOT being graded as harshly as you will by the end of the course, and employment tests and real world QA will make what you're dealing with now look like a walk in the park. I graduated Andrews with a 96 average, never did any of their supplemental work, and failed my first employment test.

    The reality of entering the field now, as opposed to 15 years ago (and Linda Andrews herself has told me she realizes the field has changed a great deal during the last few years), is:

    - You may spend weeks or months getting a job. Again, you will do better than other grads, and many find some kind of employment quickly; but I know several grads who spent months looking for work. You won't see that on the Andrews chat boards, certainly not until you get to 'the grad board'. Despite their good rep, I know of one company that won't hire Andrews grads.

    - You won't make more than minimum wage for a number of months, maybe even for your first year. This is not something anyone who is being honest about current employment in this field will dispute.

    - You MAY eventually find a niche where you can make good money. Some people do. The majority of people I know have gone from one job to another, none of them making more than $25, 000/year, and some a good deal less. There are statistics (as noted above) that show the average salary to be in the mid $30s, but I have seen articles and posts to the effect that these statistics do not differentiate among employees, ICs, quality assurance, and business owner salaries. Obviously the majority of MTs are employees. Starting line rates run from 3 cpl for editing (using speech recognition) or 6 pcl for typing to maybe 6 cpl for editing and 9 cpl for typing. Most are at the lower end. If you do the math, you have to produce at a pretty good clip to make money. Suggestion: After you have done one of your practices for accuracy and corrected it, do it again for speed. Time yourself, and do it as quickly as you can and still have it accurate. Then use Word's 'word count' function. It will give you a character count. Divide that by 65, and you will have a rough line count. See what it comes out to per hour. Then realize that at 7cpl, if you do 150 lines per hour (the minimum at many companies), you will be making $10.50/hour. Yes, that is as far away as it seems. Is it possible? Sure. Is it worth what you have to do to get there...?

    - If you are not fairly tech savvy, you are going to have a very difficult time in this field. Andrews does NOT emphasize - or, in my opinion, even address - technical aspects of this work. They advertise that they do. That is incorrect. M-Tec has a tech instructor and curriculum. Andrews explains this by saying that every platform, every employer, has different requirements and software. That's true; but if you don't have some good general understanding of computers and software, and especially if you don't have a good handle on Word and word processing, AND a good idea of how text expanders work (you, as an Andrews grad, won't have the latter), you are going to struggle with technical issues as well as learning transcription. One thing that became very obvious to me a very short time after graduating is that most of the instructors there, and definitely their 'tech person, ' have no idea what using a current-day transcription platform is like. Among the things that tell me this is that I know for a fact that one of their instructors is using a dialup connection to work there. Any MT job board (e.g. mtjobs.com) will show you that a dialup connection is not sufficient for 90% of the jobs that are out there; maybe 95%.

    - Everything else aside, some people are just NOT cut out for this work, and you can graduate Andrews without figuring that out, because they WON'T tell you all this. My first employer hired 3 Andrews grads; me, a friend of mine, and another one. My friend and I did okay (with the limited work we got), but she let the other one go after a few weeks because of lack of speed and skill. This particular employer makes it a point to take care of new MTs, and she doesn't have specific production requirements; she just couldn't continue to support this person. That's 1 out of 3. Is that a valid statistic? Of course not; but it also tells you something. I know of other intelligent, resourceful people who graduated Andrews only to find that they did not in fact have the complete set of skills they needed to become productive employees. Some might, with training in those skills, have been okay; others are just not production minded or "MT material." Because Andrews doesn't train/test you in these areas, you can graduate from Andrews and not know this. Does this happen to people in every field? Of course. Do you need/deserve accurate information about it? Absolutely.

