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Charting the Unexpected: Three Former Medical Scribes Share their Career Journeys

March 8, 2024

Hannah Morris: Forging Paths Beyond the Traditional

Hannah Morris, Scribe-X's Director of Operations, began her medical scribe career in 2013 at a multidisciplinary pediatric clinic. During that time, she worked with 40 providers across 12 different specialties. She became the Chief Scribe and oversaw 60 scribes across 3 clinic locations. In 2015, she moved to Oregon and joined Scribe-X as a scribe trainer, launching new providers and training scribes. During this time, she worked across 75 providers and trained 150 scribes. As her role expanded, she took over scribe training and now oversees the Scribe-X operations team. 

Hannah didn't set out to run operations at a medical scribe company. She considered becoming a doctor before earning her Master's in Global Health in 2016. While doctors work to improve health on a one-to-one basis, Hannah was attracted to the potential for large-scale change inherent in public health. 

In her role at Scribe-X, Hannah helps providers and medical scribes improve communication and training so they can care for their patients more effectively. By training new scribes well and helping existing providers work more efficiently, Hannah believes she's fulfilling her mission of making a large-scale impact on healthcare.  

Hannah’s Tips for Aspiring Medical Scribes

Hannah calls herself the "Swiss army knife of scribing" because she's worked in nearly every possible scribe environment. That experience makes her uniquely qualified to offer tips to help new medical scribes succeed in their role:

  • ASK QUESTIONS: A provider will always be happy with a scribe who asks a question and gets the note right rather than a scribe who doesn't ask and gets it wrong. 
  • BE PROACTIVE: Not all feedback is going to be verbal. Take the time to review the edits made by the provider and incorporate them into any future notes. 
  • IT'S OKAY NOT TO KNOW EVERYTHING: Scribing is not about being the smartest person in the room. Know your available resources and use them. 
  • PRIORITIZE WHAT'S IMPORTANT: Content is more critical than formatting. Capture the correct information first, then rearrange it later.
  • PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: Scribing is about synthesizing information and capturing it quickly. You can practice this by summarizing your favorite TV shows or news programs in real-time. 

Ethan Palioca: Technical Know-How Aides Business Development

Ethan Palioca, Scribe-X's Senior Sales Manager, joined the company in 2016 as one of our first medical scribes. Ethan was interested in becoming a doctor and was attracted to Scribe-X because we could match him to his desired specialty. He spent two years scribing for an orthopedic surgery provider in Eugene and eventually added general and vascular surgery to his skills during that time. In 2018, he moved to Portland to work as a scribe trainer at the Scribe-X headquarters. Ethan jumped around the Portland metro area for the next two years, training scribes in primary care, endocrinology, surgical, and podiatry specialties while also deploying remote scribing for health centers around the Pacific Northwest. 

In 2020, Ethan joined the admin team at Scribe-X, working part-time in business development at industry conferences. By the end of the year, Ethan was working full-time in sales and now manages a team as the Senior Sales Manager. Community health has always been a topic that interested Ethan, and today, he has the opportunity to help many Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) work more efficiently and help better improve the health of underserved communities.

Ethan still carries much of what he learned as a scribe into his present position, including a deep understanding of a clinic's workflow and the practical application of medicine. That technical expertise helps him during the sales process because he can speak the language of providers. Through scribing, he also learned how to organize himself and work very efficiently.

Ethan’s Tips for Aspiring Medical Scribes

After years of training new medical scribes, Ethan knows what it takes to be successful in this challenging position. Here are two traits he recommends every new scribe develop:

  • COMMITMENT: Learning to be an effective scribe can be challenging on many levels. However, your first responsibility as a medical scribe is to be good at your job so your provider can focus on patient care. If you can't commit to being good at your job, you won't enjoy all the benefits the position offers.
  • EMBRACE THE CHAOS: New providers, new specialties, new patients, and new EHR systems can all make a medical scribe's job uncomfortable. But those opportunities are where you grow. Struggle now so that you don’t have to struggle as much in professional school and instead enjoy living your dream of entering the medical field.

Jake Garnett: Fusing a Passion for Healthcare with a Deep Family Tradition

Jake Garnett, Scribe-X's Senior Recruiting Manager, has a healthcare career deeply influenced by his family's medical background. Starting in his uncle's podiatry office, Jake's journey in healthcare eventually led him to the role of a medical scribe in an emergency department. This experience, coupled with his achievement as an Eagle Scout, a testament to his commitment to helping others, shaped his approach to healthcare.

Moving to the corporate side, Jake worked in recruiting and business development before joining Scribe-X in 2023. His role now allows him to impact healthcare on a larger scale by nurturing and guiding future medical scribes.

Jake’s Tips for Aspiring Medical Scribes

Jake, with an eye for potential, looks for individuals who demonstrate a blend of academic excellence and a genuine passion for healthcare. He often finds that students with backgrounds in biology or chemistry, particularly those with research experience, are well-suited for the role of a medical scribe. However, Jake emphasizes that the field is open to anyone eager to learn and excited about a healthcare career.

Drawing from his Eagle Scout background, which instilled in him the values of leadership and service, Jake advises new scribes to prioritize communication. He encourages them to ask questions and seek clarity, ensuring they produce the quality of work that healthcare providers and patients depend on.

The Future Awaits

Hannah Morris, Ethan Palioca, and Jake Garnett’s stories exemplify the diverse career paths that can grow from a foundation as medical scribes. Hannah's dedication to large-scale impact in public health, Ethan's seamless transition from technical expertise to sales management, and Jake's journey from the emergency department to recruiting new scribes all underscore the value of their initial roles. In the constantly changing world of healthcare, these stories serve as testaments to the possibilities that await those who choose to become medical scribes.