Medical Scribes Aim to Prevent Physician Burnout

Learn the ins and outs of medical scribes.  Physician extenders are key to solving healthcare problems and engaging a “real-time” documentation system for effective health information exchange.  Medical Scribes are highly trained personnel, capturing efficiencies, and re-engaging the physician back to the bedside.  Become certified today as a Certified Medical Scribe Specialist (CMSS).  Email:;  Website:

The Ultimate Preparatory Vocation Towards Becoming A Physician Assistant: Medical Scribe

As a new Physician Assistant student this year, I continually am thankful for the incomparable experiences medical scribing that have brought me here. I graduated from UCLA in 2010 with a Bachelors of Science in Anthropology.  When I discovered the Physician Assistant career shortly thereafter, I fell in love with and quickly began working to build my application. During this time I focused on the main aspects of the CASPA application: (1) completing prerequisite courses with strong grades; (2) completing the GRE; (3) obtaining patient care experience; (4) obtaining letters of recommendation; (5) completing my personal statement.

The two of these I found myself immediately struggling with were obtaining patient care experience and letters of recommendation. How was I supposed to obtain experience when I had none to start with? And how will I find three people who know me well enough to write me strong letters?

Through networking I was fortunate enough discover the exact type of experience I needed: Emergency Room Scribing. The position was fast paced, exciting and an unbelievable learning experience. In a matter of just a few weeks I found medical terminology, aspects of medical decision making, and nuances of patient interaction were already becoming second nature to me. When you start school, professors will tell you how learning medicine is like learning a new language. Think of this as a study abroad program.

Like I said, I did a lot of research on schools when I went about this application process. With almost 200 physician assistant schools across the US, you have a lot of options and a lot of information in front of you. Some easy ways I found that helped me effectively narrow these down were to input key information (required hours, GPA requirements, course requirements, etc.) into an excel sheet and fill in the blanks using information from individual school websites as well as the PAEA website which has this information summarized for you if you subscribe to them.

In general, hours of experience are key in applying to most Physician Assistant programs across the United States. Based on my research last year, these requirements varied from none (but strongly preferred) to up to 4,000 hours. On average most programs want approximately 2,000 hours of direct patient care experience by the time of application. The term “direct patient care experience” can in fact include medical scribing experience especially now as the scope of our experience is becoming more widely known. However, for those programs still unfamiliar with what a scribe does (which was a concern for me applying last cycle but not so much for you now), it is important to indicate on your CASPA application exactly what the position entails. Some key descriptors that I used in the “duties” section included : accompany attending from beginning to end of physical exam, diagnoses, treatment and discharge; accompany practitioner to patient’s bedside to assist through direct verbal contact and track patient histories / health complaints ; prompt clinicians to follow up on patient cases that meet certain conditions ; completed over 120 hours of training prior to assisting in the ED ; monitor progress of imaging studies, lab results, exams, and procedures  to evaluate patient visit records and help create treatment plans.

Unique to other means of gaining experience, scribing alone will allow you to make a wage without first requiring some sort of certificate or outside training. The other common means of direct experience such as emergency medical technician, licensed vocational nurse, medical assistant ,medical technologist, military medical corpsman, nursing assistant, paramedic, psychiatric technician, radiologic technician, or respiratory therapist all require outside training and certification.  Also, the fact that scribing experience is paid is valuable for more than just the obvious reasons. Most programs will look at the fact that your experience is paid and do prefer such experience. With adequate explanation in my CASPA application and illustration of the wide scope of the scribe experience during the interviews, the validity of my scribing was not questioned in my case.

Also, note that volunteer experience falls under a different category entirely on the CASPA application. Anything you do that is not a paid position will be looked at as volunteer or shadow experience. This is not to say that your volunteer hours are not important because many schools do want these hours in addition to your patient care experience. But these hours do not contribute to the patient care hours most programs are looking for.

I cannot stress this enough. I cannot believe how invaluable this experience has been. I liken the experience of medical scribing to a residency. During my interviews, my illustration of my experiences spoke for themselves.   Even those programs unfamiliar with what a scribe is were impressed at my medical fluency and the scope of my experience.  Just like on the CASPA, it is important to illustrate this during your interviews. For some programs, by the end of the interview I was even asked for advice on how to incorporate scribes into their practices (a great thing to indicate in your thank you letters that you would be happy to assist with upon acceptance).

Now that I am in a program, on a daily basis, my fluency in medical language has created a foundation helping me during exams, seeing practice patients, and understanding new material. Of the 40 students in my program, about a quarter of the students are previous scribes. I am continually noticing that even a few months removed from scribing, I have an advantage because of the foundation of knowledge my experience has given me. I grasp material quickly because terminology and even general intuition regarding patient care is already there. While many of my classmates have one specific expertise based on their past positions, scribing has given me a background in many aspects of the patient care process. This was a benefit my professors now tell me factored into my admission in the first place.