    Most employers now are huge transcription companies who contract with hospitals and hospital systems. If you are lucky, you work with a pool of doctors on 1 or 2 accounts, and you become familiar with them. If you are not, well - I have known people who had to work on as many as 12 accounts simultaneously, all with different specific requirements in terms of formatting and style. I think most new MTs are very surprised to learn how many clinicians, especially in hospitals, are ESLs (English as a second language). Many ESLs are considerate and clear spoken. When they are not, this is challenging at best and nearly impossible at worst, and most importantly it wreaks havoc with speech recognition. Even if the software does 'learn' the accented English, it won't correct syntax and grammar, and that means you are having to CORRECT (meaning remove and replace) text, for less per line/character than if you were simply typing it.

    The first job I landed out of school was with a tiny company, and I was assigned the same dictators day in and day out. I got to a point where I was averaging $15/hour - WHEN there was work. I never got enough. At my second job, it was the worst-case scenario mentioned above, and after a year and a half, I was still transcribing docs I'd never heard before EVERY DAY, 90+% of them ESLs. I was averaging maybe $10/hour.

    I am a member of mtchat.com, and I run a private chat group consisting of future, present, and past MTs. As I say, I know some folks who have found a niche and are doing okay. By far most of the people I am in contact with have had to job hop and are still doing so, and the others have left the field.

    Speech recognition/voice recognition are used by big transcription companies to prop up their bottom line - at the expense of yours. More telling, to me, is the development of EMR - electronic medical records. There is debate about exactly how this is impacting, will impact, on the field of MT; but there is no argument that it is affecting it and will continue to do so, at the expense of MT jobs. Is it a good thing for health care in general? Honestly I think it is. That doesn't change the reality that it is replacing MT jobs.

    Many companies also take advantage of the fact that you are working at home to require you to buy your own equipment, etc. At the very least they will require you to have a reference library. Andrews graduates have good ones; but you may well be required to purchase other software and/or references, and companies rarely do that. Some will supply a computer and other equipment, and you can certainly limit your job search to those companies; just realize that you are then restricting your employability.

    Should you pursue this? Only you can decide that. It depends on your goals and priorities. You will be losing at least some money already if you leave the course. To me, spending several thousand dollars and a year of blood, sweat and tears (and boy, do I remember what you are going through!) to earn less than a living wage in an industry that uses and abuses home workers was a mistake. It (barely) kept me going until I left the field, but subtracting the hours I spent learning and the money I have spent on tuition, equipment and references, I have not earned much more than minimum wage in the 3 years I was in the field.

    Is it critical that you stay at home? Is flexibility more important than decent money? Or, are you willing and able to search for and/or switch jobs until you find that niche? Are you ready, willing and able to deal with the changes in the field, and the fact that MT jobs are already being lost to EMR, and many more are likely to follow?

    If you need to make even decent money within the next couple years; if you want steady employment with a steady income; if you face any of the obstacles mentioned above; or if you aren't lucky enough to land one of the rare 'gems' out there; I would say you would do better elsewhere. If you like transcription and are a good typist, you can try general transcription. Google it. Also, go to transcriptionessentials.com and check out their chat board. It's a tad snarky, but there's a wealth of info. Even if you get into it and decide it's not for you, you won't have wasted a year and several thousand dollars before you figure that out. The money seems to be just as good or maybe better for most general transcriptionists, although QA and higher ups at MT companies probably do better.

    I have often been accused of 'having a negative attitude.' Of course, this is usually by someone who has managed to find one of those niches. Believe me, I did not start out this way. I WISH someone had been this honest with me before I got myself into this.

    Lastly, I will tell you that some of us brought up these topics and difficulties at Andrews, and the ENTIRE DISCUSSION has been removed from the boards. What works for me might not work for you and vice versa, but doesn't it tell you something that the entire topic is apparently too 'hot, ' too problematic, for it to remain on the Andrews boards?

    I can't decide for you; all I can do is tell you, as honestly as I know how, what I know. Best of luck to you. If you decide to go on with this, at least it won't be as much of a rude awakening as it was for me and many people I know.

    viola

    3 Votes
  • It
    its none of your business Nov 07, 2009

    I have been reading boards where there are lots of people who claim that they are making such a pittance by North American standards by telecommuting in this field (way less than minimum wage in any North American territory, including Canada, and the United States). Anyway, the only thing is that in order for the general public to read these boards, I think that they have to be members of those boards.

