Saturday, December 11, 2010


Yes, we have shifted to a larger center, and one that is even more centrally located in Coimbatore.
The new address is:

HOTEL SRI LAKSHMI Building (First Floor)
PN Palayam

There are now over 50 bus routes that stop literally at our doorstep.

To celebrate our new location and to share our wealth of useful knowledge, we are organizing free seminars on Sunday afternoons at 3 p.m. at our new premises.

The current series of topics center round career building: "CAREERS IN BPO AND MT"

We will be talking about the pros and cons, the choices on offer, and how to make the most efficient use of these opportunities for a primary career or for an 'extras income' support job...
How to establish your online persona, how to speak and communicate better, how to prepare for interviews, and, and, and...

To book your seat call(0422) 427 5901
or 98659 99751

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


To tell the truth, mastering English is really not that difficult. It is, if you think it is, but if you view it not as an insurmountable problem but as something that any human can do with a little application, and do quite naturally, then you will find that mastering English can become a lifetime first love.

We are all human beings. We communicate with each other through language. We 'learn' our languages as very young children mostly by observing others speak and correlating what we hear with their actions, facial expressions, body language... We do all of this without even thinking about it much. In other words, learning languages - any human language - actually is a natural human activity. It's no big deal!

We make a big deal out of the whole enterprise (of learning a new language, or increasing our mastery over one that we do use) by becoming "course oriented" i.e. 'take the 3-month crash course', or 'buy the best selling self-help book on the subject'. I wouldn't say that these approaches are wrong, but I do think they are unnecessary. Instead, the Phoenix approach is to ask the student whose English is not up to snuff (most of those who have been schooled with English as a second language and even many of those who actually think that English is their 'mother' tongue) to immerse themselves in American English. I encourage them to buy a good second hand American dictionary (Merriam Webster is a good choice). Then, they have to daily read an English newspaper (TOI, The Hindu, Deccan Herald...) from cover to cover. In addition I start them off with appropriate story books, mostly from my own library. The dictionary is to be kept handy and to be used to look up each new word that is encountered. In class they have to speak in English and this is then soon extended as a general thing to do with friends too. With their friends, I encourage them to play Scrabble and to take on simple crosswords, with the additional challenge of using each selected word in a complete sentence. Finally, the student is required to watch only American programs on TV.

Within a couple of months, and without realizing how much they have improved, we find the student tackling quite difficult medical phraseology (even in the HPI) that would have had them in despair a few weeks earlier. The rest of the fine-tuning of language skill takes place in class and with their edited files open for comparison. Here, the instructor should be able to pick up the remaining faults and weaknesses and systematically set them right.

It really is not then a big deal at all. Just as the three-year-old effortlessly picks up quite complex grammar and handles the built-in illogic of the language, so too can you, if you will just consistently and conscientiously start working on mastering American English.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Being a good medical transcriptionist is not just a matter of completing a training course and then putting your nose to the grindstone. It actually can be a lifelong process of learning.

Learning more and more about medicine itself is a thrilling process, and many of us can also see the obvious utility of keeping ourselves updated.

Wheras, language is often a huge blind spot. We take it so much for granted. If we do rarely happen to think about it, it's never in the context of needing to improve our command of English. What we do see instead, is a seat-of-the-pants approach towards our language. "My language skill seems to be adequate; I can mostly make sense of my dictations..." and there the story tends to end.

How rather unfortunate! Failing to gain mastery over English can be the one thing that is holding you back as you try to go from being a routine MT, to a really good one - one who will be able to go on to become an editor, or even a QA, a team leader, and so on.

An average command of English will leave you, at best, as an average MT!

We'll follow up shortly with some interesting ways to fall in love with, and then to keep improving our mastery of, the English language

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I'm frequently told that the MT industry is stuck between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand there is the demand for accuracy and stringent quality assurance, while on the other is the ubiquitous pressure of the TAT (turn around time). Clients seem to always be pushing us to deliver the files sooner and/or trending towards increasing the proportion of the workload that comes in with 'ASAP' or even 'STAT' tags.

