December Reflections – 2017 – I was challenged by…

Typewriter relic

This year I was challenged by a significant drop in my income, completely unexpectedly.  Well, I should say that I suppose I knew eventually the transcription business would dwindle, but I didn’t expect it to decrease by half in one year.  I am primarily a medical transcriptionist and when I started 17 years ago I was picking up mini cassettes (and in most cases the medical records as well) and bringing them home to transcribe.  Not quite as old as this typewriter but you get the idea.

Another typewriter relic – LOL

At one point I was doing transcription for 6 doctors, four of them were orthopedics, one an ear, nose and throat doctor and one a dermatologist.  I was pretty busy.

Then a few of the orthopedic doctors decided that it would be cheaper to outsource their work overseas.  I was affected but I picked up another client so it was not so bad.  Then I happened to get introduced to a friend of a friend who also had a secretarial business but she didn’t do medical transcription.  I began a collaboration with her that has lasted about 10 years.  It is through her that I was able to start doing transcription via audio files which were sent to me through emails and I would transcribe them and send the completed reports back, also via email, all with passwords to make sure the confidentiality remained due to the strict regulations regarding medical information.

Over the last few years one of my doctors retired, another one decided to have one of his office staff do the transcribing and a couple of others just decreased the amount they were dictating.  The appearance of software programs like Dragon Dictate didn’t help either because the younger doctors started doing their own transcription. 

This year, however, has been the sharpest decline.  In May one of my doctors suddenly retired due to personal issues.  At the same time I noticed a decline in the amount of work I was getting from every source, so much so that I went from logging $3000 a month to barely $1500 and I’ve gone from six doctors down to two and a half (one is so sporadic that I am billing them every three months).  It is hard to budget when you are not sure how much money you will have each month!

It was because of this inconsistency that I decided to go to work outside the house for the first time since 2002.  I was able to get a job at Michaels and that will hopefully help me ease into retirement.  It definitely has been a challenge!

What were you challenged by this year?  Ever have to suddenly change occupations?  Love to hear your story.

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About scr4pl80

I'm a 60-ish, married, mom to 3, creative soul looking to make the world a better place one smile at a time.
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10 Responses to December Reflections – 2017 – I was challenged by…

  1. The world of medical transcription is definitely changing. šŸ˜¦ Wish I could do it on the road, but my wrists and fingers have given out and the job opportunities are few and far between. I’m hoping now you can feed your passion and utilize your wonderful talent!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. joey says:

    In ten years, I might be emotionally ready to write about my year of employment ups and downs, lol, but YES, I had several transitions over the year.
    I’m sorry your business has dwindled. I lose writing jobs to overseas markets all the time. It’s more and more over time, so unless they REALLY care about native English speakers, the well will probably dry up soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So many types of jobs are going away because of advances in technology. Even those who feel immune can’t imagine what changes there will be over the next few years. I’m sorry you had a comfortable business disappear out from under you but thank goodness you were able to get back up on your feet (quite literally, I guess šŸ™‚ ). It’s probably not a 100% bad thing to have a job that requires learning new things and added physical exertion… as we get older, those become more important to keep us healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s quite a transition!

    Liked by 1 person

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