Dragon Medical Practice Edition 2 box

Dragon Accuracy Issues for Specific Words

Today, we’re going to talk about what to do when Dragon® Medical Practice Edition 2 does not understand a particular word. There could be a number of reasons why this is occurring—usually related to the limitations of the application.

While Dragon Medical has an immense vocabulary and a powerful speech algorithm, it occasionally requires a few tweaks. In this post, we’re going to explore which factors to tweak, and when.


We’re specifically discussing Dragon Medical Practice Edition 2 for Windows. Some of the principles here may apply to Mac editions of Dragon Medical—but the methods for making changes are going to vary, and some features aren’t available for Mac.

We are coming from the standpoint of somebody using a wired USB microphone to dictate into Dragon Medical. If you’re having issues related to recognition with Bluetooth devices, you can sign up for additional technical services here.


A Few Scenarios

Now, let’s review a few possible scenarios that might describe the problems that you’re having with accuracy in Dragon Medical. Once we’ve covered each of the cases, we’ll point to the possible solutions you may need to employ.

Case 1

Dragon Medical cannot seem to get names right.


This one’s easy. The problem is that the names are not in Dragon Medical’s vocabulary yet. You’ll need to add them. See here for detailed instructions on how to add words to the vocabulary.

Refer to these sections below for more:

  • Adding Words
  • Training Words

Case 2

The formatting isn’t right.


This could be an issue with auto-formatting, which is an option set located in the Dragon Medical options menu.

If going into the auto-formatting options does not solve the problem, you may have an issue where there are word properties interfering.

Refer to these sections below for more:

  • Word Properties
  • Auto-Formatting

Case 3

Specific words are always wrong.


This could be for several reasons. As above, the word may not be in the vocabulary to begin with. If that’s the case, please follow the instructions for adding new words to vocabularies.

The issue could also be that Dragon Medical thinks certain words sound like certain other words. In this case, you’ll want to train these words using the [Train] button in the Vocabulary Editor.

The word could also need a spoken form. Perhaps Dragon Medical doesn’t know that your pronunciation relates to a specific word. You’ll need to help it.

Finally, you might have the wrong vocabulary selected. Trying to get the application to recognize Xeljanz with a general English vocabulary is a non-starter.

Refer to these sections below for more:

  • Adding Words
  • Training Words
  • Spoken Form
  • Vocabulary


General Solutions

Adding Words

As you probably noticed from many of the scenarios above, you need to add words that don’t exist in the vocabulary. If Dragon Medical doesn’t have the word available, there’s no way it’s going to get it right.

You can check the Vocabulary Editor for a specific word by clicking on Vocabulary > Vocabulary Editor from the DragonBar. Or if you prefer more detailed instructions for adding new words, you can find them here.

Training Words

Once you’re in the Vocabulary Editor, find the term that Dragon Medical is not getting right by typing it into the “Written form” text box. Select the word and click the [Train] button. Once the “Train Words” window opens, don’t press any buttons on your handheld microphone. Simply click [Go], speak the word, and then click [Done].

If the word is often misrecognized as something else, go ahead and train that word as well. That way Dragon Medical has a distinct audio waveform for each of the words and can match the word to the correct form.

Spoken Form

In some cases, it’s necessary to give Dragon Medical a phonetic spelling of the word in the “Spoken Form” field, so that it knows how to pronounce it. This also applies for compound words, which are written without spaces, but pronounced as if there were a space.

If you have words that are consistently misrecognized, even after training, try coming up with a spoken form that represents how the word sounds, and add it in the Vocabulary Editor. Please note that adding a spoken form to an existing word will create multiple entries; you may have to do some clean-up work.

Word Properties

Word properties allow you to set up special rules for formatting, capitalization, spacing, and written forms in a given situation. They are located in the Vocabulary Editor, and are assigned to each word. Simply select the word you want to see the properties on, and click the [Properties] button.

There are some default word properties, so if you notice something is displaying a certain way in a certain context, look it up in the Vocabulary Editor, and see if the properties are affecting your results.


These are rules that are included in Dragon Medical Practice Edition 2 for the purpose of allowing healthcare professionals to customize the way they want certain abbreviations, titles, and measurements to display.

The options are fairly limited for non-medical vocabularies, but expand quite a bit for medical vocabularies. Keep this in mind if you’re using both types of vocabularies.

To find these rules, click Tools > Auto-Formatting Options from the DragonBar.

Be sure to explore the tabs thoroughly. For instance, if you want Dragon Medical to write “3 times a day” when you say “t.i.d.,” you actually need to go to the “Miscellaneous” tab and check the box next to “Expand dosage abbreviations.”


Trying to dictate medical terms with the wrong specialty selected, or with a non-medical vocabulary loaded, could impact how well Dragon Medical recognizes you. The same applies when trying to dictate non-medical language using a medical vocabulary.

This is because the application looks for your speech to match a word in the vocabulary. When it doesn’t find a match, or finds many words that sound like what you said, misrecognition follows.

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Our experienced technicians can help

While these scenarios don’t cover the entire gamut of recognition problems, these tips should help you tweak Dragon Medical to understand your words correctly. Of course, if you’d like us to take a look at your particular scenario, click the button below to view our menu of technical services.