Known amongst her peers for her hard work and dedication to others, Mary D’Onofrio is proud of the impact she had on the medical transcription industry. She loved the challenge of working with a variety of physicians and building skills and knowledge in the field. The highlight of her career, however, came while working for a psychiatrist in Tuscon, Arizona. As she was transcribing words for him in his dictation, it occurred to her that it might be helpful for other transcriptionists to have a guide for words and phrases relating to psychiatry. Ms. D’Onofrio began collecting them as she worked, and she asked a few of her friends in the business to do the same. With her daughter serving as the co-author, the booklet grew rapidly; “Psychiatric Words & Phrases” started as a couple of pages, and is now close to 600 pages. Ms. D’Onofrio considers the publication to be a culmination of the work she’s done over the years. The most recent edition was released in 2016.
Ms. D’Onofrio prepared for her endeavors by earning a Bachelor of Arts from Marygrove College in 1954 and a Master of Arts in library science from the University of Michigan in 1955. She garnered experience in that field for a while before medical transcription caught her eye. Her library science background made her well-versed in collecting and organizing, books, data, and other materials, which eased her transition greatly. Ms. D’Onofrio’s first job in the industry was medical record analyst for Chelsea Community Hospital in Michigan, after which she progressed rapidly to roles like president of Meditranscript Service, assistant office manager for Dr. Maxfield, D.O., quality assurance analyst for Tucson General Hospital, and executive assistant to Dr. McEldon, MD. She then opened her own business, Med-Comm Associates, in 1989, and remained there until her retirement in 2015. Her daughter has since assumed ownership of the company, which now operates under the name, Little Pebbles Press.
When Ms. D’Onofrio wasn’t working, she was using her knowledge to help out in her community. She was a block leader of organizations like the Leukemia Society of America, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Institute for Cancer Research, and the Infantile Paralysis Association, and a member of the education honor society Pi Lambda Theta. Some of her additional hobbies include landscape photography and reading.