Consider a career as a medical scribe

August 17, 2016

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Looking for a healthcare career that allows you to help people but without actually having to deal directly with patients? If you have strong administrative skills, you could consider a career as a medical scribe. With an increasing number of patients seeking medical care, physicians often find it difficult to manage the administrative side of things. This has led to a demand for medical scribes.

What does a medical scribe do?

A medical scribe performs the role of an administrative assistant. They do all the data entry and recording for a physician giving the physician more time to attend to patients and focus on them.

Scribes need to be good at entering information, whether into electronic systems or on paper. They need to be able to organise the administrative system and create an efficient process that will help free up the medical provider’s time.

Part of a scribe’s responsibility is to ensure that information is documented properly, easily accessible and updated regularly. They also need to monitor the time period of test results and keep a check on reports so as to prevent any delay that may be faced by patients due to slow processing of reports. In short, a scribe works as the personal assistant of a medical care provider and helps them to deliver efficient care to patients

Medical scribes may work part-time or full-time depending on the workplace and the physician they are assisting. Part time workers may even work for two days a week. A number of pre-med and pre-nursing students choose to get into this field in order to gain experience in a medical setting.

Scribes vs. transcriptionists

Both perform similar tasks but there are a few differences. The biggest difference is that medical transcriptionists typically work at home. They simply transcribe medical notes from audio into text and return it back. While scribes also transcribe audio to text, they do this in person while following the physician around. They make notes as the physician speaks and these notes are used as a reference whenever some information is needed.

Necessary qualifications for this field

There are no specific diploma or degree requirements to become a medical scribe. However, the following qualifications are the minimum prerequisites that most medical professionals look for in a candidate when they are hiring a scribe:

  • A high school diploma is the minimum requirement, but many prefer a college education as well.
  • Good typing skills and an above-average knowledge about computers
  • A passion for medicine and familiarity with medical terminology
  • Ability to communicate in fluent English
  • Good, legible handwriting

The job opportunities are growing in this field and most experts believe that the demand for medical scribes will keep growing over the next few years. If you are good at administrative work and want to work in the field of medicine, this is a great option to consider!


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Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.