I chose the Physician Assistant field because of my desire to be part of a collaborative team. I knew this was one of my strengths and my experiences as a Medical Scribe helped me fine tune the personal skills needed to do this. After a year and a half of Medical Scribing, I had gained nearly 2,500 hours of direct verbal patient contact, been given not only three but six glowing letters of recommendation from providers that had spent many hours working directly with me,  and gained a network of colleagues that I look forward to working with again once I graduate. Moreover, now that I have begun my PA program I am grateful for what this opportunity has done for me and look forward to soon becoming part of the healthcare team.

Deanna Shah
Physician Assistant Student

Scribes, Scribes, Scribes: New Career Board Launched into the Industry – “All Things Scribe!”

ACMSS releases exclusive Job Board into the industry for Medical Scribes/Clinical Information Managers and Clinicians/Hospitals/Facilities alike to find the best candidate of choice they are seeking.  Browse through ACMSS’s Career Center, Register as a User, track listings and apply, or simply list with ACMSS to fill HR needs across the healthcare spectrum.  Become a certified Scribe today – stand apart from the rest!  ACMSS – the only professional association “all things Scribe!”  Contact:  1.832.224.6911;

Interested in Medical Scribe? ACMSS & MDS of Kansas Present Webinar 2/5/13 @ 7 EST – Register today!

Join tomorrow’s live webinar, 2/5 at 4 PST/7 EST, to learn about exciting educational and career opportunities for medical scribes as MDS hosts.  ACMSS Executive Director, Kristin Hagen, will discuss the industry certification pathway for medical scribes and schools alike.  Medical Scribes are in HOT demand!  Register to attend today!  Contact MDS of Kansas at (866) 777-7264.

Webinar Information:
Date:   February 5, 2013
Time:  6:00 pm – 7:00 pm EST
Location:   205 South Hillside
Wichita, Kansas  67211

Program InformationContact:

MDS of Kansas


For the Record Article: “Medical Scribes Make Their Presence Felt” (Vol. 24 No. 21 P. 14)

Considering a career in healthcare? Looking to combine education with transformed clinical solutions?

Medical Scribes are the entry point of clinical documentation and seeing through the professional lens of healthcare workflow efficiencies, cost-saving measures, enabling real-time clinical documentation solutions, and most importantly, working hand-in-hand with physicians for quality patient-centric care. Many medical scribes enter this competitive position to distinguish themselves, building education, towards their clinical career goals – albeit physician, nursing, mid-level providers, therapists, emergency services to name a few.

Medical scribes experience opens up a multitude of opportunities within a competitive career landscape, clinical documentation management, leadership, and operational scribing in a multitude of healthcare settings, rural or urban.  Contact ACMSS for more information on certified medical scribe, including educational opportunities, pre-clinical/clinical training, Certification/Credentialing, history of scribes, benefits of certified scribes, and becoming a Member/Corporate Sponsor Email: Phone:  1.832.224.6911 (1.83.ACMSS.911).

Read the online magazine article here from For the Record:  Medical Scribes Make Their Presence Felt

November 19, 2012
Medical Scribes Make Their Presence Felt , By Mary Anne Gates
For The Record Magazine
Vol. 24 No. 21 P. 14
For The Record Online Article:

Medical Scribe Study Finds Scribe Use May Extend Physician Careers 85%

Newly released study discusses physician perception of scribe impact on metrics and physician quality of life.
“I can now just focus on being a physician”

Read full study here.

Scribe utilization has positive impact on workflow productivity, wellness, and job satisfaction for physicians, as well as their opinions of scribes’ technical skills and professionalism.

According to study, “some (85%) said that working with a scribe may extend their career. With respect to productivity (agree or strongly agree), 64.2% felt that they had higher relative value units and 79.4% were able to treat more patients per hour with scribe utilization. The majority of respondents (74.8%) felt that scribes were very or extremely beneficial when transitioning to use of an EMR. Respondents who were previously using an EMR without scribes indicated that there was a large positive impact of scribe utilization on EMR experience with respect to relieving the stress of documentation (87.4%), being able to “focus on being a physician” (78.8%), quality of life (77.9%) and patient care (77.3%).”


ACMSS Attending American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Scientific Assembly (10/8-10/10)

American College of Clinical Information Managers (ACMSS) will be onsite at this year’s ACEP conference held in Denver, CO, October 8-12. ACMSS advocates on behalf of the medical scribe industry, setting minimal performance standards of practice and certifying medical scribes and scribe programs.

