How to transcribe medical interviews

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How to transcribe medical interviews

Interviewer: So, Jane, please could you explain to me how you go about producing a transcript for a medical interview?

Jane: Well, first of all, I always ask the client if they have any background material. There might be a glossary, listing the medicines people are talking about and also there may be some details on the people speaking too. It’s always a good idea to check and get as much information as possible to be honest.

Interviewer: So what exactly do you do, stage-by-stage?

Jane: Initially I read through any background material and make sure I am as familiar as possible with all the terms used and so on. If the interview concerns a specific medical area, like, say dermatology, then I read up on that too. I worked as a medical secretary for a decade, so I think that gives me a real advantage!

Interviewer: OK, so what’s next?

Jane: Well, I usually do a ‘first pass’ listening and transcribing everything I possibly can in one go. I usually refer to my notes and any notes from the client, to check that I spell everyone’s name correctly, all the drug names correctly etcetera. Sometimes I have to do a bit of internet research to check these things, but I actually quite like doing that.

Interviewer: It’s really quite involved then?

Jane: Yes. You have to be accurate, but you also have to be quick.

Interviewer: Do you just listen through once then?

Jane: No! It’s never that simple to be honest. I almost always listen through everything at least twice, checking what I’ve written against the audio, making changes as I go. Then after that, it’s spell and grammar check and formatting, to make sure everything looks really good.

Interviewer: You obviously take pride in your work then?

Jane: Of course. I always feel it’s important to get everything spot-on.

Interviewer: Excellent, well thanks so much for your help and have a great day.

Jane: You too, bye then.

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