Medical school applications can be one of the most difficult and stressful parts of your higher education. Most pre-med and pre-PA students take some time between their undergraduate work and the start of their medical school to strengthen their application and earn some valuable experience.
We get asked this question all the time.
The answer is an unequivocal “yes.”
While the TL;DR version above might satisfy those with short attention spans, we know simple yes/no answers won’t satisfy the average pre-med student. If practicing medicine or being a physician’s assistant is your future goal, here’s an excellent blog entry by Clay Downey on AAMC.org. Some quick searches on Google will also net you plenty of research data pointing to the increased emphasis administrators and selection committees place on clinical experience gained through scribing as part of the admission process.
As a medical scribe, you are literally the closest observer of the actual patient-doctor interaction. The documentation process itself is a fantastic training tool to get you up to speed on medical terminology, diagnostics, laboratory results, and complicated pharmaceutical nomenclature.
In addition, you get to observe the best practices of an experienced physician, gain first-hand knowledge of the entire clinical process and see the inside workings of an emergency department, specialty clinic, or hospital system. The opportunities and experiences you gain from scribing can be vital to your development as a medical professional in the near future.
Unlike most clinical jobs, a medical scribe position does not require extensive experience or a post-graduate degree. You’re not going to come across some crazy job posting looking for “30 years of experience” and a “master’s degree” in data entry.
The most basic requirement is the ability to type at a reasonable speed, a personality that’s conducive to a good working environment, and potentially a good rapport with the physicians you work with. Most scribing jobs will require some fair amount of physical activities, because you will be following a provider around, possibly from room to room.
There’s an entire section and cottage industry that’s born of the necessity to master the AMCAS Application process, and a key section of the application for “Work and Activities” can be fulfilled by your time and experience as a medical scribe. Both the “Paid Employment – Medical/Clinical” and “Physician Shadowing/Clinical Observation” categories fall under your medical scribe work. And if your scribe experience turns into a lead scribe role or site manager role, you can also add “Leadership” category in your work and activities experience.
If you want to learn more about becoming a lead scribe or site manager as a scribe, we have a blog article about medical scribing experience and ways to earn more as you progress in your medical scribing experience.
As is related to your career as a medical professional, absolutely. See one of our scribes discuss his experience and how it pertains to advancing his career below:
Paul spoke of how the medical scribe experience helps him be confident and comfortable around patients, and observe physician practices first hand.
We’re not going to sugarcoat it. Medical scribes are not the highest-paid position inside a clinical environment. But, it is a paid position. In addition to gaining valuable experience, you’re providing a valuable service to the medical community in alleviating physician burnout, while being paid a wage reflective of the entry-level position that it is.
Don’t forget to read our blog about medical scribe pay to gain more insight.
We’ve all heard about the epidemic-like rate of physician burnout in the last 20 years or so. As the workforce continues to get older and retire, the current generation of doctors and physicians is getting stretched and stressed to their breaking point. The services you provide as a medical scribe right now, will go a long way to alleviate that burden, and hopefully, once you’ve completed your education and started your own path as a provider, you will be able to enjoy giving the same opportunity to earn some valuable clinical experience to an aspiring pre-med student.
At this point, you’re probably thinking (or have already thought), if being a medical scribe is so important and beneficial to the process of applying to medical school, and if ALL of your fellow students and peers apply for and are working as scribes, where does that leave you? How do you stand out amongst the competition and get that medical scribe job?
Erich Rempel, CEO and Founder of ScribeConnect, started his career as a medical scribe. And for this reason, ScribeConnect has always had the benefit and wellbeing of scribes in mind. We created the ScribeConnect platform to help aspiring medical school students and scribe candidates. Our platform has a list of comprehensive scribe training courses, an easy to use job application tracking and aggregation tool, and an online community of thousands of scribes like you to give you all the tools you’ll need to join the scribing community, whether it’s through working as a Scribe for ScribeConnect, or the thousands of healthcare organizations out there looking to hire their own scribes.