Executive Director, Kristin Hagen, will be attending ACEP and networking with colleagues regarding the importance of performance standards and certification of medical scribes as they aid clinicians with workflow efficiencies and clinical documentation. Medical scribes assist clinicians in real time, at the point-of-care with supervised data collection and entry into the EMR. For more information, or to arrange a meeting onsite, please direct inquiries to:  or contact ACMSS at 1.832.224.6911.

ACMSS looks forward to an eventful educational event and networking with industry colleagues!

About ACEP

ACEP’s 2012 Scientific Assembly will have an exciting array of educational programming and social events, and new venue, this year’s Assembly has been one of the most anticipated emergency medicine conferences.

Special features this year include

•Over 300 world-class educational sessions
•A return of the popular pre-conference Cadaver Lab
•Summaries and commentary of the articles chosen by ABEM for its current LLSA tests
•More hands-on skills labs added to the program
•New 30 Minute lectures •ACEP’s Research Forum – tomorrow’s news today – included in 4-day registration fee

Add to that, the largest exhibit program in the specialty to view the latest equipment and products, and one of the best opportunities to network with your colleagues from across the nation.

Join ACMSS via Interactive Blog, Commentary, and Network Sharing!

Healthcare is moving at a rampant rate and it is more important than ever to stay connected to American College of Clinical Information Manager’s communication.  Blog with us, share insightful posts, and connect with us on social media sites.  ACMSS works at all levels in healthcare to interface with creating efficiencies in the healthcare system. 

As pre-health, pre-medical students, those interested in gaining clinical experience in healthcare, become a medical scribe and JOIN in Membership at ACMSS, medical scribe’s premier association, voice, and network with others like you.

As a current medical scribe, become Scribe certified today by registering for the MSCAT (Clinical Information Manager Certification and Aptitude Test).  Distinguish yourself from your peers, and those seeking entrance to medical schools, as a certified Clinical Information Manager credentialed.

As a scribe organization, become connected and unified together as a voice, crafting medical scribe’s future trajectory and pathway.  Healthcare is changing daily and together we are strong and reaching all levels of our profession – from education to hospital workflow to medical school ready graduates.

As an industry partner, ACMSS works with EMR vendors, educational institutions, medical scribe organizations, medical scribes, and local-state-national levels advocating and creating best practices through standards implementation.  It is up to all of us to be the best we can be and network together to truly make a difference for what matters most – “our nation’s healthcare system and the patient’s we serve.”

ACMSS looks forward to providing insightful posts of industry information, communicating with you, and being your resource for all things “Scribe!”  ACMSS is a hallmark centerpiece to healthcare reform and efficiencies. Working with standard-setting bodies of TJC, CMS, Regional Extension Centers, Hospitals, Facilities, Universities, EMR groups, and advocacy governance, you will find ACMSS connected at all levels to help shape and mold healthcare connected to meaningful use health information exchange.

JOIN THE DISCUSSION Today!  What is it you would like to discuss, write us!  Comment, share, and become informed of an ever-changing healthcare arena around you.  ACMSS looks forward to diverse partnerships and making a difference with YOU!

Contact Information, Resources, and Joint Ventures 1.832.224.6911
Topic Requests and E-mail Inquiries
Event Participation, Speaking Engagements:

Scribes Improve Communication and Efficiencies for Physicians

The value of a Medial Scribe in both documentation encounters and the Medical Scribe’s insight into the inner workings of hospitals workflow design is an invaluable resource in our nation’s healthcare system. At James Madison University, Medical Scribes are “Improving Communication and Efficiencies,” to their hospital Emergency Department.

ACMSS is excited for Medical Scribes, Pre-Meds, Emergency Departments, Hospitals, and Facilities to earn “distinction” within their healthcare system, adding value, and protecting the efficacy and integrity of documenting patient encounters into EMR systems. Scribe MSCAT Certify or ED-level Certify today!

What are the requirements of Medical Scribes?

Enclosed are FAQ’s from The Joint Commission (TJC) regarding proper use and standardization of Medical Scribe compliance within hospitals.  Is your organization compliant?

Contact ACMSS today for questions regarding Membership, MSCAT certification and credentialing,  certifying Emergency Departments with ED Certification, or beginning a career pathway through Medical Scribe education.  Protect our nation’s greatest asset of patient safety through quality, collaborative standardization with Medical Scribe/Emergency Department Certification today.  Recognize the benefits in time, cost savings, and efficiencies in an era where electronic record integration and health information exchange are accelerating day by day.  Contact, or become a Member of ACMSS today, for Best Practice management of your organization and facility, staying connected together!

