A Guide to Medical Transcription Books and Resources

Medical transcriptions are medical language specialists. The bulk of the transcription work in this country is performed by home based professionals. As statutory or contract employees or subcontractors, it is generally up to the home based professional to develop and maintain their own library of professional industry resources. While there are a lot of options available, there are certain medical transcription books that should be considered mandatory for any home based MT professional.

A Basic home library should include at a minimum:

1. A Standard English language Dictionary – Try Webster’s.
2. A Comprehensive Medical Dictionary – Try Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary or Stedman’s Medical Dictionary
3. A Good Drug Reference Book – Try Stedman’s Quick Look Drug Book and/or American Drug Index by Facts and Comparisons
4. A Good Medical Abbreviations Book – Try Medical Abbreviations: 30000 Conveniences at the Expense of Communication and Safety by Neil M. Davis
5. A Good General Medical Word Book: Try Sloane’s Medical Word Book
6. A Solid Grammar and Style Guide – Try the Book of Style (AHDI), or the Chicago Book of Style.

In addition to general purpose resources most MT’s will rely time to time on specialty resources. Every medical specialty has its own peculiar terminology and vocabulary. Radiologists will use an entirely different set of terms to describe their findings compared to a internal medicine specialists, for example. Stedmans offers an entire library of medical word books. These books average $40 a piece and are continually being revised and updated. You would be advised to hold off on purchasing specific specialty word books until you have a need for them. If you are beginning a new transcription specialty account or expect to be assigned to a specialty work group then a good medical word book is not only invaluable, but should be considered essential. It will add immeasurably to your productivity as a transcriptionist.

Titles from the Stedmans library of Medical Word Books include:

- Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Words
- Dermatology & Immunology Words
- Emergency Medicine Words
- Medical & Surgical Equipment Words
- Neurology & Neurosurgery Words, 4th Edition
- OB-GYN & Pediatric Words, 5th Edition
- Endocrinology Words
- GI & GU Words
- Oncology Words
- Ophthalmology Words
- Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Words
- Orthopedic and Rehab Words
- Plastic Surgery, ENT, & Dentistry Words, 5th Edition
- Internal Medicine Words
- Radiology Words
- Surgery Words
- Organisms and Infectious Diseases Words
- Alternative and Complementary Medicine Words
- Psychiatric Words

As a medical transcription practitioner, you will be continually adding books and resources to your personal library over the years. Be aware that many books are available on CD and increasingly are available online. The ability to search electronically can add significantly to your transcription production.