    Perhaps, the moderators of some of these boards could make it possible for the general public to VIEW the boards without having to sign up? I think that most forums have the capability of this feature.

    Also: Schools who have pages up that have pictures of figures of pay - perhaps potential students should spend some time analyzing these, and asking hard questions, like: ok, that $10, 000 per year, is it for 8 hour per day, 5 days a week? Make sure to find out what is the average line count a graduate student does, and then ask to be put into contact with graduating, telecommuting students.

    Also: Employment agencies who are currently recommending medical transcription as a retraining option, or starting career to people may not be aware of the problem. Perhaps most people doing research are only relying on government payscale statistics citing in-house hospital (union wages). How willing are the schools to put potential students in contact with telecommuting students? If a school is not willing to discuss this issue with a potential student, perhaps the student should RUN!!!

    Also, government agencies may not be aware of this problem - perhaps they should look long and hard at this problem before retraining anyone to this field? Also, if graduating students are contacting government agencies to try to make them aware of the problem, but the goverment agencies are turning a blind eye, then that is another problem, right?

    1 Votes
  • It
    its none of your business Nov 07, 2009

    I forgot to mention above regarding schools - if a potential student asks a school what the average line count is for a graduated student, and they say something like "oh, it all depends on the student", I would RUN!!! I think they should know the average line count per hour. That is a very easy, and crucially important statistic to get!!

    And, if a school hoohahas, or hohums, remains mum, or switches to intimidation tactics over the issues of telecommuting pay, I would RUN!!!

    -1 Votes
  • Ss
    SSusan Dec 02, 2009

    After being an MT for 30 years, it amazes me how these schools promote employment upon graduation. For those of us in the industry, companies like Webmedx continue to hire, however, there isn't enough work for existing workers and many are complaining that their income has dropped to below minimum wage. This is the reality regardless of what these schools tell you. Check out MTStars and read the posts and contact people who actually work for these companies. It's almost a crime to take your hard earned money to enroll in a program that very well may not yield more income than working at MacDonald's!

    1 Votes
  • Re
    rebecca44 Dec 08, 2009

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am 29 years old and am desperately seeking a career choice that gets me where myself and my family needs me to be in the near future. I appreciate this information. It sounds like you just gave me back the money and time I would have wasted in an education toward this not so rewarding career! Thank you, thank you, a million times thank you!

    0 Votes
  • Spiritude Feb 06, 2010

    I resonate with the above comment!

    I'm expecting a baby this summer and I was looking forward to being a stay at home, working, mom... I thought being a MT would be perfect! but after reading these posts, I'm beginning to change my mind...

    Does anyone have any other ideas, in terms of working from home?

    0 Votes
  • Fl
    Fleur de lis Feb 07, 2010

    But get real feedback from experienced MTs who have been there, done that. They'll tell aspiring MTs exactly what they can expect. goMDT.com

    0 Votes
  • Ce
    Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) Mar 12, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    See mtchat.com

    http://www.mtchat.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=cfrm

    0 Votes
  • Sk
    Sketchers Aug 11, 2010

    Andrews School, for me, was a waste of time and money. They are so high-up there, making money, having everyone thinking it is the best school to go to, and they can't even leave a "hot topic" on one of their boards open for the world to see. What are they afraid of? They are so strict with their students grades, so why can't they face some criticism. Andrews does give the student a lot of preparation, and materials. There is a lot in the product of Andrews School, but the grading system is no good for the student. Doesn't really give the student hope, incentive, confidence or motivation to do better. The grading system is too far out of the average student's reach. Andrews knows this. They are all in it only for the money.
    Sketchers

