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Being a medical scribe may help Northeast Ohio students write their health care future

Scribe America is recruiting across Northeast Ohio college campuses, looking for students who want to become medical scribes.

CLEVELAND — When you visit your doctor, you expect their undivided attention. But every patient also requires a lot of paperwork. 

"Clinical documentation is incredibly difficult, you ask a physician why they don't want to do it it's because it's challenging and it takes them away from the patient, so burnout for scribes is actually pretty high as well," says Charlie Coe of Scribe America, one of the largest providers of medical scribes in the country. 

We've seen the burnout medical professionals sustained during the pandemic, the hope is a medical scribe can ease some of the burden.

"These scribes are saving two to three hours a night for these physicians so they can go home and actually have a personal life and not be scrambling after hours to remember what they did that day when they were seeing patients," Coe said. 

Most applicants are between age 20 and 26 and while many might be interested in a medical career, they don't have to be pre-med. 

"They could be biology, chemistry majors, Ph.D.'s actually make really great scribes," Coe said.

But for those who are considering a career in health care, this might be a valuable step. 

"Medical scribes is a great way to get your foot in the door to see what it's like to work in health care, typically clinically," Coe said. 

Scribes are paid to go through a month of training that's specific to the provider's needs.  The hours are also flexible. 

"You can not only be in person in the ED at Cleveland Clinic but you could also be remote, working from a dorm room connecting to a primary care physician at University Hospitals," Coe said. 

The scribe enters everything into the patient's medical record.  At the end of the day, the doctor reviews the notes and signs off. 

"The provider and scribe are collaborating throughout the day, it's almost like a personal productivity assistant for these physicians and there's that collegiality the the physicians and scribes really like, they're almost getting like a mentor out of this relationship," Coe said. 

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