*************************MT DAILY ROUNDS*****************************


GOPHER NEELANDS, kcn@yoda.fdt.net

My personal life more or less forced me into this career. When I was a teenager my parents hired a tutor to give me typing lessons so that I would be able to type my own papers in college. Those lessons are the only part of my expensive education that ever did me any good.

After a disagreement with my parents about civil rights when I was in college, I found myself on my own. I had to (horrors!) get a JOB. I was singularly naive about this. For years I typed for minimum wage, living on chicken necks and macaroni. Finally I was able to finish college on my own, working at various typing jobs whenever I wasn't in class. But in those glass-ceiling days, all a bachelor's degree qualified a woman to do was...type. I was back where I started.

When I finally married, my husband didn't want me to work. (Beware of this attitude--it sounds sweet, but it means slavery.) I spent 13 years working full-time on HIS career, running his company, making him a success. We did very well. But then he discovered cocaine, and before I could do anything, everything was gone--the house in the country, my computers, the horses, the cars. My son and I had nothing left but one car and a few dogs. (Try living in a car with three dogs! The sleeping arrangements are very entertaining, to say nothing of the nighttime baths taken with filling station hoses.) I sold my jewelry, bought a new computer, rented a shack, and started a business as a freelance desktop publisher and copy editor. Since I couldn't bear to charge more than $10 an hour, we had a few very lean years. My work was also limited by a back injury suffered at the hands of my ex, which still keeps me from working full-time. At that time I tried to break into MT, but was told that I had to have at least one year's experience in a hospital setting even to get an in-house job in a hospital. I talked to several different companies and was shot down by all of them. I'm sure a lot of you know how that is!

Stupidly, I tried marriage again, to a chemistry professor at the medical school. Within two years I was homeless again (I tend to choose abusers), only this time I was broke, unemployed, and undergoing radiation therapy for cancer. In desperation, I filled out applications at every major employer in town, one of them a hospital. Their MT department was desperate enough to hire inexperienced 80-cwpm typists and train them. The base pay was $2 an hour more than secretarial wages - $7.50 more ($13.50 an hour) at the top production level. I had no choice.

Because I had a bachelor's in psychology, had worked for doctors before, and had an editor's solid grounding in grammar and unctuation, medical terminology was not very daunting. (Three years of Latin certainly helped, as did my speed-typing trophies.) In fact, I had done enough research on my son's serious childhood health problems so that I was almost qualified for MT work even without experience.

Working in an office was awful. I have life-threatening chemical sensitivities, and there were people in the office (you in-house workers can understand this) who thought it was hilarious to spray Lysol or Glade around my desk while I was at lunch, just to watch me stop breathing when I came back and tried to work. Each of these incidents caused me to miss work for several days, and my unsympathetic boss threatened to put bad reports in my file for "absenteeism." So when the hospital signed up an MT firm to do most of their work, I jumped ship at once. I would be doing the same work for twice the money, and doing it at home.

Since my health isn't very good (I still haven't recovered from last year's surgery), I can't do eight straight hours of work the way I used to. My back hurts pretty much all the time, and most of my paycheck goes to the chiropractor. But I am so crazy about my job! What other career would allow this much freedom? I have my dogs with me all day; I can take time off whenever I want; I can work extra or work less, as I please. I have found that the other MTs I talk to by computer are the greatest bunch of people I know. I feel like a fortunate member of an exclusive club.

Over a year ago someone told me about MTDaily. Immediately I was no longer alone. At first I checked in maybe twice a week to use the Word Board, but then I discovered the Padded Cell and the Friendship Board, and pretty soon I was checking to see what my "friends" were doing every day before starting work. It has been one of my most valued resources, right up there with Stedman's. When life's emergencies brought me down (my surgery*, Nemi's death, Miriam's troubles) there were loving sisters on hand to buoy me up. Some of the best friends I have are people I have never even met!

Whenever I encounter a young office worker with good typing speed, I advise her to get her in-hospital experience NOW and go into MT, so that by the time her kids are born she can stay home with them. I wish I'd done it 30 years ago instead of wasting my time on college. This is one job in which age works for you, not against you, because the more experience you have, the more effective an MT you are. Most of our companies don't pay for health insurance or sick leave, so they don't care how old and decrepit we are, as long as we can transcribe.