    0 Votes
  • Sk
    Sketchers Aug 11, 2010

    O.k., a lot of business are in it "for the money". What I am trying to say about Andrews is that the school is established and I'm sure a lot of hard work went into it; which is maybe why they don't want to leave themselves wide open on one of their own boards to hear the students' complaints on what they (the school ) calls a hot topic. The school does offer a lot, but it has to change with the times. The amount of money the MT makes now and what a student has to go through to become a good MT; it isn't worth it, unless that student is just naturally suited or talented towards medical transcription.
    It is very hard to teach someone how to hear or listen. Andrews tries with their teachers, but the school has to change with the times and I feel they have to be less strict on their grading system and less pressure on their students who do also have personal lives to carry on with along with their studies and devotion to a medical transcription school that they paid a lot of money for to get a good career.
    Sketchers

    1 Votes
  • Ex
    Experienced CMT Sep 07, 2010

    I am an MT with over 25 years of experience. When I was in a hiring role, Andrews was the ONE school I could always hire from. Their graduates are top notch. I don't agree with the comments that you can graduate from Andrews if you don't know what you are doing. Yes, you do have to have a good typing speed to be successful, it's the nature of the industry. As for the grading scale, if you can't cut it with that, then it's not likely you will succeed in the profession. These are patient's medical records; if they aren't accurate, a patient could have a negative outcome. It's really that simple and there is no substitution for quality. You wouldn't want less on your own medical records and neither would I.

    2 Votes
  • 1s
    1Schipperke Sep 27, 2010

    Oh, come on. I'm a student at Andrews School right now, about half-way through my MT course. I went in knowing that jobs are getting harder to get in this field, no one at the school tried to tell me otherwise when I spoke with them before registering. I'd done my research and I even have a bit of experience in the field, having spent a few months subbing work for a friend of mine who has been in the field for 30+ years. Of course she oversaw me carefully but she said I did surprisingly well. I have other transcription experience, worked for the studios doing TV/Movie transcription for about 6 years.
    Here's the skinny... Andrews IS tough on their grading. And I have no room to complain since I've been graded fairly all the way so far. Andrews offers remedial work for those students who have hit a problem and need it. I haven't needed it (yet), but those who have post that it has really helped them a lot. I chose Andrews because I talked to people who hire transcriptionists and they all told me that they'd give me a chance to test IF I graduated with a good grade from Andrews. That is the key... I HAVE to work from home, I'm disabled and have no choice. That I will have to take a lower salary in order to work at all is a problem I will have to deal with but Andrews School is giving me a chance to at least make a survival wage, which I can't do right now. I did start out fully aware of the situation and when I broached it with Linda Andrews she was very up front about it. This really does sound like sour grapes. No school worth its salt is going to pamper students at the adult level, not if they care about the students doing well when they graduate. This IS hard work, it's not easier once you are a working transcriptionist. Deadlines, ESL, and hard work is what is in store after you finish this work...that's just the way it is. If you want to do well you need to get the best education you can afford and that leaves you with a choice of two schools.. one of those is Andrews.

    0 Votes
  • Vi
    viola333 Mar 05, 2011

    Just popped by here for the first time in a VERY long time. If anyone's still reading...

    ECMT: You don't have to "agree" that people can graduate Andrews and not know what they're doing. I am telling you for a FACT that I know several of them personally - the one I mentioned who simply couldn't get through a short report without asking 50 questions, another who is obviously very intelligent who graduated without, by her own description, the basic computer/word processing knowledge she needed, and another who never made production requirements at a major MT company but who now runs a successful GT business..

    Re typing speed:

    They require 45 WPM. I was told repeatedly that typing speed was NOT a big factor, and the only resource I was ever aware of they provided was a recommendation for a typing book. Yes, for real.

    Hope the folks who checked this out and are considering other options have found them. Good luck to you all.

    viola33

    -1 Votes
  • Vi
    viola333 Mar 05, 2011

    ECMT:

    You don't have to "agree" that people can graduate from Andrews without knowing what they're doing. That doesn't change the fact that I personally know several. One is described above; another, by her own description, graduated with a high average without knowing anything about word processing/computer tech to work; and another never made production requirements at a major MT company but is now running a successful GT business.

