Docs Answer: How Do I Become a Medical Scribe?

Dear Doctors,

Hello! I am an undergraduate junior seeking to take a gap year after graduation. How do I find out about medical scribe opportunities for my gap year?

– Searching Scribe

Hello Searching,

A lot of people I trained with had a stent as a medical scribe prior to med school. Its a great choice to prep for a career in medicine. Keep in mind that there are no formal requirements to be a medical scribe (other than at least a high school diploma), but some hospitals and clinics have other preferences such as a college degree or the completion of certain training and certification programs. The big certifying group is the American College of Medical Scribe Specialists (ACMSS) . They offer a Certified Medical Scribe program that requires you to to complete 200 hours of clinical instruction and to pass an exam to earn certification. I mention this to say that any “extras” you have will likely make you more competitive.

Of course you can use a search engine for scribe jobs, but in my experience, health systems and clinics are a bit lazy and/or not overly tech savvy/not geared toward how younger generations look for jobs and aren’t posting on the big job websites (like Indeed, Monster, etc). Instead, I recommend making a list of all the local clinics and hospital systems you can find in your area, and meticulously going through each of their websites to the “careers” or “employment opportunities” section to look for a posting for medical scribe work. I would also make a LinkedIn profile and search through there too if you haven’t does so already.

I hope that helps! Best of luck!!

– Dr. Brittani

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Dr. Brittani James

Brittani James, MD is an Attending Family Medicine Physician who practices on Chicago's South Side. She co-founded Med Like Me with her twin sister, Dr. Brandi, as a passion project. She is dedicated to working with underserved and vulnerable populations and mentoring the next generation of diverse physicians.

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