DPTinthemaking15

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Over the summer I accepted an RA position that paid a little over $11.00 an hour and I loved every minute of it. Sadly, there were no positions available during the Fall. So I decided to apply as a scribe to get some clinical experience (I already have 2,000+ hours as a PT aide, but I figured I would try my hand at scribing). I won't name the exact company *cough, cough, Phys Assist,* but they offered me a minimum wage position, until I complete 375 hours. Then the pay will increase to $9.75 and I am eligible to apply for leadership roles in the company.

Is this pay worth it? I am not a cry-baby about minimum wage positions, because I have worked for minimum wage my entire college career. But minimum wage for three months seems ridiculously low for the amount of work a scribe does. Also, I am required to do their non-paid online training course and after a week they determine if I am eligible to work as a scribe. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

Dr. Scribe

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Over the summer I accepted an RA position that paid a little over $11.00 an hour and I loved every minute of it. Sadly, there were no positions available during the Fall. So I decided to apply as a scribe to get some clinical experience (I already have 2,000+ hours as a PT aide, but I figured I would try my hand at scribing). I won't name the exact company *cough, cough, Phys Assist,* but they offered me a minimum wage position, until I complete 375 hours. Then the pay will increase to $9.75 and I am eligible to apply for leadership roles in the company.

Is this pay worth it? I am not a cry-baby about minimum wage positions, because I have worked for minimum wage my entire college career. But minimum wage for three months seems ridiculously low for the amount of work a scribe does. Also, I am required to do their non-paid online training course and after a week they determine if I am eligible to work as a scribe. Any advice would be appreciated.

ScribeAmerica is better....paid online training and bump up to $10 after a few months....that $.25 thoooo lol
 

MareNostrummm

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I've been a scribe for over a year. It's definitely a great experience (moreso if you do not have any prior healthcare experience.) However, after awhile it gets old and you realise you are just grinding out charts, at low pay while the physician and hospital generate thousands of dollars on the extra patients you are seeing. Also, it doesn't feel satisfying in the same way that seeing patients/ordering medications/diagnostic tests/performing procedures/using your medical knowledge and training feels rewarding. Basically it's the worst part of being a physician in exchange for getting some early exposure. Hopefully I get accepted so I can move onto bigger things.
 
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AA98

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I'm currently a scribe for PhysAssist, but I'm doing it more for experience than pay. Still, $7.25 seems REALLY ****ty even compared to other scribing companies.
 

Dantes

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Scribing is a great experience for 6 months-1 year. I did it way too long in hindsight. It's a lot of work for dirt cheap hourly wages and is enticing for most pre-meds because it requires no additional certifications that other clinical jobs often need.
 
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MareNostrummm

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Scribing is a great experience for 6 months-1 year. I did it way too long in hindsight. It's a lot of work for dirt cheap hourly wages and is enticing for most pre-meds because it requires no additional certifications that other clinical jobs often need.
Also, the experience alone isn't enough to get you into medical school (people like to accumulate thousands of hours of scribing when in reality you should be diversifying your ECs).
 

Planes2Doc

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Also, the experience alone isn't enough to get you into medical school (people like to accumulate thousands of hours of scribing when in reality you should be diversifying your ECs).
 
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DPTinthemaking15

DPTinthemaking15

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You guys are the bomb! Scribing seem enticing, but from what the coordinator described, it sounds incredibly tough (I know... Physician life will be tough as well). When I was a PT aide, the hours were manageable and pt's always brought desserts lol. Tuesday is when the training begins and I need to make my decision ASAP.
I'm currently a scribe for PhysAssist, but I'm doing it more for experience than pay. Still, $7.25 seems REALLY ****ty even compared to other scribing companies.
Definitely! No offense, but I was offered more money at a retail store selling clothes. I love getting hands on experience, but I've gotta eat lol.
 

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I tutored for the SATs and ACTs for a few years for something like maybe $25/hr (Can't remember exact amount right now). If you want the most bang for your buck, tutoring might be the way to go. I got to set my own schedule. I was considering a scribing position this year until I was offered another tutoring position. I just don't have enough time to work for minimum wage any longer, especially while I'm in school. You might want to look into a reputable online tutoring company.
 

Piglet2020

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For me, scribing wasn't for the money; it was for the experience. You have to ask yourself whether you prefer the extra cash or the extra experience/shadowing.

I agree with the above post that tutoring is the most profitable for college students. Many people pay $30/hr and up.
 

