He said – she said: gender discrimination in healthcare?

In an article entitled “One Big Reason The Ellen Pao Case Matters,” Nilofer Merchant describes the situation of Ellen Pao, a researcher in Silicon Valley who has filed a $16 million lawsuit against a prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm for gender discrimination. As she states “It’s not about the money.”

NEMT CEO Linda Sullivan

Perhaps the correlation to the medical transcription industry is a stretch … or maybe not. Is there gender discrimination in the medical transcription world? There maybe is in a different way. Medical Language Specialists (MLS) are generally fairly well educated and highly intelligent individuals – they have to be to do the job right – and they are nearly all women.

I’ve heard it said that the knowledge level of a MLS is the same as a second-year medical student. The lines, or visible black characters, that these individuals produce has been commoditized, beginning the vicious cycle of the downward pricing pressure from the healthcare facilities to the medical transcription companies and, of course, to the MLSs themselves.

The economic realities of today and the legislative mandates imposed on healthcare facilities has put unprecedented budgetary pressure on healthcare institutions and some things have got to give. Pricing in medical transcription is one of them.

My question is this: If MLSs were largely well-educated white males, would the situation have evolved in this way?

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One Response to He said – she said: gender discrimination in healthcare?

  1. Kim Spence says:

    Best answer for me, is I don’t know. It is my opinion that the value of the MLS (or MT/E) has slowly but surely decreased due to SR/VR and the EHR/EMR. Compensation seems to be only for labor, which has severely decreased, while disregarding knowledge required for transcription/editing.

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