Mar 11, 2010
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Saw an ad for a really cool volunteer job with demanding time commitments. It's an ER scribe. Would be great clinical experience, but the downside is that it's a strict 20 hour per week commitment with potentially random scheduling (like before key exams).

Grades & MCAT preparation obviously come first. Then there's volunteer and important downtime from it all.

Q: Would you guys take this position?
 

CZDreaMD

10+ Year Member
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Nov 20, 2008
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Hi DocelH. I currently work as an ED scribe in California and I have to say it is the best job ever. I absolutely love my job and look forward to going to work every day. Not only are you following the physicians around for the whole shift, but you are observing all procedures, consults, med orders, etc..and learning every step of the way. Where else are you going to develop a very close one on one relationship with an MD? They are going to be able to write you a very strong letter of recommendation as well as open up doors to lectures, events, and other medical goings-on. Also, you are going to learn very quickly if being around sick patients and demanding families is something you are going to be able to deal with.

I would say, absolutely apply for the position. I really think this is the best possible job any pre-medical student can have. PM me if you have any questions! :luck:
 
May 6, 2009
18
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Bradenton FL
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Medical Student
Definitely do it! I've worked as an ER-tech for about 6 years and it shows you a lot of sides of medicine. Some people aren't really prepared for what medicine is really like and ER shows a wide variety of experiences. One of the most rewarding jobs ever!
 

PB2464

10+ Year Member
Feb 19, 2007
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241
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Don't pass this up! I've worked as a paid scribe for about a year now, and it's the best clinical experience I've had so far as a pre-med.
You will record histories, physical exams, labs, radiology, consults, etc. The best part is that you become better at developing a differential diagnosis. Message me if you would like more info.
 

mspeedwagon

7+ Year Member
Oct 20, 2009
2,097
450
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Florida
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Medical Student
I've been looking for such positions in CA for the summer. What hospital in CA? I would love to find one somewhere in the Bay Area.

Hi DocelH. I currently work as an ED scribe in California and I have to say it is the best job ever. I absolutely love my job and look forward to going to work every day. Not only are you following the physicians around for the whole shift, but you are observing all procedures, consults, med orders, etc..and learning every step of the way. Where else are you going to develop a very close one on one relationship with an MD? They are going to be able to write you a very strong letter of recommendation as well as open up doors to lectures, events, and other medical goings-on. Also, you are going to learn very quickly if being around sick patients and demanding families is something you are going to be able to deal with.

I would say, absolutely apply for the position. I really think this is the best possible job any pre-medical student can have. PM me if you have any questions! :luck:
 
Dec 30, 2009
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Pre-Medical
I was offered to be ER Scribe last year here in NJ, but the only problem was they wanted to pay 7 bucks a hour and the hospital was over an hour and 20 minutes from where I live so I couldn't justify the costs and commute for such little pay, plus I have right leg/foot radiculopathy and could never sit in the car for that long period of time! I wish the place could have been closer because it probably is thee best experience you could put on application to med school, nursing school, PA school, etc!!

if you live within a hour to the hospital, DO IT!!!
 
Mar 11, 2010
947
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Time commitment is just my biggest concern. They had this rather ominous question on the application: You're taking four classes, all difficult. Test comes up and another scribe calls in sick. We need you to fill in the day before your exam. What do you do? There is no wrong answer. (Yeah right).

At least three 8 - 10 hour shifts per week for two years. Then there's MCAT prep, which will be a problem.

Basically, if I do this, there's no way I can juggle classes, MCAT, and other critical ECs. I'm gonna pass on it until MCAT is over. Maybe glide year.
 
Dec 30, 2009
191
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Pre-Medical
Time commitment is just my biggest concern. They had this rather ominous question on the application: You're taking four classes, all difficult. Test comes up and another scribe calls in sick. We need you to fill in the day before your exam. What do you do? There is no wrong answer. (Yeah right).

At least three 8 - 10 hour shifts per week for two years. Then there's MCAT prep, which will be a problem.