DBC03

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For me, scribing wasn't for the money; it was for the experience. You have to ask yourself whether you prefer the extra cash or the extra experience/shadowing.

I agree with the above post that tutoring is the most profitable for college students. Many people pay $30/hr and up.
This is spot-on - scribe if you can, but look into another job if you need money or need to limit your time.
 
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MareNostrummm

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You don't scribe for money. You scribe for the experience, benefits, and hook ups.
There's still diminishing returns after the first ~1000 hours of scribing (1 year part time) that do not justify working the 2 year verbal contract most companies try to get you to work.
 

Dr. Scribe

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Just to underline what everyone else is saying, scribing is a unique experience that looks great on an app. Definitely not worth it money wise however
 
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scribe america only required 1 year full time so i'd go with that. agreed that it was EXHAUSTING. i have >1500 hours and would never do it again just because of how tiring it is to be multi tasking at ridiculous speeds for 8 hours a day (sometimes i worked 12 hour shifts and saw more than 60 patients in that time frame). its an amazing experience but not for the faint of heart lol

and ya, by the end of my time i was getting 12 / hour but was struggling to live on that. it was eventually not worth the month to month stress of wondering if i was going to be able to feed myself after rent was covered..
 
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allantois

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scribe america only required 1 year full time so i'd go with that. agreed that it was EXHAUSTING. i have >1500 hours and would never do it again just because of how tiring it is to be multi tasking at ridiculous speeds for 8 hours a day (sometimes i worked 12 hour shifts and saw more than 60 patients in that time frame). its an amazing experience but not for the faint of heart lol

and ya, by the end of my time i was getting 12 / hour but was struggling to live on that. it was eventually not worth the month to month stress of wondering if i was going to be able to feed myself after rent was covered..
They may ask for whatever commitment, but it's really an "at will" employment which can be terminated by either party at any time.
 

MareNostrummm

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scribe america only required 1 year full time so i'd go with that. agreed that it was EXHAUSTING. i have >1500 hours and would never do it again just because of how tiring it is to be multi tasking at ridiculous speeds for 8 hours a day (sometimes i worked 12 hour shifts and saw more than 60 patients in that time frame). its an amazing experience but not for the faint of heart lol

and ya, by the end of my time i was getting 12 / hour but was struggling to live on that. it was eventually not worth the month to month stress of wondering if i was going to be able to feed myself after rent was covered..
1 year scribing full time isn't really worth it... I scribed and balanced it with a research job, volunteering, and post bacc classes. Keep in mind on AMCAS you can list 15 activities, with 3 most meaningful. Scribing only takes up 1 slot, no matter if you have 600 or 6000 hours.
 
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DPTinthemaking15

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Yet again, thank you guys for all of the information! After reading through a lot of these post I think I am going to decline the scribe offer. I would love to have the added experience, but I just can't do it at the moment. I have my Exercise Physiology degree and have no clue what to do with it lol. Looks like I have some thinking to do.
 

MareNostrummm

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Yet again, thank you guys for all of the information! After reading through a lot of these post I think I am going to decline the scribe offer. I would love to have the added experience, but I just can't do it at the moment. I have my Exercise Physiology degree and have no clue what to do with it lol. Looks like I have some thinking to do.
If you didn't have any prior clinical experience I would have highly recommended scribing until you reached 1000 hours. But since you have 2000+ as a PT aide I think it might not be that beneficial for you.
 

Tenk

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There's still diminishing returns after the first ~1000 hours of scribing (1 year part time) that do not justify working the 2 year verbal contract most companies try to get you to work.
If you scribe in the ED there is very little diminishing returns in terms of knowledge gained which will put you insanely ahead of the curve in medical school. In fact I would even argue that the longer you spend in the ED scribing, the stronger your clinical senses will develop. The best students I've ever had were former scribes for several years because they learned to think like doctors. I'm several years out of residency and I'm still seeing crap for the first time ever so you are practically guaranteed to see something new every shift too. Probably some diminishing returns for hook ups though and I have no idea what scribing in the outpatient setting is like, but I'd guess probably pretty boring.
 