I tell my clients that if they want a job done 'stat' i.e. within 4 hours, then they will pay me a double time bonus on those lines. ASAP files (delivery in 12 hours) will cost them time and a half. Automatically, the number of stats drops. There was a time when we used to not charge extra for the urgent work. But in those days, the proportion of such work was only 1.5% of the total.

Clients will sometimes openly tell us that they are facing competition from other companies who tout a maximum TAT of only 12 or even 8 hours. I always advise these clients to give such 'competitors' a try. Needless to say we have never lost a client yet.

The secret is simple - QUALITY. Quality requires skill, good organization, and time to properly do all three levels of processing. Quality can not be maintained if one is in a rush to deliver. You need to have good MTs in sufficient numbers, Editors who are delivering blanks-only uploadable quality (>99.5%) and and QAs to run the final checks, see that the templates are followed, and bust those last few blanks/doubts. We deliver excellent quality by fully utilizing our 24 hour TAT, and our clients are very happy with our work!

As we keep raising our quality standards, our workload will automatically increase... How I wish that were true of the industry at large!

Deliver quality in a reasonable timeframe and you will get the good clients, those who pay well and pay on time, AND who will value the work that you do for them.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


There's nothing quite like having a good, secure, job when times are tough all around. MT is like that. There are no rainy days!

We, at Phoenix, are approached daily by folks who are worried about their futures.

Well, with a thorough grounding in MT, your worries are over.

In fact, health and healthcare are basic necessities the world over, so there's never any shortage of jobs to be had if you know MT.

A good grounding such as we provide, with some cooperation from you, will allow you to effortlessly get through your interview for an MT job in any good company.

For those who need hands-on production experience to get their first Home-Based MT job, Phoenix provides production training and referrals.

The skill that you need is not difficult to attain in our customized 20 week (part time) training schedule.

Phoenix gives you 150 hours of theory training and an EQUAL amount of time hands-on at an individual workstation. We teach, and you learn, at a comfortable pace.

In fact we even have a unique and custom designed training for people with certain handicaps. MT can be done effectively with just one functional hand.

MT can be learned by the sight impaired or even by totally blind persons... like the girl on the left.

All the special software needed for blind training is available at Phoenix as is the skill to train...

MT can be done anywhere, even while surfing if you're so inclined.

Medical Transcription is challenging and if you really get into it MT is a fascinating field with lots of space to grow.

The rewards are good pay, excellent job satisfaction, and very good job security - even in hard times.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Preparing for your CAREER

IF you are now in college, or just finished with college or high school, and are trying to figure out how to get yourself into a career, then here are some suggestions from Phoenix to help you make sense of the foggy working world. We here offer folks like you an interesting smorgasbord of ideas:

1. Do you have a shortlist? If not, sit and make one now. List out the jobs or careers that most interest you in order of interest. For the time being just make a simple list and we will come back to this later.

2. Assess yourself. Do you know what your own strengths, weaknesses, skills, likes, and dislikes are? If so then this is your second list.

3. If you are already working or have worked in the past, note down your thoughts about those jobs. What did you like. What didn't you like? What did you enjoy most about the work?

4. There are specific and general skills that are needed to launch yourself into a career. Specific skills include things like qualifications, training and experience. Go back to the first shortlist (1) and next to each job/career note down what specific skills are needed to get into that type of work.

5. General skills would be a common need for almost any type of job. Here we can think of communication ability, concentration, general knowledge, a basic grasp of common software such as word processors, skills with search engines and other net stuff with some knowledge of html and the basics of websites and doing business on the web.

A good command of language is always helpful, along with etiquette and manners,
business communication,
preparing your resume,
telephone skills, &
understanding and using body language,

and then there's a whole ocean of little and big stuff here that can help you to be a success. Stuff like

Interviewing skills
How to perform well in group discussions and
Gaining self confidence...

Phoenix does offer a short course that covers all these basic but very necessary things.
If you are in doubt, get in touch with us - the counseling is free - the course itself is not.

7. Finally, cast an eye to the future. Can you see how each of the careers in your shortlist are going to play out? How does each one of those provide room for growth and development. Are they careers that are likely to be stable even in economically difficult times?