    Re typing speed: They require 45 wpm to start. They now say on their website that you will have to have "excellent keyboarding skills" to make money, but this was NOT emphasized when I wen there; and the only resource I ever found there was a recommendation for a typing book. Yes, really.

    Hope everyone who was here looking for a viable home-based work opportunity found something.

    viola

    -1 Votes
  • Vi
    viola333 Mar 05, 2011

    Sorry for duplicate. It didn't show up immediately.

    -1 Votes
  • Fu
    Future Newbie Apr 13, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I'm looking into Andrews now. With Andrews being one of a choice of two schools to get the best education, what is the other one?

    1 Votes
  • Ag
    AgathaKristie Apr 27, 2011

    I think "scam" is an unfortunate word choice. However, I agree with the rest of the original posting, and I think that viola33 is right on the money. I graduated from Andrews just about 4 years ago. It took me several months to find a job, but I did find one in acute care because I did have the "Andrews" certificate of completion. So, in that regard, Andrews did help me attain that goal.

    During my training, I was one of the students mandated to go through the "remedial" training. However, I believe that I had to go through the remedial training because I questioned the validity of the training curriculum. I used to write courses and curriculum for a living until I became physically disable, and I questioned why they would test a student on something that was not covered in training. Whether you got the point correct or not was basically a crap shoot. Keep in mind, however, that you have to get the point correct in order to pass the course. Also keep in mind that passing the course is not necessarily based on your performance. One person, and one person alone, decides at the very end of your training as to who gets the certificate of completion and who does not. There have been people who have "passed" the course who clearly should not have. They even had one student pass the course who still does not know how to type and never did know how to type to begin with. So, typing skills are not necessarily a requisite with Andrews.

    Also, their so-called remedial training basically consisted of busy work, in my opinion, and the topics assigned were ones that I've never had problems with. Andrews touts that their remedial training is tailored to the student. However, I firmly believe this is an outright lie. Rather, I suspect that whether remedial training gets assigned could possibly depend a lot on the quantity of students due to start the next module level. I suspect that if there is a backlog of students in the next module, remedial training just may be arbitrarily assigned just to stem the flow of the students who are moving up. I also know that I was not the only one singled out for remedial training because of questioning the validity and/or quality of the training and/or voicing complaints.

    As for me, I did learn a great deal from the remedial training. I learned never to question Andrews. I learned never to suggest improvements, and I learned to keep my mouth shut, lest I get forced through another round of so-called remedial training and weeks of busy work for naught.

    Additionally, I found out from other students that they had been contacted by Andrews, grilling them as to whether or not they ever had contact with me. With the witch-type hunt, I realized that I had made a big mistake by choosing Andrews for my education. I received a decent education, though. However, keep in mind that it is all basically self-taught. There are no classes. Networking with other students is highly frowned upon.

    Future newbie:
    The other school is M-TEC. http://www.mtecinc.com/
    Andrews website. http://www.andrewsschool.com/
    Compare the quality of the websites. I think this basically reflects the differences between the two schools. Also, notice how M-TEC has an open forum available for anyone, including you, to read or post to; also note how there is freely posted negative issues allowed. Andrews keeps their forums closed for a good reason; anything even remotely negative gets pulled and maybe even a phone call {{{shiver}}} from Linda Andrews herself with ominous, thinly veiled threats about how quickly you can be expelled.

    As for pay so far...the first year I worked as an IC, I made a whopping $9000 or so. My second year I made $14, 000. I am basically housebound and really have no other employment options available. If I could, I would gladly work for Arbys, McDonalds, or even Wal-Mart because then at least I'd get a minimum wage. As it is now, I basically have to work every day for 10 or so hours a day just to come close to the minimum requirements, and I do not come anywhere even close to minimum wage at all.

    Would I recommend MT work to someone? Well, that depends on what you can do or can't do and how much money you want/need to make. If you are physically able, try for a job elsewhere; you will make a lot more money with a lot less stress involved. If you are physically disabled, housebound, and have no other options, then maybe MT work can bring in enough money to make your life a little easier and a little more pleasant.

    Would I recommend Andrews? No.