Basically, if I do this, there's no way I can juggle classes, MCAT, and other critical ECs. I'm gonna pass on it until MCAT is over. Maybe glide year.
wow, it must differ by state or location because the hospital that wanted me to do the EM scribe was two 10 hour shifts a week, not the 3 or more that your quoting!
 

brianmartin

10+ Year Member
Nov 12, 2006
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Attending Physician
Time commitment is just my biggest concern. They had this rather ominous question on the application: You're taking four classes, all difficult. Test comes up and another scribe calls in sick. We need you to fill in the day before your exam. What do you do? There is no wrong answer. (Yeah right).
There really is not a wrong answer. You just have to justify your reasoning. For example, "I would study for my exam, because in the long run I am trying to get into medical school, and grades are very important in that process. I would expect my employer to respect my school schedule. If I was the sick person, I would feel bad knowing I was taking away someone's study time. However, outside of school considerations I will make every effort to accommodate the scribe schedule." It's just a question to see how well you can use logic to make an argument. And also, IMO, a question to see how serious you are about getting into med school. The only wrong answer would be a short one without explanation :)
 

tkim

10 cc's cordrazine
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Aug 2, 2002
7,638
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There really is not a wrong answer. You just have to justify your reasoning. For example, "I would study for my exam, because in the long run I am trying to get into medical school, and grades are very important in that process. I would expect my employer to respect my school schedule. If I was the sick person, I would feel bad knowing I was taking away someone's study time. However, outside of school considerations I will make every effort to accommodate the scribe schedule." It's just a question to see how well you can use logic to make an argument. And also, IMO, a question to see how serious you are about getting into med school. The only wrong answer would be a short one without explanation :)
There absolutely is a wrong answer. If you want the job, you say you would come in. They are employers first, they want accountability and reliability.

The big carrot they dangle is the chance to get some experience and possibly some help getting into med school. But make no mistake, they want you there to work above all else.

Stating that an employer should respect your school schedule signals that you will choose school over work when pressed. That should be the way it is for a regular job, but if you are relying on this job for more than just a paycheck, be prepared to choose them over school, or at least say you would.

You could do well in school and the MCAT, but get a lukewarm LOR from the physician you scribe for if you ditch them for a test. The counter to "I needed to study" is that you should not waited to study for the test the night before. BS, true, but that's what the response will be and the LOR will be 'not prepared to fulfill responsibilities, poor time management'.

Double-edged sword. Do well and you've got a great LOR. Do poorly and you can kiss any support goodbye.
 
Mar 11, 2010
947
9
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Pre-Medical
What's the point of doing this job during glide year, if you are using it potentially for some help getting into med school?
I guess I could pose the same question: What should I do for glide year?

It sounds like a great learning experience. Maybe it would be helpful for the clinical years 3 and 4. It would also be great if I need to re-apply the following year if I get rejected the first time around.

The bottom line is I can't juggle school, MCAT, other ECs, and this scribe job. I confirmed with them that it is a paid job (& not volunteer). I agree 100% with what you said: they'll expect me to put them over school and other ECs. And given the state of the economy, I know a lot of students from my state U are scrambling to get this position and probably would put their work commitments ahead of other ECs and possibly school. It's a no-win situation.
 

tkim

10 cc's cordrazine
15+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2002
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I guess I could pose the same question: What should I do for glide year?

It sounds like a great learning experience. Maybe it would be helpful for the clinical years 3 and 4. It would also be great if I need to re-apply the following year if I get rejected the first time around.

The bottom line is I can't juggle school, MCAT, other ECs, and this scribe job. I confirmed with them that it is a paid job (& not volunteer). I agree 100% with what you said: they'll expect me to put them over school and other ECs. And given the state of the economy, I know a lot of students from my state U are scrambling to get this position and probably would put their work commitments ahead of other ECs and possibly school. It's a no-win situation.
No, it's a win-win situation for the guy who can hack it academically and meet the needs of the job. For those who must choose between doing well in school or getting a great LOR from the scribe job, stick with doing well in school.