Mentoring is very valuable at this critical stage of your life, so don't make the mistake of joining one of those crowded famous courses for career preparation. Look for a sensibly designed course that is taught both with good knowledge and that offers real personal development - development that will make the most of who YOU really are.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Home Based? The Truth

Wanna ba a home-based transcriptionist? It's easy, or so they say! We do see a lot of ads these days touting some 3 month training scheme or the other and promising quick training e.g. to turn housewives into HB transriptionists.

The truth is that it is rarely that simple. Home based (HB) jobs are available in plenty for the right candidates, but to convince any decent company that you deserve that job means that first of all you should be better trained than your run-of-the-mill fresher. Now that's because the HB candidate has to be able to work alone. The big advantage of working on a production floor is that one has colleagues to lean on. Working at home however, you are strictly on your own. Whatever be the doubt, you will have to sort it out on your lonesome ownsome - whether it's a question of formatting, or busting a blank, or a tricky accent, or equipment trouble... your training should have grounded you well enough that you are able to finish the job comfortably.

Not that it is impossible to properly train folks for home based careers, but it is not by any means the same as going through a 'standard course' in MT. We have found that to train good HB MTs, special care and attention have to be given to inculcating independence. It is very important to initially correctly judge whether a particular individual is capable of making it on their own and if they are not, then they should be counseled that doing HB MT may not be their cup of tea. Another secret of our success with HB training here at Phoenix is that we do not leave our trainees to fend for themselves once the training period is over. Our support and mentorship (and on-line IM presence) is available for as long as it may really be needed.

Any effective MT training will require that the sessions in lab should be at least 3 hours long (preferably longer). Here itself one finds that many so-called MT training companies are doing what is effectively a scam job by telling people that they can get by with just an hour or two of training three or four times a week. Then comes the issue of total hands-on training time. My estimate is that for any MT at least 150 hours of hands-on work with actual dictation files during the training period is the absolute minimum. At Phoenix, for those who wish to be HB, we insist on at least 170 hours of actual transcription time!

Then comes the vexing question of experience. Most 'mainline' MT companies will not give HB jobs to freshers. There are a few companies that may accept as little as 6 months experience but your performance on the entrance exam will have had to have been exceptional to get this sort of a concession.

Phoenix counsels would-be HB trainees that they should count on doing at least six months to a year of production floor work before they can expect to get a good HB job. Of course there are many small companies that are not that picky but then working for these 'small locals' can be self-defeating as many bigger companies take this sort of 'experience' with a good pinch of salt.

And then there's the question of your set-up at home. The expense of starting and maintaining your own home office is by no means small. You should have a good and reliable computer. Then a solid UPS and with power back-up for at least 4 hours. Primarily you need to install a good broadband connection (that's at least 512 kbps bandwidth) and if possible back that up with a decent dialup or another cable at around 256 kbps. The OS, software, firewall, and other necessities will be as specified by your company. Remember that now that you are on your own, you absolutely must have at least two good antivirus scanners and a couple more that pick up specifically on spyware, adware, trojans, and worms. Being online these days can be dangerous... Finally there's that little matter of HIPAA compliance. Any decent MT company will require you to sign confidentiality agreements - and you had better stick to them. If you haven't been trained in these niceties, as well as having been given a solid grounding in how to effectively utilize your SEs, then you are not going to get very far in your HB career!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Basic MT Exercises - PHARMA (I)

One of the toughest things to learn in MT is the drugs. When the doc gets to the MEDICATIONS: heading, and then zips through this at maximum speed, a lot of MTs and even some editors, feel a thrill of fear. My guess is that the meds section of a dictation probably causes more blanks and heartaches than any other. A simple solution is to lay a strong foundation during the training period. At Phoenix we like to start with a simple net exercise. Here's a list of the current top 100 prescription meds:
Now get the students cracking to google these one at a time noting the use of the med, it's typical prescription info, and if possible figure out how it sounds. If necessary let them ask for help from someone with experience.
Doing a few from our list each day will soon plant the basic ideas about meds in the students' minds and help them to get used to searching out med info on the net. At the same time it's very important to coordinate this exercise with the sorts of files that are being worked on at that time...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Outside our new training center recently set up at Gandhipudur we mounted a spanking new board announcing our advent. The response was gratifying and also quite surprising.

