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Meeting Expectations and Setting Boundaries

As a medical scribe, you will be working very closely with your assigned medical provider mentor. Spending nearly all your time together is ideal for learning and collaborating, but it does present some challenges when developing and maintaining a healthy working relationship. Below are a few dos and don’ts I’ve found helpful to keep the relationship professional and healthy.

1: Your Attitude

Do: Have a good attitude at work. It makes the lives of you and the people around you better if you better can maintain a positive outlook. It is always better torise to a challenge than to bemoan it.


Don’t: Think you have to make your provider happy. While your attitude and work certainly can improve your provider’s mood, it is not your responsibility todo so.

2: Respecting the Provider

Do: Give the provider the respect they have earned. Address them by the title they have earned (e.g. “Dr. Smith”)rather than their first name. This is polite, yes, but it also serves you by reinforcing that your relationship is a professional arrangement and not a personal one.


Don’t: Put the provider on a pedestal and revere them. Doing this will likely feel awkward and uncomfortable for the provider and work contrary to the collaborative relationship you are building.

3: The Provider’s Time

Do: Respect your provider’s time. Many doctors value their time in the hundreds of dollars per hour. When you need to preoccupy a moment of the provider’s time, it is best to be expedient, efficient, and concise. This is why it is often recommended that scribes prepare their questions for the provider in advance.


Don’t: Be afraid to take the provider’s time when you need it to do your job. Sometimes, you need to be assertive when you have questions that require their attention.

4: Handling Mistakes

Do: Understand that like anyone - even the most experienced scribes - you will sometimes make mistakes. Big or small, it is important for you to take responsibility for the mistakes you do make and learn from them. Focus on what you have learned that will make you a better scribe in the future.


Don’t: Excessively apologize and fixate on the past. This will be distracting to your provider and likely make them uncomfortable. There’s a busy day ahead and your job is to help them focus on the patients.

5: Taking Orders

Do: Tasks the provider delegates to you which are part of your job such as updating records or relaying messages to the care team.


Don’t: Take on tasks which are not part of your job. It is okay to say “no” if the provider asks you to do something you should not be doing. If you don’t know if a task is appropriate for you to do, reach out to your manager. They can offer further guidance and support.


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