Scribe experience

I’m interested in doing some scribe work but, my only worry is how many hours scribes get scheduled. I’ve only ever juggled school and mom duties so adding anything else is a bit nerve wracking, as I don’t want to neglect any one of my responsibilities. Would love to hear yalls experience. Thanks!

I’ve seen a wide range of experiences and it all depends on who you are working for. If you work for a big company like ScribeAmerica, they are typically less flexible and want you to work more. If you can find a smaller, regional company or even a private practice to work at, you might have better luck finding something fitting into your schedule.

Thank your feedback Dr. Gray!
I’ll do some research for scribe companies in my area.

I am currently working as a Medical Scribe for a private office and I love my job! I get to sit side by side with the doctor during office visit and assist with any in office procedures. I usually have one on one time with the doctor after each office visit if I have any questions. Fortunately, my schedule is very flexible since the doctor I work with understands what the whole Pre-Med process is like. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions!

hello jesseoh
I did not know about a medical scribe until recently. It sounds like companies are promoting medical scribes as a new, thriving job particularly beneficial for PreMed students. While digging through the web I found an article in the AAMC website. The article is an interview with Clay Downey a former Medical Scribe who is attending Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, 2017. He explains his experiences as a medical scribe and some of the benefits it provided him in medical school. Below is a link to the article/interview.

A particular question I had, that was not answered in the article/interview, is how would you describe your professional relationship with the doctor while working as a scribe? What was a difficult experience that you had with a patient or doctor?


Hey Guys!
So I worked as a scribe in an ED for about six months, a couple of years back. The company I worked for only offered 12-hour shifts and my hospital was understaffed so often timed I found myself taking an extra shift or two.

Regarding scribing, it is a fantastic experience, no matter which department you are in. I was in the E.D, so we have a lot of Motor vehicle collisions, miscarriages that were too young for the OB/Maternal floor before it was before 22 weeks. we also had patients who came in for a stroke, and sometimes people who just needed a bed for the night–not promoting the ED in place for a shelter, but it is what I encountered. You built a strong heart in a situation like this as you are bound to witness death at least one a week.

The providers you work with make all the difference: some remember you are human and will dictate to you in that tone that is easy to keep up with, others are in a such a rush that even they do not recall their dictation. My company only used live dictation (no recordings), and not all providers were good listeners or dictators. I did notice how cultural competencies allowed the younger physicians to think about the social determinants of health when deciding what is the best treatment for the patient. We had a young child come in for an asthma attack, and it turned out they needed a social worker to help address their housing situation. All it took was the two extra minutes the doctor spent with the mom.

I guess besides enhancing your typing speed and accuracy, you would gain a sense of the mental processes in making a diagnosis, the different area of a physical exam, how to interview to obtain presenting complaints. You also learn to work with different personalities and cultures. What this position did was confirm I wanted to be a doctor, and which specialty would be right for me.

I would say go for it if you are able to find one that fits into your schedule.

I am also a mom and received two job offers from scribe companies. Like you, I was concerned about my other responsibilities so I inquired with each company about my (future) hours. There was some flexibility in being able to choose the day of the week but not the actual shift time. When I weighed everything else on my plate (I am also preparing for the MCAT and teach ESL students) I decided it would be best for me to wait until I am done with my MCAT prep before scribing. So, maybe come up with a few questions for the company to make sure there is no unnecessary stress. I am definitely excited to gain the experience in the near future and I hope you find a company who fits you!

It is contingent on your employer. That could be a small physician group or single doctor or even a large company. As a general rule, the greater the number of physicians and midlevels the more flexible they can be with schedules. Usually emergency departments or large outpatient clinics fit this profile. Another variable is staffing levels. This is outside of your control, but scribe companies and providers sometimes have difficulty keeping up with turnover due to the demographic they employee. If the they are behind on hiring, it is not uncommon for everyone to be asked or ‘required’ to pick up extra hours to ensure coverage.

My experience: I was hired by a 3rd part company to work ‘part time’ in a medium sized emergency department (240 pts/day) staffed by 2 to 7 providers at a time. My management team has been very flexible with my schedule, I believe mainly because we are usually fully staffed. I have had months that I worked 60 hrs/wk and other months I dropped to 16 hrs/mo. Shifts varied in duration from 8hrs to 14hrs (when held over).

TL;DR: It really depends on the employers needs and willingness to work with your needs. There are a few general themes that can guide you in your search, such as size of the practice and number of providers.

As a new dad with a wife that works full time nights I know how time management can be a constant stressor for families. Keep up the good fight and best of luck!

I think it really depends on the type of clinical setting that you’re scribing in. For instance, in the emergency department, the shifts will be longer, and you’ll have more options in regard to the time of the shifts. In the outpatient setting, your hours are limited to when the clinic or office is open. Also, if you scribe for a larger company, you’ll typically have to option to scribe either full time or part time, whereas a smaller company or a private office will typically expect you to scribe full time. From my experience, what scribe companies are mainly looking for is commitment. They like to see if you can commit to working the entirety of your shift, your schedule, and working for at least one year. Not showing up for a shift, leaving in the middle of your shift, and only working for a few months and resigning are all frowned upon. Hope this helps, and best of luck!