    1 Votes
  • Ea
    eagertolearn May 04, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    So which is a better school : Mtec or Andrews?

    -1 Votes
  • Vi
    viola333 May 24, 2011

    eager, I have never attended M-Tec, and you will find very few people who have attended both in order to compare. However, having learned things like what are shared by Agatha above and comparing curricula now knowing what is needed to get into the field, if I were going to do it over again (and I wouldn't), I would go to M-Tec.

    0 Votes
  • Ea
    eagertolearn May 25, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I am a student of Andrews and am not afraid of hard work. If they are tough with the grading system that is because they are getting you ready for the real world of MT which includes QA. I want to go through a school that will rigorously train me so that I will be as competent as an experienced MT.
    Also I think it is very bizarre that someone that doesn't know how to type is trying to enter the MT field. Typing is half the job and the other half is being extremely accurate with the patient's medical information.
    I know that when I finish school I will be paid at a low wage, but as I get better at the job by speed and increased production that I will be making good money.
    As I said before, I am not afraid of hard work, and those people ### and crying because of the teaching techniques of Andrews obviously do not belong in the MT field at all.
    You have to love to type and want to do your very best at your job and to be as accurate as possible for the patient's sake.

    2 Votes
  • Ji
    jibberishname May 27, 2011

    Andrews School does some things well and a lot of things wrong. The work is difficult and the coarse is not well designed, although many good skills are taught. As I went through the course from 2006 to 2008, wages dropped from .11 an hour to .06 a a line. I was worried about making a living wage in the field and worried about continuing the course, but I perservered after hearing repeatedly from Andrews that the people who did not make it as MTs were negative thinkers, complainers, slackers, or the problem was that they were trying to watch their children while working or that their fingernails were too long. I graduated in 2008, searched for a job for 5 months, and worked for 9 months in the industry. I had none of the above-mentioned issues but was not able to even break even as an MT. After purchasing a computer, software, internet access, and tech support, I actually lost money as an independent contractor. I may not have been cut out to be a highly paid medical transcriptionist, but I believe the hard work I put in should have resulted in at least $10 to $15 dollars an hour income. Sadly, all but two of the dozens of people I graduated with from Andrews have also left the industry. Of the two who stayed, one is disabled and must work from home while staying under a certain income level to continue receiving disability, and the other lives in a remote part of Alaska and has no other job opportunities. I greatly regret spending the money and time to take the course at Andrews School. I now have another job in an unrelated field where I am paid a straight hourly wage to work at home, and I was trained on the job. Work-at-home jobs are difficult to find, but not impossible, and paying to take a course in medical transcription is a waste of money.

    -2 Votes
  • Vi
    viola333 Jul 09, 2011

    Eager, if you are an Andrews student, why were you asking for recommendations?? Then you come back and tell the people who answered your question they are "###."

    You're welcome.

    0 Votes
  • Vi
    viola333 Jul 09, 2011

    Apparently copy and paste doesn't work here.

    Eager, if you are an Andrews student, why were you asking for recommendations?? Then you come back and tell the people who answered your question they are "###."

    You're welcome.

    -1 Votes
  • To
    ToniZ Nov 17, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Anyone go to Andrews for the Coding course? I have been a transcriptionist for almost 11 years now and the company that I work for is going to voice recognition. Transcription is a dying field and I think it is time to move on. Coding seems like the next step for me.

    I see a lot of people complaining about the $3800 that Andrews is asking for. Well I just came from a small college that wants to charge me $20, 000 for a 9-12 month course! Talk about getting into debt!!! So I am looking for a cheaper alternative, but yes, of course, needs to be a GOOD online school. No one wants to throw their mone away. So, any comments on the coding part of Andrews? Or maybe another good online school for coding? Thanks!

    -1 Votes
  • Km
    kmetoo Jun 25, 2020

    @ToniZ The coding course is great. I wouldn't know about the MT side of things through them, but a lot of what people mention hear does not sound like the fault of the school. When I was deciding between MT and medical coding, they were honest with me about how the MT field was going. They did not mislead me or try to push anything on me.