Medical Scribes: Looking to Stand Apart from Peers for Medical School Entrance?

Sign up for the MSCAT (Clinical Information Manager Certification and Apptitude Test) and receive your Certified Scribe status as a CMSS on preclinical and clinical training!  Open the doors for medical school application process, certify your knowledge base amongst peers, and be a part of the allied healthcare team that collaborates in unity to ensure patient safety and hospital compliance in the growing demands of patient care.


What are advantages of Medical Scribes?

-Effective model for physicians, patients, department staff, and the entire hospital or clinical facility
-Medical scribes perform ancillary tasks and documentation management, aiding the ever increasing patient-volume in “real time”
-Present EMR model is “care-then-document.”  This requires additional time in clinical documentation by the physician – a fundamental inefficiency
-Real-time documentation elevates our healthcare system for continuum of care at all levels, including documentation access through health information exchange accessibility

Contact ACMSS today for Membership, interest in Certifying and Credentialing Medical Scribes, obtaining Hospital-Facility Certification, EMR collaboration, or are interested in ACMSS’s career path to Certified Medical Scribes (CMS) via MSCAT assessment ~ protecting our nation’s healthcare system and patient’s today!

National Medical Scribe Week SALE!!!

June 4 to June 8 is National Medical Scribe week! To celebrate this occasion, this week only, we will be offering the MSCAT for $75 to all new and current members.

– If you are not a member please click here to join.
– If you are a member, please click here to purchase the MSCAT.

ACMSS celebrates with you and looks forward to Medical Scribes certifying as Certified Medical Scribes (CMS). Thank you for your contribution to healthcare delivery, both now and in the future!

American Healthcare Documentation Group (AHDPG) Endorses the National Medical Scribe Certification Exam

The MSCAT is a comprehensive certification exam which ensures a Certified Medical Scribe (CMS) possesses the skills and knowledge necessary to accurately and efficiently capture each patient encounter and support the overall delivery of healthcare in an efficient and cost effective manner.

Shrewsbury, MA (PRWEB) March 27, 2012

The ACMSS was established to advance the profession through leadership in advocacy, education, certification, and lifelong learning and has long recognized the need to develop a certification examination that targets clinical information management professionals who are qualified by their training and experience to achieve industry-level certification.

“Medical scribe employment is clearly on the rise and healthcare employers need to know that a scribe, who is typically new to the industry, possesses the skills and knowledge necessary to accurately document the patient encounter and support the overall delivery of healthcare,” says Kristin Hagen, Executive Director of the ACMSS. “Too many companies today are marketing themselves as providing ‘certified’ scribes when up and until this point there has not been an independent organization to substantiate that claim. This is not well suited for our profession or the individuals in our hospitals and medical facilities today.”

As the nation’s leading workforce development company focused on the healthcare documentation industry, the American Healthcare Documentation Professionals Group has been helping individuals become gainfully employed in the areas of medical transcription, medical billing, medical coding and medical scribing. “Helping our graduates achieve industry certification and gain employment is our primary focus,” says Peter Reilly, President and CEO of the American Healthcare Documentation Professionals Group. “By instituting the ACMSS’s national certification exam as the launching pad for graduates of our online Medical Scribe Training program, all of our training programs now lead to industry certification by their respective national associations.”

“We are thrilled that AHDPG has taken this step to ensure the graduates from their program meet our stringent requirements,” says Kristin Hagen. “Employers seeking well trained and qualified medical scribes can have confidence that a graduate from AHDPG will be well prepared when they walk in the door.”

To learn more about the training programs at AHDPG, please visit our website at: or call Lynn Calkins, our Admissions Coordinator, at 719.404.3449.

The American Healthcare Documentation Professionals Group (AHDPG) is a leading training and workforce development company focused on the healthcare documentation industry. AHDPG was the first employer owned training organization approved by the Approval Committee for Certificate Programs (ACCP), a joint committee established by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). AHDPG provides online training in the areas of medical transcription editing, medical billing and coding and clinical information management (medical scribe) delivered in a supportive environment. Students graduate ready to take their respective certification exams and gain employment in the healthcare documentation industry. For more information about AHDPG, please visit our website at

The American College of Clinical Information Managers (ACMSS) is the nation’s preeminent professional society representing Certified Medical Scribes (CMS). The ACMSS is committed to advancing the CMS profession through leadership in advocacy, education, certification, and lifelong learning. ACMSS certification and membership is sought and earned by Certified Medical Scribes on a voluntary basis. To learn more about the ACMSS and to find out how to join us and our members in advancing our cause, please visit our website at

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