I was 48 when I first got my in-hospital job. I was over 50 when I began working for a national company. It's never too late!

*Surgery one year ago: http://www.mtdaily.com/vent/messages/3067.html


1. There were 20 more job ads this week, many local positions:

2. Protecting your patient confidentiality as an MT. Should you use an alias? http://www.mtdaily.com/wwwboard/messages9/7829.html

3. MTs calling patients? Never!

4. Private message board for those who fight chronic depression. Write for info. Here's one good report:

5. Thanks to Stephanie Golden of MedQuist for her willingness to respond publicly to questions surrounding their standardizing this week. This affects 6,000 MTs. See http://www.mtdaily.com/wwwboard/index126.html for several threads.

6. The Motherboard had a recent lively discussion of the vaccination debate: http://www.mtdaily.com/mentors/mothers/messages/3866.html


1. Genomics Lexicon:
http://www.phrma.org/genomics/lexicon/index.2.html#a Did you know 4,000 diseases related to genes have been discovered since 1960? Causes can be discouraging until treatments are created, but the keys are in the causes. Geneticists hope to map all 100,000 human genes by 2005. Very promising research!

2. Here are the 33 antiangiogenesis drugs now in cancer trials:

3. New 4-hour detox with general anesthetic, then naltrexone:

4. There's an Email newsletter available when you register at http://www.drkoop.com, a promising website.

5. What is a chemical pregnancy anyway? I'm still not sure!


Did you know that 750 new chemicals have been created since 1960? Here are a handful of the most recent major drugs: Enbrel for Juvenile RA, Zadaxin for hepatitis B, Fragmin for unstable angina, Avandia for type II diabetes. Seehttp://www.pslgroup.com/NEWDRUGS.htm for a good list of newly approved drugs.


1. Does your company, department, church, or family have a private message board? Write if you'd like one free.

2. Stop by the Cancer Support Board and encourage the MTs who are bravely defying cancer, including our Taxlady from the Tax Board.

3. Do you transcribe 300+ lpm? Write Email for info on a possible project on MT Daily.

4. Coming 6/15: Interview with Tom Liu and Carole Ciraulo of FutureNet, three new digital systems including Personal Dictation & Transcription System for individual home MTs

. 5. If you find the chat room or prayer chat room empty, post a note on one of the boards that you're going to be there for a while, and post the time. There are over 400 people on the website per weekday hour, so you're likely to have company soon!


Circulation of the newsletter is now over 3,000. I'm available daily via Email and phone. Thanks to Your Office Genie (http://www.mtdaily.com/companies/messages/279.html )for their sponsorship of this newsletter. Thanks to Carole and Kay for participating on MT Daily!

Mary Morken
435-615-7158, Utah

*************************MT DAILY ROUNDS*****************************



I started at the Medical College of Virginia in 1956 in the file room. My mother was in transcription there and got me my first job. Then I was a transcription clerk in the division of dermatology, and then executive secretary for chief of physiology, Dr. Ian Bush, which included transcription and supervision. Then I traveled to Germany, Florida, and the Azores with my husband who was in the military. I worked in a legal office and in finance, and for a time put on a stage production.

Next we transferred to Travis AFB, California. I was a clerk in the medical library, a military personnel clerk, and did transcription in the David Grant Medical Center Aerospace Medicine for flight surgeons. I typed 100+ wpm. The medicine closet was in my office, so they brought the prescriptions to me and I filled them!

Then we were stationed at Homestead AFB, Florida, where I worked as a cook in the hospital mess hall and as a project manager for one of the government contractors. Back to Germany where I worked as a loan officer and sold Greek flokati rugs (see flokati.com if you're curious) at bazaars.

We retired to Florida and I did transcription again in a VA Medical Center. We typed 80-character lines with no key storage, no training for any of us on computers, and no macros. No one ever really learned how to use the computer or WP5.1. It was awful. We went to Windows but we were only shown how to get a blank screen, type, close and send. Anything we learned we figured out together and helped each other. I also did radiology transcription part time and diagnostic imaging reports. I retired from the VA in 11/97 and have been transcribing with MedQuist since then.

I get tired of sitting at the computer but I have a flexible schedule. I take breaks to work in my garden and play with the dogs on my 2+ acres. I have a pool, a stationary bike and a home gym set with weights. I don't do over 10 pounds because of arthritis and knee surgery. I cook very little now, but I used to make everything from scratch. I am always planting something.