    1 Votes
  • Ea
    eagertolearn Nov 17, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Yea, why don't you try Penn Foster for a cheaper online school. I went there for Medical Transcription Course, and when I finished I did not feel like I learned enough to be a successful MT. So I (like an idiot) enrolled in their Advanced MT course and received the same education, which was subpar. The tapes are auditioned by actors and not real physicians. I am currently enrolled in Andrews School for MT and am loving it because, although it is very hard and frustrating many times, there is a reason for that and that is because they are grooming you for the real market out there. That would include the QA people to be specific. I truly believe that there were numerous holes in my Penn Foster education, and knew that I would not make it in the real world. I know that as hard as they are on me right now in my coursework I know that I am being molded and will have marketable skills in this field when I graduate. This field is not dying. Stay away from the forums that are all negative toward this occupation. Where there are sick people, there will be doctors who will need us to put out their reports. Besides my doctor told me that he really doesn't like the voice recognition and prefers the standard transcription. If you want the best MT education that money can buy, Andrews School is the place...in fact it is a bargain and an investment in your future.

    1 Votes
  • Mt
    MTMama Dec 09, 2011

    While I wouldn't label Andrews a scam, I do not recommend it as a program. Every single correspondence you have with them will be trite and short tempered. They are rude via email and treat their students like they are idiots. If you read the tone in the educational postings via their student forum, they really do talk down to students. I wish I could repost some here as examples.

    Also, they can't handle critical feedback and will blacklist you if you argue. I can't help but wonder if this is why I was getting mostly A's and still got assigned remedial work.

    I seriously regret not attending one of the cheaper options. AVOID this school if you can.

    0 Votes
  • Pj
    PJ3 Jan 05, 2012

    I graduated from Andrews almost 6 years ago and found a job at a hospital part time. When my husband's work slowed down, I added work through a small company part time to supplement. Working on production with them, I would average about double an hour that I would make through the hospital. We did go to voice recognition and now I work full time with the hospital, straight hourly, with benefits, i.e. vacation, sick pay and insurance. The benefits combined with the advantage of not having to pay daycare and no commute, plus being able to write off part of my electricity and gas, as well as all of my internet has to be weighed with the pay. If I were to pay daycare for 3 kids, that would take a lot away from what I make. It is tough when you first graduate to find a job because most people want experience, but usually that is the case with any field you go into. I know someone who graduated with a Bachelor's from a State college and it took her 5 years to find a job in her field.

    1 Votes
  • Me
    Melinda K Feb 17, 2012

    I agree that the wages are bad, but that's not the fault of the school, it's the fault of the owners of MT companies who won't pay for the knowledge their transcriptionists have. I worked at home for a local hospital and made about $17/hr. That was with experience and working nights (shift differential). Nobody in this economy is going to walk into a job making 40k a year. With transcription, you get what you put into it.

    As far as working from home with a baby doing medical transcription - forget it. Most of the time you still have to adhere to a schedule and you have to meet a daily quota for the number of lines you type - even if you're paid hourly. You're doing a job, just like working in an office, you have to have the self-discipline to work and not yak on the phone, play on the computer, or take care of your kids. That's reality

    0 Votes
  • Em
    emeraldsarah Mar 10, 2012

    I graduated from Andrews in November 2008, and while I didn't land a job until the following April, I was hired by the employer at the top of my list. I was making $8/hour by the end of my first month and receiving better feedback than other new hires (from CareerStep - their grammar and punctuation are almost always atrocious). The grading scale is difficult at Andrews because it's the same "grading scale" an MT has to face on the job. I am expected to maintain 99% accuracy while meeting my minimum line requirements. Thanks to my training, I'm up for the task.

    As for typing - Andrews makes it perfectly clear that they do not offer any training in typing and that typing skills are a prerequisite. If someone with poor typing skills passes the entrance exam and then decides to take the course, they are knowingly going against the recommendations of the school It is not the fault of the school if that person cannot meet their line requirements and earn a decent paycheck.