MareNostrummm

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If you scribe in the ED there is very little diminishing returns in terms of knowledge gained which will put you insanely ahead of the curve in medical school. In fact I would even argue that the longer you spend in the ED scribing, the stronger your clinical senses will develop. The best students I've ever had were former scribes for several years because they learned to think like doctors. I'm several years out of residency and I'm still seeing crap for the first time ever so you are practically guaranteed to see something new every shift too. Probably some diminishing returns for hook ups though and I have no idea what scribing in the outpatient setting is like, but I'd guess probably pretty boring.
It's diminishing returns for getting INTO medical school which is what matters the most. You don't want to be that chief scribe whose failed 3+ cycles already and is still scribing away (full time even). Having 1000 hours of scribing on your app with 5000 hours of other amazing ECs (research, volunteer, etc). vs 6000 hours of scribing... which do you think looks better. You only have 2 paragraphs tops to talk about scribing on your application. Maybe another paragraph in you personal statement and one devoted secondary essay.
 
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Tenk

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It's diminishing returns for getting INTO medical school which is what matters the most. Having 1000 hours of scribing on your app with 5000 hours of other amazing ECs (research, volunteer, etc). vs 6000 hours of scribing... which do you think looks better. You only have 2 paragraphs tops to talk about scribing on your application. Maybe another paragraph in you personal statement and one devoted secondary essay.
Op has 0 hours scribing. I don't know where you are pulling these numbers from? :eyebrow:
 

MareNostrummm

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Op has 0 hours scribing. I don't know where you are pulling these numbers from? :eyebrow:
I'm pulling them from your statement of people scribing for multiple years and the diminishing returns after 1000 hours... 6000 was just an example. (1 year full time = ~2000 hours). It has nothing to do with the OP's particular background. I'm just saying that the goal above all is to get into medical school and scribing for multiple years is not the most effective route. Scribing the minimum required (1-2 shifts per week) after reaching the first 1000 hours is optimal and then picking up other activities that diversify your experiences is more important.
 
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Tenk

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I'm pulling them from your statement of people scribing for multiple years and the diminishing returns after 1000 hours... 6000 was just an example. (1 year full time = ~2000 hours). It has nothing to do with the OP's particular background.
Again, you are throwing out random numbers. You know as a full time attending I only work around 1500 hours a year? I don't know where you are getting your math but it seems... off.

Also, what I said is true. You are just looking at this from a very black and white perspective. You are equating scribing with one activity. Again, my example will be scribing in the ED because that is all I care about and know about, but let me show you why scribing is so superior to all the other choices.

The longer you scribe for a group, the more the group will know you. You will go from just being a face to being a part of a team. This takes time, it is not overnight. It will be months if not years for me to like you and want to put my neck out for you with a phone call. The groups that I have worked for, the scribes that have been around for over a year, everyone knows and they have a lot stronger presence within the group. Such as going to annual parties among other things. Now you might say, so what? Well, guess what, life is more about who you know than what you know and ED physicians know more people than you can imagine. You need research experience? Ask an attending. They will probably know somebody if not having ongoing research. BAM research box checked. You need shadowing? Your entire job is shadowing. BAM shadowing box checked. You need clinical exposure? Again, that's your job. BAM checked again. You need a letter of req? Of course we will write that for you. Hell, we will make phone calls for you too because you help us out so much! BAM!

Literally 100% of the scribes that I have known who worked for a group long term got into med school or PA school (not everyone wants med school who is a scribe) assuming that was their end goal. I'm sure there are failures but they are not the norm. At least for ED scribes. Again, all of this has to do with getting into med school. Let's not forget the fact that you will blow everyone away 3rd year and increase your chances of matching to your residency of choice. The scribes I have known function at the level of an intern if not a PGY2 their third year of medical school. It is night and day.

You don't have to believe me, I really don't care. The only reason I post on this forum is to spread the things I have learned over the years. I've seen these students with my own eyes both as they scribe for me and as I train them as medical students. Do whatever you want but don't come on here and downplay scribing. It's just plain ignorant.
 

catlady87

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There are other ways of getting clinical experience without the ridiculously low wage. I've worked as a front desk/admin person at one medical practice and now a medical assistant at another. The pay isn't wonderful (15-16$ per hour) but it's a whole lot better than federal minimum wage, and you can still connect with doctors for shadowing opportunities etc ...
 
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Again, you are throwing out random numbers. You know as a full time attending I only work around 1500 hours a year? I don't know where you are getting your math but it seems... off.

Also, what I said is true. You are just looking at this from a very black and white perspective. You are equating scribing with one activity. Again, my example will be scribing in the ED because that is all I care about and know about, but let me show you why scribing is so superior to all the other choices.