My two acres is chain-linked and I am growing jasmine along the whole fence line. Smells wonderful in the early morning and late night, and after rain. I have pecan trees, apples, peaches, plums, figs, persimmons, palms, Azaleas, gardenias, and lovely lavender.

(Name withheld; write me if you'd like to contact her via Email)


1. There were 44 jobs ads this week: Omnimed is offering a sign-on bonus for supervisors in Midwest offices. Local jobs in Chicago, Phoenix, Long Island, Pennsylvania, Orange County, Florida, and India. AG*MTS is hiring in San Jose. Rodeer, MDI, Phoenix MedCom, Duval, Transcriptions Plus, Okanagan, and Fast Chart all have posts. Also new internship program looking for mentors, and other companies looking for editors and proofreaders. See http://www.mtdaily.com/jobs.html

2. New password support board for MTs in marriage crises. Write me for info.

3. New password support for MTs facing issues of adoption, both birth-mothers and adopted. Write me for info.

3. We're creating fine print for inspiration:

4. The Nightwatch Board may be new to some:


1. HPI has announced the popular SUM dictation practice tapes are now available on CD Rom. http://www.hpisum.com

2. Doctors' Guide Email Edition is an informative weekly email newsletter with medical news. Subscribe at http://www.pslgroup.com/visitors/dgemail.htm

3. Advance Magazine had 30 ads for MTs this week, mostly in local hospitals. Subscribe to this free biweekly paper publication at http://www.merion.com


1. LoCholest: cholestyramine. Here's the patent on this gritty powder:

2. Superaspirins such as Vioxx, Celebra, etc.:


1. Post good links you find on the Links Board:

2. If you're going to the AAMT Convention in August, contact others who are going athttp://www.mtdaily.com/surveys/aamt

3. Help new and old MTs with word questions anytime at http://www.mtdaily.com/board

4. Share your opinion about the danger of overpopulation at http://www.mtdaily.com/mentors/politics

5. Keep ignoring the harrassing notes from a group of non-MTs in The Padded Cell and on the Religion Board. "Don't feed the trolls!"

6. Kindness and encouragement are valued highly on MT Daily, like milk and honey. :)


Hope your MT Week was enjoyable. I'm available via Email and phone. Thanks also to Carole and Kay at Your Office Genie kpfister@pacbell.net, whose generous sponsorship has made this newsletter free for MTs.

Here's a good report on YOG I received via Email this week from Susan C. (robtal@gte.net) who gave me permission to quote her:

"I have only been at YOG since last December but I have been very happy there. I came to YOG from another national company and the move was definitely a move up. One thing that stands out about YOG as compared to the other nationals I have been with is that the MT does have recourse. I can speak with a living breathing human who has in the past and still does at times sit where I am sitting. I may not always like the answers I get but I get answers and I don't feel that I am dealing with a suit who only knows how to sell a product and only cares about the bottom line and in reality does not have a clue what medical transcription is all about. I am making good money again, for the first time in a long time."

Mary Morken
435-615-7158, Utah


To subscribe, go to http://www.mtdaily.com and look for the MT Daily Rounds button.


Subject: MT Daily Rounds, Friday, May 14, 1999

*************************MT DAILY ROUNDS*****************************





"T. Bear" is new to the online MT community but an old hand at MT:

I began gathering knowledge of and about physicians and hospitals when I was a kid. My mom was an RN in ICU and cardiac step-down units. I did not have much information in all that stuff until I was 23, had moved to Africa and was offered a job as the Executive Secretary to the Commander AKA "President" of a military hospital. The job was offered to me because my Mom was a registered nurse. Needless to say, I took the job and immediately began as an MT; the philosophy was that if I could do MT work, I could be an executive secretary. I did MT work part time for almost 40 years in Africa, Europe and the United States.

I then retired from the Federal Government and became a full-time MT at the local hospital. While I had the background, familiarity and superlative knowledge of medical terminology, I was truly not prepared for what being a full-time MT meant. It meant "listening" to folks who talk with their mouths full, sneeze, burp, cough and make all other manner of rude noises. It means backing up a hundred times because he/she just can't get it quite right. It means asking questions when you know that a patient who is on a ventilator can't possibly have respiration's of 40. It means knowing that the blood pressure, not the respirations, is 140/89.