A very large number of the walk-ins were job hunting. They had completed some sort of training in MT and were now desperately searching for the promised jobs. A lesser number had some work experience but were unhappy with either their current pay or working conditions and wanted very badly to switch.

Our own placement wing has always been very active and it is no exaggeration to say that our Phoenix trainees have never long been without jobs. The fact is that the job market for MTs is actually excellent, and hence our surprise. But the surprise turned to dismay as we found that on testing, most of those who have supposedly completed training in MT (from various other places) and a majority of those who claimed some work experience were actually quite incompetent as transcriptionists both in theory and in practice!

The job market really is very good for those who can demonstrate their competence. When we refer our trainees to standard companies for placement and they do well in the screening tests that each company utilizes, getting a job and at a decent starting pay is always the next step.

Of course, it is our job at Phoenix to know who is hiring and what their requirements are and we can then send the right people there for selection. I do think that it is incumbent upon any decent training center to:
1. Provide a solid foundation in both theory and practical work that will enable a candidate to pass a good screening test setup.
2. To give the trainees and potential trainees an honest picture of what skills they need to develop and their actual prospects for getting a job.
3. To prepare the trainees not just to pass but to be able to do enough in the way of productivity to earn themselves an initial livable wage while also satisfying the hiring company that they have indeed selected a productive employee.

At Phoenix, our tailorable and mentor based training philosophy means that not all candidates will get exactly the same training. Some folks whose comprehension skills require more work to really develop competence should be provided with that extra time and effort. Others will find the language of medicine more difficult to cope with while others will struggle with their mastery of basic computer skills. All these individualities do need to be individually adjusted for. The result, at Phoenix, is that our trainees do well and land good jobs.

For those who have had some external training and who for some reason or the other are subsequently jobless, we do offer a comprehensive screening (it is NOT free) that can take two days and after analysis of the results we counsel. Very often these folks are found to have rather glaring lacunae (big gaps) in their theoretical or practical bases. Without undergoing a remedial program, such folks will never get themselves competent enough to land good jobs in standard companies.

Those who do wish to apply for jobs through our placement service may do so if they are first willing to be thoroughly evaluated at our own facility (at their own cost). If we find you to be competent, we will send you to a job interview with a company that is seeking your sort of skill set. Do feel free to send in your CV (resume/bio) as a Word attachment by email and marking the subject line "Placement - "your name" to Remember, a decent and specific covering letter always makes a good impression...

Saturday, June 14, 2008


The new Phoenix MT training center has been established at Gandhipudur, Coimbatore. Neatly set up to handle our small batches of max 10, the air-conditioned lab and separate classroom allow for undisturbed hands-on training.

As training schedules get established and batches fill up, we thought we would just outline briefly for our readers and potential students the bouquet of courses now available here. The initial offering concentrates on the foundational courses designed to effectively produce "industry ready" Medical Transcriptionists.

1. MT I Full Time: This course is your standard Medical Transcription training course, lasts 12 weeks, and demands 6 hours a day of lab/class time, 5 days a week (about 300 hrs).

2. MT I Part Time: As above but spread over 18 weeks for 3 hours a day. Morning and evening schedules are available.

3. CPC-MT: A course that covers all that you need to know for doing MT and spread over 37 weekends, designed primarily for college students and those who work weekdays but can spare their Saturdays and/or Sundays.

4. HT MT I: Especially for housewives, this course in MT skills is geared to home-based skill development, takes 18 weeks, and offers flexi-timings to suit those who have to send their kids off early in the mornings and then make it back home before the kids return from school.

Customized courses are offered for those with a demonstrable knowledge of medical terminology as well as options for more intensive language training for those weak in English comprehension or who have had English as a second language in their schooling. At this center, courses for upgrading to editor/QA level are in the offing.

The Phoenix entrance test helps us to assess the incoming student's existing language skill and it's FREE !

For details on these courses, for how to apply or for scheduling your entrance test, mail us at:
or call +91 9364289696 or land line +91 422 2591758.