Why Medical Transcription Business Owners Should Join a Trade Association

After purchasing equipment, hiring medical transcriptionists, and obtaining clients, there is still one more important step in completing the process of starting up a brand new medical transcription service-locating and joining the appropriate trade association.Joining a trade association can be an incredibly valuable resource to a new business owner because it immediately connects him/her with other business professionals within the medical transcription industry in addition to providing a multitude of other benefits.Wealth of information-One of the greatest benefits medical transcription service owners (MTSOs) can gain from an industry specific trade organization is the opportunity to take advantage of education within the industry at a discounted price or in many cases for free. Most trade organizations have regional meetings and/or national annual conferences. During these meetings, members have the opportunity to rub elbows with industry executives in the exhibit hall, learn about the latest medical transcription industry developments from vendors and earn continuing education credits. Most importantly, conferences give the entrepreneur the unique opportunity to exchange challenges, solutions and opportunities with other business owners in similar situations. Paying membership dues often provides discounted admission, reduced hotel rates and in some cases, deals on flights. Also included with the price of membership is access to newsletters, e-newsletters, trade journals, industry guidebooks and online discussion forums, which offer immediate up-to-date industry information and business advice for free.Ability to speak up-A membership also comes with a voice. As an active member of a trade organization, MTSOs can help shape industry policies and regulations by voting on key issues. Furthermore, members are encouraged to join discussion groups, policy councils and local chapters to influence industry standards, vendor relations and have a say in annual conference details.Model behavior-Consumers and other industry professionals view members of trade organizations in a more positive light than their non-member counterparts. Those who belong to an industry-specific association are perceived as businesses that have a strict code of ethics, high standards and stay up-to-date with the latest industry tools. Most members tout their association membership by including the organization’s logo on their marketing materials to show their clients that they are serious about their business practices.Save money-Most trade organizations offer their members professional discounts on goods and services offered by vendor affiliates or programs presented by the association. Membership benefits can range from discounts on office equipment, shipping and trade show admissions to reduced insurance rates and price cuts on flights and hotels affiliated with the organization.Mingling capabilities-Membership directories, local chapter meetings, webinars, conference calls and annual trade shows are all great ways to gain new contacts within the medical transcription industry. Exchanging success stories or talking about specific business challenges among other medical transcription businesses keeps well-rounded and prepared when similar challenges arise in their own workplace.In order to cash in on all of the above mentioned benefits, there are different places an MTSO can go to find out more about medical transcription trade organizations. The Medical Transcription Industry Association (MTIA) www.mtia.com and the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), formerly the American Association of Medical Transcription (AAMT) www.ahdionline.org are two of the more familiar medical transcription trade associations. However, MT entrepreneurs might also check The Encyclopedia of Associations, published by The Gale Group or The American Society of Association Executives for additional organizations.

Finding and Being Found (Job Search)

Some people, when about to lose a job or just after finishing an assignment, think of themselves as “being available for reassignment” or “available”. This may work for rock stars, star athletes and other people, famous for their particular skills and expertise, but it really does not for the majority of workers. If it does work for you, stop reading.For the rest of us, job search really is about finding and being found. You have to do both. Waiting to be found is like being the average-looking high school good girl who is “available” but still doesn’t get asked to the dance because the average high school boy just didn’t ask.So how can you find the right next job and how can you be found? The first step is to know what skills and expertise you have and how to express those skills in the language of the people you want to know about them. The internet has given us the expression “keywords”. These are words and phrases used in your area of expertise that are searched for by recruiters, used in job postings, spoken by hiring managers when they ask HR to find someone and used over the cafeteria tables by the teams that work for them. They are specific and technical. They are rarely aspirational or even motivational. Do you know what your keywords are?You can find your keywords in your old resumes, your old performance reviews, your old profiles. A better place to find them is in the profiles of people with titles you want, job descriptions of jobs you want, on the websites of the companies you are most interested in and in conversation with the people in the companies you want.Some examples:

Actinobacteria

Bacillus

Bacteroides

DNA, Bacterial

Drug Discovery

Escherichia coli

Gastrointestinal Tract

Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial

Genes, Bacterial

Genome, Bacterial

Host-Pathogen Interactions

Metabolic Networks and Pathways

Molecular Sequence Data

Operon

Pseudomonas
Yes, it is very specific and won’t find you “Any job” (as in “I want a job, any job”). It will enable you to manage a career you really want. Remember that hiring managers don’t hire generically, they hire to solve a specific problem. Yes, they do want more than that, but to get in the door, you have to speak their language.How do you use these keywords to be found?Use them, in natural language and in lists, in your online profiles, your introductions, your resumes, your conversation, your posts and comments on LinkedIn Groups and G+ Communities and BioWebSpin Public postings and wherever people look at you. (Well, not on a sign around your neck at the grocery store!) Work them into your PAR statements and “dragon-slaying stories”. And make it sound natural, not like you just plunked them in randomly. You need to sound like you actually know what a “metabolic network” (or whatever your keyword is) is and why it is important.What doesn’t work:Using “fluff” words or overused desperate phrases like:

Highly qualified

Results focused

Effectual leader

Has talent for

Energetic

Confident

Professional

Successfully

Proactive
You need to show that you are these things using your keywords in PAR statements.Yesterday I received by US Post a well written letter on expensive paper from an experienced Executive Vice President of Operations for a medical group. He is looking for a job. I’m not sure he is finding one. Never mind that I don’t work in that particular part of the industry. I’m sure he hired someone to write the letter and send it for him. I can pick out the keywords, but it isn’t easy. I have no idea what his medical group specialized in (and medicine is very specialized). I know he is a Vet, I know his phone number. I can reach him only by US mail or by phone and no way to email him. His lovely letter went in the recycle bin. Do all recruiters do that? Probably. Some have “do not send a resume” notes on their websites, some take resumes but simply warehouse them until (if ever) they get a search. Some few will connect with him, but what is the ROI on his investment in hiring a writer and sending these willy-nilly.If I were in his specific part of the “healthcare” industry, I would look him up on LinkedIn. So for this article I did. Now that I have seen it, I’m a bit more interested. He has some background in my industry – Parexel, Pfizer and clinical trials operations. These did not appear in his letter. Most of the letter is rather desperate, focused on why he is looking or rather generic “There is no such animal as a perfect candidate for a healthcare senior executive position”. Yes, it does finally tell me what position he is interested in (CEO, COO of a medical group), but I’m a pretty straight forward person with no time to waste.I would be happier if he had used the content of his letter (or some portion of it) to invite me to LinkedIn with him. If he had, I would have accepted his invitation (as would most recruiters – but don’t have more than 10% of your LinkedIn connections be recruiters) and let him know that, while I’m glad to be connected, I don’t have anything on my desk at this moment that would suit him. I would have checked with him as soon as I did.I would have liked a LinkedIn invitation like this:Hi, Connie,Do you recruit COOs and CEOs for medical groups and companies doing clinical trials in X? I’d love to be connected with you if you do.I have X years managing teams and a record I’m proud of. Please take a look at my Profile here (link).Thanks for your time,NameOr if he had found me on LinkedIn, he could have invited me directly.Remember that we are all very busy. The harder you make it for someone to notice you, the harder you make it to be found.