Teaching Tips

HPI e-mails medical transcription teachers who subscribe about twice per month.  Our current column is called Teacher to Teacher, and is written by Ellen Drake, CMT. 

In addition, you may wish to sign up to receive back issues of our past columns Teaching Tips and Teaching Critical Thinking.  Just check the "Back Issues of teacher tips" choice on the subscribe form and these will be sent to you once per week.

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Teaching Tips includes suggestions for teachers on a wide variety of subjects.  Teaching Critical Thinking contains specific suggestions to help students develop the critical thinking skills they need for success on the job.  Each of those mailings contain announcements to teachers about upcoming products, changes in policies, and more.

Teaching Critical Thinking

A recurring complaint from employers who hire new MT graduates is that "they don't know what they don't know." "They don't know when to ask questions." Somehow students have gotten the idea that it's a bad idea to ask questions. They think they should know something, and they're embarrassed that they don't know. They're afraid if they ask a question, they'll look "dumb." Students should be reminded that the only dumb question is the one not asked. But learning when to ask questions and what questions to ask takes time and practice--for most people, it doesn't come naturally.

An important avenue to knowing what they don't know is learning to think critically, to use good reasoning to identify and solve problems, conflicts, discrepancies, and even to find that elusive term or interpret garbled dictation. Often, our curricula are designed with massive amounts of transcription through which we hope students will somehow make the necessary connections to their academic studies, seeing relationships and inconsistencies by osmosis. When a few students who've obviously learned to do this over the course of their education succeed, we interpret their success as our success. However, to ensure that all students succeed, critical thinking in medical transcription must be taught systematically and with perseverance. The tips on this page are provided in an effort to help you incorporate systematic teaching of critical thinking into your curriculum. Our ultimate goal is to have graduates who "know what they don't know," whose employers will praise them for knowing when to ask questions.

We would appreciate any feedback you may have on the tips offered here, and if you have a good tip you'd like to share, please let us know.

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