The longer you scribe for a group, the more the group will know you. You will go from just being a face to being a part of a team. This takes time, it is not overnight. It will be months if not years for me to like you and want to put my neck out for you with a phone call. The groups that I have worked for, the scribes that have been around for over a year, everyone knows and they have a lot stronger presence within the group. Such as going to annual parties among other things. Now you might say, so what? Well, guess what, life is more about who you know than what you know and ED physicians know more people than you can imagine. You need research experience? Ask an attending. They will probably know somebody if not having ongoing research. BAM research box checked. You need shadowing? Your entire job is shadowing. BAM shadowing box checked. You need clinical exposure? Again, that's your job. BAM checked again. You need a letter of req? Of course we will write that for you. Hell, we will make phone calls for you too because you help us out so much! BAM!

Literally 100% of the scribes that I have known who worked for a group long term got into med school or PA school (not everyone wants med school who is a scribe) assuming that was their end goal. I'm sure there are failures but they are not the norm. At least for ED scribes. Again, all of this has to do with getting into med school. Let's not forget the fact that you will blow everyone away 3rd year and increase your chances of matching to your residency of choice. The scribes I have known function at the level of an intern if not a PGY2 their third year of medical school. It is night and day.

You don't have to believe me, I really don't care. The only reason I post on this forum is to spread the things I have learned over the years. I've seen these students with my own eyes both as they scribe for me and as I train them as medical students. Do whatever you want but don't come on here and downplay scribing. It's just plain ignorant.
yes to all of this. OP the only downside is the money but honestly for anyone where that won't be a big issue this is all true. i was getting diagnoses right in my head just by being exposed to things so many times. and i got to know a chief doctor because i was his main scribe for a year = great letter. research is obviously a possibility as well.

if you don't have the time that is understandable, but it is an extremely worthwhile experience if you do.

good luck with whatever you end up doing
 
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1 year scribing full time isn't really worth it... I scribed and balanced it with a research job, volunteering, and post bacc classes. Keep in mind on AMCAS you can list 15 activities, with 3 most meaningful. Scribing only takes up 1 slot, no matter if you have 600 or 6000 hours.
in my case, i needed a paying job for a year prior to doing a masters and had minimal clinical experience. the masters provided a gateway to research and volunteering, and i now am researching at a hospital affiliated with harvard medical school.

scribing is worthwhile if you think about your next steps. i am not telling anyone to go and do this for a year if they don't have other boxes checked or know they will in the future.
 

utah34

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Again, you are throwing out random numbers. You know as a full time attending I only work around 1500 hours a year? I don't know where you are getting your math but it seems... off.

Also, what I said is true. You are just looking at this from a very black and white perspective. You are equating scribing with one activity. Again, my example will be scribing in the ED because that is all I care about and know about, but let me show you why scribing is so superior to all the other choices.

The longer you scribe for a group, the more the group will know you. You will go from just being a face to being a part of a team. This takes time, it is not overnight. It will be months if not years for me to like you and want to put my neck out for you with a phone call. The groups that I have worked for, the scribes that have been around for over a year, everyone knows and they have a lot stronger presence within the group. Such as going to annual parties among other things. Now you might say, so what? Well, guess what, life is more about who you know than what you know and ED physicians know more people than you can imagine. You need research experience? Ask an attending. They will probably know somebody if not having ongoing research. BAM research box checked. You need shadowing? Your entire job is shadowing. BAM shadowing box checked. You need clinical exposure? Again, that's your job. BAM checked again. You need a letter of req? Of course we will write that for you. Hell, we will make phone calls for you too because you help us out so much! BAM!

Literally 100% of the scribes that I have known who worked for a group long term got into med school or PA school (not everyone wants med school who is a scribe) assuming that was their end goal. I'm sure there are failures but they are not the norm. At least for ED scribes. Again, all of this has to do with getting into med school. Let's not forget the fact that you will blow everyone away 3rd year and increase your chances of matching to your residency of choice. The scribes I have known function at the level of an intern if not a PGY2 their third year of medical school. It is night and day.

You don't have to believe me, I really don't care. The only reason I post on this forum is to spread the things I have learned over the years. I've seen these students with my own eyes both as they scribe for me and as I train them as medical students. Do whatever you want but don't come on here and downplay scribing. It's just plain ignorant.
I completely agree. I am a chief scribe right now in the ED, have been here for almost 2 years, and I feel like I am part of the physician group. Not only that, but who says you can't do other things in addition to being a scribe? I would never quit scribing just because I hit the "maximum" amount of hours needed. I work about 24-32 hours a week but I also did research in undergrad, volunteer at a local free clinic, and I am currently taking post-bacc classes. Just because you scribe 6000+ hours wouldn't mean you can't do other things as well.
 

hellowalnut

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I think scribe companies realize that 90% of scribes don't actually need the money so they offer peanuts and people will still flock to the position.
 

