Medical scribes are employed by large medical facilities, hospitals, medical centers, and clinics. However, small medical practices and physicians maintaining individual practices may also employ medical scribes. As there is no federal or state monitoring of medical scribes, and no licensing or reporting requirements for medical scribes or their employers, the number of scribes working in the United States can only be estimated. According to the Department of Labor, there are 215,500 medical records and health information technicians, 58,000 medical transcriptionists, and 686,600 medical assistants employed in the United States, including medical scribes.
Medical scribes often start out through volunteer work or internship roles while in school. They may learn about job opportunities by consulting with their school's career services office. Professional associations for medical professionals, such as ScribeAmerica (https://www.scribeamerica.com/career-opportunities) also offer insights into career opportunities as well as job listings. Medical scribes also learn more about the companies that hire medical scribes by conducting online research and searching for job postings on health care companies' Web sites.
Advancement prospects in the field of medical scribing are limited. Those already employed may seek similar positions at larger or more prestigious medical centers or facilities, which provide increased opportunities and higher income levels. As the number and usage of medical scribes increases, however, the industry is seeing the development of some positions for medical scribes as managers, project leaders, or medical scribe trainers. The field continues to attract individuals who are gaining experience to advance to more professional medical careers such as physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners.
Tips for Entry
Typing and data entry is an essential part of being a medical scribe, so take typing and computer classes to increase your speed and accuracy.
Read books and watch reality TV shows that focus on emergency rooms, trauma centers, and medical issues to familiarize yourself with medical terminology.
Enroll in courses on biology, anatomy, and physiology to gain essential skills and knowledge important to the job.
While certification isn’t required in most instances, testing and experience to gain certification, offered by the American College of Medical Scribe Specialists, may give you an advantage over other candidates for employment.