    Having said all of that, I do agree with previous commenters that Andrews offers no technical training. If your intention is to seek employment status with an MTSO, I believe the training at Andrews to be perfectly fine. However, if you want to be an IC, you will have to learn the ins and outs of MT technology all by yourself.

    What I think are reasonable expectations if you are interested in entering this field:
    +A pay rate that is low but still above minimum wage.
    +Employment status means you have a set schedule - you do not make your own schedule unless you are a *completely* independent contractor. I work the same schedule every week and get a 30-minute lunch and two 15-minute breaks. Expecting to work during the kids' naps or after they go to bed or whenever you just plain feel like it is not reality.
    +You will not be bouncing your baby on your knee while you transcribe. It's just not possible.
    Transcription requires your complete and undivided attention. Well, it does if you want to make any money and actually keep a job.
    +You can, however, put dirty laundry in your washing machine during one of your 15-minute breaks. I love doing that!
    +There's an excellent chance you will have to settle for a schedule you hate.

    0 Votes
  • 1s
    1Schipperke Apr 05, 2012

    Anyone who is looking to enter the MT field needs to research thoroughly. I did, and still chose Andrews School although the option of M-Tec didn't look like a bad choice either. No one at Andrews misled me about what to expect. What they DID do was support me when I hit that brick wall when you begin to think "I just can't do this!!!". Linda Andrews was on the telephone within hours, and had me reassured and back to the keyboard right away! The best schools will be there for you... and when you graduate you'll have to join the queue, just as I have. The jobs are out there. The pay, at first, is small but this isn't a job where you are going to get rich without working for it. This posting sounds like that's what someone expected, and that is sad. I'm a newbie myself and not at all sorry I chose Andrews. I'm not saying it is the only good school out there but there are 3 or 4 that top the list and are pretty much equal in terms of what they offer. I can't speak for the support system at any other school but at Andrews it was there for me. I can't think of anything that says more.

    1 Votes
  • Qu
    Quisquillosa Apr 19, 2012

    I had the EXACT same experience of loooooog hours producing perfect lines, not even averaging minimum wage for several months. I drained my already meager savings account, after NOT working during school, and max'd out credit cards trying to stay alive. It is absolutely darned-near impossible to live independently as a self-sufficience bill-paying responsible citzen while trying to start work as an MT unless you work for a hospital where a guaranteed wage is, well, guaranteed while IT people deal with the IT messes and you can help out with the filing until the power outages are fixed. STARVATION wages persist even after you've been doing it awhile, because this company buys that company who don't have quite the reputation and lose some of their accounts... it just goes on and on and on. Meanwhile, you end up working so ($^@*^(@$ hours trying to pay last week's bills you don't have a spare hour or brain synapse left to hunt for a new (real) job in the community. I feel absolutely enslaved in this industry now!

    0 Votes
  • Be
    Beth Davenport May 21, 2012

    As a disabled student of the Andrews School of Medical Transcription, I was refused accommodation for my handicap by Linda Andrews. In addition, I was threatened with expulsion when I queried about accommodation.

    I suffer from chronic fatigue. I requested flexibility on the deadlines for assignments. I am aware that meeting deadlines is an essential for many employers. But there are also hospitals and medical offices that need older records of patient histories transcribed in order to make them accessible electronically.

    I contacted the agency for licenses and monitors private schools for the State of Oklahoma. Apparently it is staffed by one person. I called him to discuss filing a complaint against the Andrews School and Linda Andrews for discrimination. Before I had a chance to describe my situation, he went into a discourse about how well he knew Ms. Andrews and what a wonderful educator and person she was. I decided to look elsewhere for information about filing a complaint.

    Next I googled "oklahoma board of private vocational schools". Guess what I learned. Linda Andrews sits on the board of directors! How very convenient.

    I put aside my complaint efforts in order to complete my education at Andrews. I accomplished this with the Sword of Damocles hanging over my head and continuing warnings and threats from Linda about expelling me with no appeal or possibility of re-enrolling.

    -1 Votes

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