MareNostrummm

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I completely agree. I am a chief scribe right now in the ED, have been here for almost 2 years, and I feel like I am part of the physician group. Not only that, but who says you can't do other things in addition to being a scribe? I would never quit scribing just because I hit the "maximum" amount of hours needed. I work about 24-32 hours a week but I also did research in undergrad, volunteer at a local free clinic, and I am currently taking post-bacc classes. Just because you scribe 6000+ hours wouldn't mean you can't do other things as well.
That's not what I said at all. Scribing is probably the best clinical experience, but it isn't going to get you into medical school alone (unless your physician is going to personally phone you in and pull some strings with the admissions dean of UCLA like the guy above is implying). I said to scribe 16 hours a week (the minimum for most companies) and pick up other EC's simultaneously to diversify your experiences and optimize your chances... You can be the best scribe in the world and I'm sure you could even treat the ED2 fast track patients by yourself after a while but that doesn't matter if you don't get accepted somewhere. If you're actually accumulating 6000+ hours of scribing you're doing it wrong...(not getting in after multiple cycles, physician buddy isn't phoning you in, not diversifying your experiences, etc).
 
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allantois

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I'm working as a scribe. Gosh I can't stand those scribes who have been scribing for ages only not to get into medical school in the end or take unnecessarily long to do so. They are the ones who get all defensive and self-righteous about spending years of their life working for minimum wage. This isn't Sims, you don't have to start at the bottom to become a physician. Medical training is long and will teach you all you need to know.

Also, I'm very sceptical of the usefulness of the ED doc "making phone calls" for his scribes. I'm grateful he appreciates our cheap labor tho! (which is not going to be your typical experience with physicians for who you scribe)

There's nothing wrong with scribing, but there's also no reason to take years off to commit to this experience, which most ADCOMs wouldn't know much about anyway.
 
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MareNostrummm

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I'm working as a scribe. Gosh I can't stand those scribes who have been scribing for ages only not to get into medical school in the end or take unnecessarily long to do so. They are the ones who get all defensive and self-righteous about spending years of their life working for minimum wage. This isn't Sims, you don't have to start at the bottom to become a physician. Medical training is long and will teach you all you need to know.

Also, I'm very sceptical of the usefulness of the ED doc "making phone calls" for his scribes. I'm grateful he appreciates our cheap labor tho! (which is not going to be your typical experience with physicians for who you scribe)

There's nothing wrong with scribing, but there's also no reason to take years off to commit to this experience, which most ADCOMs wouldn't know much about anyway.
It's the best clinical experience by far I don't doubt that, but even adcoms on here will tell you that it's not going to push you to the front of the line and grant an automatic acceptance like some people are implying just because you've been a scribe for several years. It's actually a pretty common position nowadays (maybe not 10 or so years ago but the amount of scribing positions have vastly increased).
 
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DPTinthemaking15

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Thank you to everyone for the kind words. I respectfully decline the offer.
Nice 99 magic
HAHA thank you for noticing. Maybe I can high alch some items from home and get by for the next few months :laugh: Oh... That zammy d'hide though! I think I am going to make another account for old school. Getting tired of RS3 lol.
 
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Thank you to everyone for the kind words. I respectfully decline the offer.

HAHA thank you for noticing. Maybe I can high alch some items from home and get by for the next few months :laugh: Oh... That zammy d'hide though! I think I am going to make another account for old school. Getting tired of RS3 lol.
This zammy d'hide is to get rich off of Barrows! It's one of the easiest money makers once you learn the ropes.
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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It's the best clinical experience by far
I can think of several that are better, but it's probably the best you can get without certification/licensure or training.
 
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How did you guys get jobs as scribes?
applied to scribe america in MA a week after graduating undergrad, interviewed a week or two after that and was the only one out of 12 people in the interview group to get it. was also the last one to arrive bc my cab was late lol

i would say apart from my application being decent and getting lucky that i applied during a time when the scribe program in this specific area was expanding, you also need to demonstrate decent typing skills and work ethic. i type 80-90 wpm at my fastest but i think they look for 50 +

as im sure you have already seen in this thread, scribing is very taxing so id make sure its something you wont end up hating. i noticed at least 2-3 people who were hired ended up quitting within the first month because of the stress. not to scare you, as its a great experience and it gets easier the more you put into it

ive noticed that its harder to get scribe positions depending on where you live, so if you dont have luck it may just be the area unfortunately
 
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