After doing MT work full time in medical records, part time in radiology and cardiology at the same time and filling in for the emergency room, I felt I was ready for a change One of the doctors asked me if I would type his office work. I sure was reluctant but talked myself in to it. It is the best thing I ever did for me. I love working from my home and hope to do it full time in the not-too-distant future.

As it is, I am now working at the hospital part time in rdiopulmonary and part time at home. It gets to be quite hectic at times when they are both pulling. After all, 63 years is a little out there to hold down two almost-full-time jobs, but I love it and would not have it any other way.

If you are uncertain as to whether or not you want to be an MT, you must ask yourself these questions: How important is my social life? How important is eating regular meals? How important is it to stay in bed when you don't feel well? How important is it to become a translator when all you speak is English (American)? How dedicated are you going to be to putting forth a quality product for that healthcare facility/person who is willing to pay you for it?

Good luck and Godspeed if this is your new career.

T. Bear, mhdormish@esn.net


1. There were 33 job openings posted this week on the jobs board: http://www.mtdaily.com/jobs.html. These were from TSI (with new sign-on bonus), Rodeer, Healthscribe, Medware, Healthcare Midwest, MedQuist, CBay, Medigraphics, Rapid Transcript, Sten-Tel, Edix, Huntington, Alpha Word Systems, and Duval, as well as local jobs in California,Texas, Minnesota, Ohio, and Virginia. Supervisory and recruiting positions also.

2. MT Age group board:http://www.mtdaily.com/mtbyage

3. Questions for Physicians: A Board hosted by physicians:

4. Computer Questions Board: http://www.mtdaily.com/mentors/computers

5. Pep Rally Motivational Board:http://www.mtdaily.com/mentors/pep

6. Online Peer Review for courteous corrections:

7. Interview with Sten-Tel's Bill Simonet about this unique MT Franchise Company: http://www.mtdaily.com/mentors/leaders

8. News of the safe arrival of Staci's special needs baby on the Motherboard:

9. Key-Master Board for MTs learning Chad Francisco's system of 250,000 abbreviations: http://www.mtdaily.com/mentors/km


1. Three new MT websites on the list of over 50 at http://www.mtdaily.com/mtlist/webs.html Let us know of any we missed!

2. Are you ready? Excellent Y2K Information:

3. Two new home-study MT courses, now 23: Key-Masters learning with speed typing, http://www.wordsystemsunlimited.com; Transcription Services, http://www.transcriptionservices.net

3. Two inspiring articles at MTEC, http://www.mtecinc.com/articlemay.htm

"...[W]e celebrate you, the medical transcriptionist, the medical language specialist, the brain behind the machine, the person dedicated to providing the healthcare providers and their patients with the best." -Stella Olson

"We can go on treating each other as professionals, showing outsiders who we are by our mutual respect and assistance of each other, and our discussions. Together we can be stronger to deal with our common challenges. We can carry on with class beyond our classification and humility as deep as our self-respect, bearing the honor of faithfully helping doctors to care for patients, as secret understudies." -Mary


1. Xenical for weight loss:

2. Luxiq Foam for scalp: http://www.connetics.com/press/030299.html

3. Celebrex for OA and RA: http://pharminfo.com/drugfaq/celebrex_faq.html


1. Possible first flu pill, a neuraminidase inhibitor:

2. National Medical Transcription Week: Watch Main Board for greetings and free gifts from sponsors this week. Interview with Joe Vann on Monday, 17th, creator of MedPen and MedPad.

3. AAMT Convention coming August 5-8, costs about $600: Find other online MTs who are going at http://www.mtdaily.com/surveys/aamt

4. Coming Soon:http://www.mtjobs.com placement database.


Thanks to all for your participation on MT Daily! I'm open to your questions and suggestions, and am available via Email and phone. Thanks also to Carole and Kay at Your Office Genie, kpfister@pacbell.net, whose generous sponsorship has made this newsletter free for MTs.

Mary Morken
435-615-7158, Utah


Tell anyone interested in subscribing to go tohttp://www.mtdaily.com and click on the MTDaily Rounds Newsletter Icon. And if you have yet to fill out demographic info for your subscription, go to http://www.listbot.com/cgi-bin/subscriber to manage your free subscription.