Implementing The SUM Program in Your Classroom

The information on this page assumes you have already read  The Teacher’s Manual  and accompanying articles, as well as the Teacher FAQs. These resources combined include hundreds pages of recommendations for curriculum planning, course descriptions, outlines, learning objectives, reading assignments, transcription assignments, teaching techniques, and grading techniques, and much more.


Before you can implement The SUM Program for Medical Transcription Training, you will need to make decisions in these important areas:

1.  Length of your program: Do you envision a two-year program for an Associate's Degree?  A six-month program for a certificate?  Students who can devote 40 hours per week to class work, reading assignments, and transcription assignments can complete the entire SUM Program (beginning, intermediate, and advanced) in about 12 months.

2.  Your budget:  Do you have a fixed dollar amount available to launch your program?  Do you have a certain dollar amount in mind for your students to spend on books and materials?  Do you have limited money to hire teachers and graders?

3.  Your campus and students:  Do you anticipate local students coming to your campus to learn medical transcription?  Do you want to provide a transcription lab with computers where students can practice?  Do you want to offer a distance education program over the internet? 

4.  SUM Program CDs or SUM Program on Internet:  The answers to the above questions should help you determine whether it's best to implement The SUM Program on CD or on the Internet.  The Internet offering is more convenient and offers time-saving options for teachers, but costs a little bit more than the CDs.


Selecting SUM Program Materials

Consider the following when choosing SUM Program materials:

Dictation: Each student needs easy access to a complete Beginning Medical Transcription Unit, 2nd ed. (Many schools require all students to purchase their own $60 BMT2 CD, and encourage practice at home.) In the classroom, maximum benefit is achieved if all students transcribe the same dictation simultaneously. Faster students can devote more time to re-transcription, gaining valuable experience and speed. After completing the Beginning unit, students can transcribe the Surgery Transcription and Advanced Medical Transcription, 2nd ed. units.  Completion of the entire SUM Program is the best way to prepare students for hospital-caliber transcription.

The CD-ROMs contain the transcript answer keys, which may remain locked or unlocked for student use. If you allow, the students may compare their transcripts to the keys in a split-screen format and errors can be color-coded, making proofreading easier. The CDs also contain a pull-down Tools menu with a screen for a user word list (no more separate handwritten notebooks) as well as a reference menu containing an abbreviations list, a lab glossary, sample reports and formats, and transcription guidelines (style guide). The exams which accompany the beginning unit and the surgery unit are included on the CD for free.

Transcript Answer Keys: Students who correct their own work or participate in peer grading are exposed to finished documents and report formats, learn proofreading and editing skills, and save the teacher time. The transcript keys also make an excellent classroom-to-workplace transition reference, and students may wish to keep their copy, making notes in the margins. The SUM Program CD includes an on-screen version of the transcript keys. Transcript key access can be disabled/enabled by the instructor.

Student Syllabus: The Student Syllabus is a step-by-step guide to completing the beginning, surgery, and advanced SUM Program units that is INCLUDED on the Beginning Medical Transcription, 2nd ed. CD. It provides students with course descriptions, outlines, and learning objectives, plus some helpful articles for students. Reading assignments and exercises are assigned in the HPI-recommended textbooks. (We no longer provide specific page numbers that change with each new edition of a textbook.) The assignment grids included in The Student Syllabus are updated more frequently than the rest of the syllabus, and are available for free download on this web site in both .pdf and .rtf formats.  Teachers can customize the .rtf version to reflect your specific curriculum and assignments.

Textbooks and Reference Books: The SUM Program is most effective when combined with the recommended curriculum, which includes academic coursework in anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, medical science, human diseases, pharmacology, laboratory medicine, and diagnostic and surgical procedures.

Students achieve a higher degree of retention when they have their own textbooks to highlight instructional material, make notes, and access at their convenience. (See Course Descriptions and Recommended Textbooks in The Teacher's Manual, 5th ed.)

Books recommended but not published by HPI are available from bookstores or from their publishers.

Volume Pricing: The first copy of each unit you purchase includes a “licensing fee” to HPI. Additional copies after the first purchase are available at substantially reduced prices.

Beginning Medical Transcription, 2nd ed.:

  • First CD, $700 (includes four textbooks)
  • Each additional CD is $60.
  • Each addtional bundle of HPI workbooks is $100

Surgery Transcription Unit:

  • First CD, $420
  • Each additional CD, $48

Advanced Medical Transcription, 2nd ed.:

  • First CD, $840
  • Each additional CD, $100.


Equipment Needed: Each workstation* in your classroom should have a PC, 486 or faster, with a CD drive and a USB port for the USB foot pedal.

Note: You do NOT need transcribing machines. The SUM Program software works with the foot pedal and eliminates the need for transcribing machines.

* More schools are eliminating transcription labs from their offerings and requiring students to have equipment at home and their own foot pedal to complete the transcription assignments from home. Visit the Sample Purchases pages for more information.



Now Online: The SUM Program for Medical Transcription Training

HPI has partnered with The Schwegler Group to offer SUM Program dictations to schools online using MTClient! This eliminates lost and damaged CDs, shipping delays, lost transcripts, heavy briefcases, the need for a transcription lab, and more.  It also enables each teacher to handle more students, and provides the student with a real-life work flow experience.

Read about the features of The SUM Program online, how it works, and all the advantages for schools, teachers, and students!

Then, review the SUM Program Dictation Units Pricing document for a summary of costs and the advantages of using SUM Program CDs and the advantages of offering The SUM Program online using MTClient.